Over the years at DESCENDANT (and typically everywhere else) plastic packaging has been a constant part of the practice. From shipping mailers to TPU plastic wraps for each item. It seems to be the standard for small and big businesses.
300 million single use plastic bags end up in the ocean each year.
The goal at DESCENDANT is to switch from the typical standard of packaging to plastic-less alternatives that can be recycled
Our typical packaging for soft goods is this from outside in:
BUBBLE WRAPPED LINED POLY MAILER ↴
TPU PLASTIC WRAP BAG↴
The typical poly mailer that DESCENDANT used for many years is not a sustainable product.
It isn't recyclable through curbside pickup programs (meaning you can't put it in your recycling bin and have it be recycled through that service. Making it hardly accessible to be recycled)
It isn't made from sustainable material (it's made from crude oil which is a non renewable resource)
They are not biodegradable or compostable.
All around they just aren't very sustainable and when you do throw it away it'll either end up in a landfill or in the ocean.
There are biodegradable options for these but they don't ever fully biodegrade.
There are also post consumer plastic produced poly mailers (meaning they take plastic that has been thrown out and recycled into these new poly mailers, creating its own life span/cycle)
But the issue with these is that it's still creating the issue of accessibility to be recycled back into the “circle of life” that was mentioned previously.
These are an option that could be considered in the future DESCENDANT’s packaging as it takes materials and gives them a second life. However their very well could be better options for mailing
TPU plastic wraps.
These are the clear plastic bags that are wrapped around each product to protect it from odors, water damage, etc. during travel and inventory.
These are key parts to the industry standard. Almost every clothing brand or soft goods company you purchase from will wrap and package their product in these plastic bags.
Everything that is in stock and sold on our website on this very day 08/12/23 is wrapped in TPU plastic.
That is going to change very soon as we bring in our products for the fall and next year because these bags are some of the most harmful plastic products in the world. And we think we can do better than that.
Alternatives to this is:
Tissue paper, like you would see in shoe boxes.
Glassine paper, which is a waxed coated water repellent paper goods product that is used in many industries including food service, print and arts, and many more.
Paper bags, that you would see in most pharmacies, food services, etc. we all know what a paper bag looks like.
Or nothing. Meaning it would just be thrown in with your mailer and shipped out like that. This one is listed because not only me but many others believe the wraps around the goods can be wasteful.
In later installments in this series of packaging design we will keep you updated on how we tackle the issue of the individual wrappings.
But for now we have our first update in the sustainable mailer.
This is a post consumer recycled water repellent mailer.
It is made from a thick and sturdy post consumer paper (made from previous paper goods that have been recycled such as cardboard, printer paper, cardstock)
It is pressed with soybean wax in order to give it some protection from moisture.
This is what we have been using for the last couple weeks of shipping as our go-to for 1-2 product orders. It also features a tear tab and adhesive seals.
Marked with the typical DESCENDANT label branding on the outside.
That's where we are at for now. We will keep you updated.