PACKAGING FROM OUR SUPPLIERS
So what packaging do we receive our goods in from suppliers?
The majority of dry goods we receive in 25kg sacks that made of tri-ply paper. A couple of items, such as red and green lentils come to us in plastic weave sacks which we give to friends and family for wood storage, also to a team of local builders who reuse them as rubble sacks, or as a last resort are sent for recycling via First Mile waste services.
Nuts and dried fruit generally come to us in a cardboard box which has a thin plastic liner. Without the liner the products would be at risk of spoilage and this would greatly increase food waste. The negative impact of food waste in this way would be far more harmful to our environment than the impact of using the plastic liner. All the liners are recycled via First Mile as they are not suitable for reuse.
The cleaning liquids, personal care liquids and oils come to us from suppliers who take back the empty 20l or 5l containers for refill and reuse meaning their supply is closed loop and completely waste free.
Coffee is supplied to us in a reused plastic bag from the supplier, in which they received the beans originally, so there is no additional packaging used between them receiving the beans and them forwarding the beans to us after roasting. We recycle the bags via First Mile as they are not suitable for reuse by our customers.
Sourcing pasta without plastic packaging continues to be a tricky issue. This still comes to us in 5kg plastic bags.
Unfortunately it is simply not possible to source pasta in larger plastic free packs at the moment, believe you me all the zero waste shops are after it and have been searching hard!! Pasta manufacturers are set up to pack into the plastic and it is hard get quick change in terms of their manufacturing processes. There are also issues around pasta getting broken in larger sacks which again would lead to more food waste. Occasionally you can find 5-8kg boxes of pasta but the carbon footprint of this cardboard is again higher than the plastic bag. Careful consideration needs to be given as to whether this is a viable alternative.
But all our pasta bags are kept for reuse by customers who may be short of containers. Many bring them back time and time again for refilling. None of these are thrown away by us or even sent for recycling.
We are always happy to answer any further questions you may have about the packaging or to show you what our goods are received in. We also are continually searching for any ways in which we can further reduce our waste and will be doing all we can to cut more out whenever possible.