Plastics, Packaging & Procurement
Top Tips on Plastics, Packaging & Procurement
Review your procurement procedures and do business with green suppliers.
Be clear what you’re looking for in a supplier and research their sustainability efforts around products and packaging, staffing, carbon emissions and handling of waste. Look for companies that use energy efficient vehicles and have a cultural ethos of ‘giving back’.
If you are struggling to find suppliers locally, then try working with your local suppliers to source or develop what you need. If enough businesses start asking for a product they are more likely to start stocking it.
Put local procurement policies in place which favour local businesses
and take the opportunity to tell their story as well. Ask for the sustainable policies of your suppliers. Understand how they package, produce and recycle goods and look out for green accreditations
Reduce plastics and packaging
Sell reuseable branded bags in shops and attractions
Reducing the number of single use bags cuts costs and reduces waste, whilst encouraging people to reuse existing bags.
Cut single use plastic use
by abandoning plastic straws and investing in resusables. Use stainless steel containers to store food or recyclable packaging.
Supply guests with eco-friendly toiletries
like shampoos, soaps and conditioners. Consider bio-degradable shower caps and bamboo toothbrushes. You can source local too and support local jobs and communities by opting for suppliers like Out of Eden.
Recycle, recycle, recycle
Overnight guests may be willing to recycle during their stay
If it’s simple and not too intrusive. Provide clear labelling and give them the choice of how frequently their towels and bedlinen are changed. Ensure welcome packs are in cardboard/paper packaging.
Consider where you can re-purpose perceived waste
What might be waste to you, might be usable by someone else. For instance, could stale unsold gingerbread be used to make a signature gingerbread ice cream for a local restaurant?
Inspiration From Businesses
“We’ve phased out 95% of plastic bubble wrap on mail order deliveries, replacing it with a 100% recyclable and biodegradable paper-based packaging called Geami which has a padded honeycomb structure. It means that when customers receive a package both the cardboard box and wrapping can be either re-used by them or sent off for recycling. The famous parchment paper used to hand-wrap Grasmere Gingerbread® is also sourced from forests endorsed by the FSC and is100% recyclable.”
“All our packaging is recycled, recyclable, reusable, and/or compostable. We invested in a cardboard shredder which is a lot of fun! It shreds cardboard into nets which we can then use to wrap our bottles in. Cardboard comes in from goods ordered, we shred it and use it to package the goods we send out. When needed we supplement with green, biodegradable bubble wrap which, if it ends up in landfill, degrades and adds nutrients to the soil. In order to save thousands of litres of water every time we distil, we have installed a closed loop cooling system.”
Zero Waste Kendal has tips and advice for businesses on reducing their plastic footprint and supporting visitors to do the same. Meanwhile, the charity Another Way is supporting a campaign to make Grasmere a plastic-free community.
Wrap is a great source of information for hospitality and food service businesses wanting to reduce plastic packaging.