A Reused Packaging Alternative – What do you think?

For a multitude of reasons, packaging is one my biggest concerns having to do with my company.  For one thing, I know it’s necessary, but I just feel plain guilty that so much energy and resources have to go towards protecting boxes of chocolates, however delicious and happy they make people.  Currently, I use either starch-based biodegradable peanuts or recycled paper as filler in my shipping boxes, but I have an idea to try out reused packaging.  I found a site called freecycle.org that facilitates the reuse of things between people, and I can get styrofoam peanuts and bubble wrap from other businesses in my area to reuse.    It’s not a steady source and it might not be able to suit my needs as I grow, so I could supplement it with the starch-based biodegradeable peanuts that I already use.  To me, though, it seems more sound to use what’s already out there than to introduce new materials.  And reused filler would be free, but it would take time and gas to collect it.

There might be a slight risk of some sort of cross-contamination, but the candies are all wrapped and boxed and don’t come into contact with the filler anyway.  And I’d probably include a little note in the box saying that the packaging is reused in consideration of the environment.

What do you think?  How would you feel about reused peanuts and bubble wrap around your candy?

7 Responses to “A Reused Packaging Alternative – What do you think?”

  1. Tommy Says:

    You’ve got a business to run, and you’re already considering the impact of the ingredients you use, which is more than can be said for many of your competitors. I think you’re being a little too hard on yourself. That said, the idea of using packaging materials that already exist is an excellent one. To take that idea one step further: What if somebody went into business collecting used peanuts and bubble wrap and supplying them to concerned businesspeople like yourself? Think of the biodiesel early adopters who went around collecting used fryer oil… Hmmm, I may have just hit upon my first million! Oh, by the way, I just blogged the candy bars I ordered from you back in December. Man, those malt bars were good!

  2. Anne Kent Says:

    I would think it was great. Your candy comes well wrapped so there wouldn’t be any chance of contamination. It’s certainly worth trying!

  3. Nina Says:

    Tommy – Ha, yeah, it’s weird, I just can’t help it now — packaging, ingredients and temperature rule my life. 🙂 And I wish someone would do collect and distribute the packaging! I wouldn’t mind paying for the filler b/c it’s in my budget anyway — I just want to minimize the company’s impact on the environment. Though I will say this — if you’re looking to make a million, get a HUGE warehouse — one garbage bag of peanuts that I collected last night j u s t fit in the trunk of my car (admittedly, a new Beetle whose trunk is designed to fit a gym bag and little more).

    And OMG, I’m so happy that you liked the bars and posted about them!!! I hadn’t heard from you in a while, so I was wondering how you liked them! I’m going to put up a post to link to your page.

    Anne – Good, thanks so much for your input! Part of me was just wondering if I’m missing something about this little scheme… but I think it checks out ok.

  4. dreamsicle Says:

    I don’t think I would mind either, and would actually support the idea of using reused packaging. After all, you’re doing the environment a whole lot of good, and your candy bars are well-wrapped that they should be safe to eat anyway, What’s more, we all know that you have high standards for quality in your products. 😉

  5. Nina Says:

    Dreamsicle — Cool, thanks for your response! And yeah, if I come across some used packaging that doesn’t seem up to standard, I can always just not accept it…

  6. fattypr Says:

    I love the idea of reusing packaging,. and supplementing with biodegradables when necessary, since have to make the newer more-eco-friendly stuff is actually more costly to the planet than reusing older stuff that exists. If I were in LA I’d give you all the packaging I have lying around at home!

  7. Nina Says:

    Cool! Glad to hear that you agree! Yeah, there’s already SO MUCH of this stuff out there.

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