7 Advantages of Biodegradable Plastics and Packaging Products
advantages of biodegradable plastics

We all know that the word “biodegradable” roughly translates to “somewhat better for the environment.” But what are the advantages of biodegradable plastics? And how exactly do biodegradable products benefit the world around you? 

We use biodegradable plastics in our packaging products to replicate all of the handy (yet harmful) characteristics of plastic. For example, our deli bowls are made from Ingeo™ PLA Bioplastic, a natural resource that’s created entirely from plant substances. Just like plastic, these bowls are incredibly durable and can either contain hot or cold foods due to their solid interior. Plus, they’re totally transparent — like plastic — so your customers can eye up your food menu from afar.

To help you understand why bioplastics and other biodegradable products are far superior to polystyrene or other common takeaway packaging material, we’ve listed the seven main advantages of biodegradable plastics below. 

1. Fewer Carbon Emissions — An obvious advantage to biodegradable plastics is the reduction in carbon emissions. During the manufacturing process, plastics such as PLA bioplastic — which is plant-based — emit far fewer emissions than regular plastic creation does. 

2. They Biodegrade. Duh! — Unlike other plastic-types, biodegradable plastics and packaging products will eventually biodegrade. This, in turn, reduces the number of items discarded in landfills. The average plastic container may take around 450 years to disintegrate. However, a biodegradable plastic will naturally decompose within a lifetime. 

3. They Can Be Repurposed — Biodegradable substances — including biodegradable plastics — can be recycled and repurposed before their life cycle ends. The plant-based oils used in most bioplastics makes their quality far superior to other plastic types. These oils also make the surface of bioplastics less brittle and easier to form new shapes and textures.  In some non-biodegradable plastics, the material isn’t safe for repurposing because of harmful chemicals that may leak after initial usage. Because biodegradable plastics and packaging derive from natural substances, there are no chemicals or toxins in these items. 

4. Reduced Pollution — As biodegradable products break down naturally, they eventually decompose and are consumed by soil and other natural components. This natural process means no forced chemical reaction needs to take place to kickstart the process and less pollution will happen as a result. Since biodegradable plastics will never be present in a landfill for long periods, the outcome is less overall waste to manage. 

5. Safer for Users — Biodegradable products are made using natural substances. As a result, they don’t contain harmful chemicals or pose any risks to intended users. Unlike non-recyclable plastics — such as PET, the plastic used for the creation of most standard water bottles — bioplastics don’t attract harmful bacteria or leak chemicals when decomposing. This means biodegradable plastics can be used more than once, eliminating the need for single-use plastics, without putting users at risk. 

6. Make Better Use of Petroleum — The production of traditional plastics equates to 2.7% petroleum consumption in the United States. If we curbed this consumption level by creating natural bioplastics instead, we could reallocate oil resources to more worthy causes such as heating and transport. 

7.  Better for Business — Even major companies such as Coca-Cola are introducing bioplastic products due to its greener connotation. If you want to give your company a good rep, follow suit and use less harmful plastic sources to create long-lasting, durable products. 

Make your business better. Browse our entire range of eco-friendly packaging products, from delicious deli bowls to disposable clear cups.

How to Reduce My Carbon Footprint at Home (in Less Than Seven Days)
how to reduce my carbon footprint

There’s an overwhelming amount of environmental content available online, especially regarding one’s home. From self-sufficient tiny houses to completely minimalist abodes, these ideal home-types can make it seem near-impossible to reduce your carbon footprint in your current set-up. 

If you’re an aspiring environmentalist who lives in a typical two-bed terraced house or an average bungalow in the UK — don’t worry — you can still dramatically reduce your carbon footprint without having to relocate or completely transform your living quarters. 

Read on to find out how you can go greener and make a difference in less than a week.

How to Reduce My Carbon Footprint (at Home)

If you’re trying to minimise your carbon footprint — period — then tackling your home is a good place to start. 

You’re likely to spend the most time in your home. Plus, it’s where you’ll no doubt have picked up any “not-so-green” habits. So, if you manage to change your attitude and routine at home, all of the other areas of your life should automatically follow. 

Focusing on your home and getting your family and friends involved will give you a much greater chance of sustaining your green endeavour. If you have a family or young children, collective habits  — such as healthy eating habits amongst family units — are highly influential. If you wish you’d started your life with a smaller carbon footprint, the best thing you can do is teach the next generation by example. That’s why this guide starts with simple steps towards environmentalism that even children and young adults can pick up. 

Reducing your carbon footprint at home will be the hardest space to tackle and change because of the disruption it poses in your comfort zone. Yet, it’s often the most rewarding.  

How NOT to Reduce Your Carbon Footprint 

Before we get into the details of how to reduce your carbon footprint, let’s talk about how not to reduce your carbon footprint at home.  

Lots of people make the same mistake when they first try to reduce their carbon footprint. This mistake is committing to drastic changes that aren’t easy to maintain in the long-term. For example, quickly transitioning to plastic-free might be a shock to the system. While you might have the best of intentions, this drastic measure could prove too much to handle at the start. A better route could be to focus on the recycling motto: “Reduce, reuse recycle.” Before you vow to eliminate plastic from your life altogether, focus on reducing the amount of plastic that you buy. Reuse the plastic items already in your home and implement a recycling system that works for you. This doesn’t mean you’ll never go plastic-free. Instead, it should give you a greater chance of reaching that goal. 

Building green behaviours is akin to flying before you’ve learnt how to walk or beginning a strict diet with no wiggle room for cheat days. You’re going to cave in and eat a pizza if you don’t allow yourself any slack. So, if you’re thinking of completely altering your everyday routine or immediately remodelling your property to accommodate your lifestyle change, you’re setting yourself up to fail. 

Seven Small Ways to Reduce My Carbon Footprint in a Week

However, you can make a difference in just one week by taking small steps. These seven steps don’t require you to downsize, throw out all of your furniture or completely change your identity. Plus, they’re family-friendly, meaning you can pass down your environmental wisdom to the younger generations of your family. 

  1. Eat Locally

Our first tip is to eat locally. This might mean moving away from shopping at commercial supermarkets like Asda or Tesco and taking a more traditional approach to groceries. If you have a local farmers market nearby, you should aim to shop there. 

Eating locally has plenty of benefits — some that aren’t environmental, like boosting your town or city’s local economy. However, one of the greatest benefits is environmental, specifically the vast reduction of fuel and chemicals involved in food production. You might save fuel by visiting a local store, but the main consideration is the reduction in fuel used to distribute goods. What’s more, local stores are often more mindful of excess packaging, allowing you to avoid food wrapped in harmful plastics. 

You might find your diet feels a little more restricted when you shop locally as luxury products such as condiments, sweets and alcohol are often imported from other countries or factories. A staple diet of fruit, fibre and vegetables will be the only thing available from farm shops. However, you will benefit from having a healthier diet and from eating fresh foods free from chemical contaminants

The Long Term Plan — In the long run, you might find yourself ditching meat and dairy products. Many environmental studies indicate veganism is one of the most impactful ways to reduce your carbon footprint. As well as the ethical reasons related to veganism, eliminating meat consumption can greatly benefit farmland, agriculture and reduce the number of greenhouse gases emitted each year.

  1. Switch to Energy Saving Light Bulbs 

If your light bulb doesn’t blow in the first week of practising environmentalism, don’t sweat it. So long as you stock up on energy-saving light bulbs, you’ll ultimately be doing the world a favour. 

There are two types of environmental light bulbs on offer: 

  • CFL — Also known as Compact Fluorescent Lightbulbs. 
  • LED — Light-Emitting Diodes. 

Each of these types of light bulb lasts six times longer than an average light bulb. This saves you some money, but it also protects the environment by having fewer landfills full to the brim with discarded technology. It’s estimated that by switching to environmentally-friendly light bulbs, the number of lightbulbs you throw out will significantly reduce from 120 to 20. 

The Long-Term Plan — Once you’ve tweaked a few energy-zapping aspects of your home, you should conduct a full audit of all of your appliances and energy providers. Buying energy-efficient appliances and switching to green-certified providers will dramatically reduce your monthly bills and your home’s need for electrical energy. If you’re completely pro at this, it might be time to look into solar panel installation. A nifty addition 800,000 British homes have already benefit from this. 

  1. Make an Effort to Recycle 

It’s fine to still buy the occasional plastic-packaged item at the beginning of your journey, as long as you make an effort to recycle it. 

Depending on where you live in the UK, you will have a council-run recycling system in place with different coloured bins, boxes and bags to separate your household trash into. You can find out more about your district’s recycling policy by entering your home’s postcode into the government’s recycling collections webpage. Since recycling in the UK is made particularly easy with colour-coded containers and regular pick-ups, this could be a chore the entire family can share.

If you’re in an unfortunate area where plastic recycling isn’t as advanced, you should recycle with local charities and groups that accept plastic waste or pick up plastic waste for free. 

The Long-Term Plan — In the long-term, you might decide to go plastic-free and challenge yourself to stop using certain recycling bins altogether. If you want to encourage others to do the same, you might get involved in a charity event like an ocean clear up that builds awareness about the environmental impact of plastic consumption on marine life. 

  1. Focus on What You’re Bringing in, Not Throwing out 

As we said earlier, it’s natural to feel like you might have to transform your existing reality to reduce your carbon footprint. But this isn’t true. Rather than focusing on what you already own and how to change it, you should instead keep a smaller goal — to be concerned with new things that you’re bringing in. 

So what if you have a few plastic items lying around from before your efforts to go green? The important thing is to make sure you’re not continually buying harmful items. In other words, you won’t need to switch to a bamboo toothbrush before your plastic equivalent has had its day. However, the next time you’re in the market for a new toothbrush, make sure it’s an environmental upgrade. When you’re new to environmental purchasing, it might be a good idea to sign up to an environmental subscription box. In these boxes, you’ll receive testers of different environmentally-approved products each month. 

The Long-Term Plan — For those who have been practising minimalist spending for a sustained amount of time, the next step might be to work towards self-sufficiency. This is where a homeowner will have little need to buy from outside sources. Think using solar power, having an allotment and creating natural products to avoid the need for constant supermarket shopping. 

  1. Sign up for Digital Invoices and Bills 

The next step is as easy as clicking a button and you’ll have made an instant difference to your carbon footprint. If you usually receive banking statements or marketing materials through your postbox, you should visit your online account and update to digital notifications. 

Most banks rolled out digital billing in the last few years to reduce the amount of wasted paper and fuel used in delivering invoices and bills to your door. Digital bills are also a more secure way to view your sensitive information as there is no risk of your details and transactions getting lost in the post. If you haven’t already signed up to a digital bank like Monzo, you should. These banks are entirely digital, making them a greener choice all-round. They are effectively branch-less and work through a digital application. Instead of a monthly invoice, a constant reminder of your spending updates daily. This type of banking will also make you more mindful of your overall transactions by making it easier to keep tabs on your consumption levels and fast-fashion shopping habits. 

The Long-Term Plan — Over time, you might find more digital applications and technological ways to reduce your carbon footprint. There are plenty of mobile applications that provide environmental assistance. Amongst these is Oroeco – an app that tracks your activity and crunches data to figure out your carbon footprint “score”. Via the application, you can compete for rewards depending on your progress. 

  1. Drink Tap Water and Avoid Bottled 

There are plenty of reasons to step away from drinking bottled water — for the planet’s health and your own. If you don’t fancy drinking unfiltered tap water, you should switch to a filtering system that either sits in or is inbuilt into your fridge. Ultimately, this will save money and thousands of water bottles from ending up in a landfill, where they will most likely take around 450 years to biodegrade. 

The majority of disposable water bottles are made from a particular type of plastic called Polyethylene Terephthalate (otherwise known as PET). To find out more about PET, read our article: Is All Plastic Bad? The Surprising Truth about Biodegradable Plastic, which breaks down different plastic types.

The Long-Term Plan — If you’ve been without plastic water bottles for a while, you might want to show your support by getting involved in a social challenge. Take to social media to get involved with one of the various water filter awareness tags. Recently, the popular filter brand, Brita launched a social campaign using the hashtag #NoFilterNoFuture. 

  1. Take Time out for Education 

If you want to reduce your carbon footprint — either at home or in any other area of your life — sometimes it’s important NOT to take action too soon. Start with small, achievable steps and follow-up with regular sessions dedicated to further education. You should always read trustworthy sources on the environment, such as The Guardian’s column

If you’re ever in doubt about whether a suggested practice is environmental or even ethical, it’s best to do your research first. For example, plenty of people switched to cotton tote bags following the plastic bag charge in the UK. Since then, plenty of online sources have scrutinised the life cycle of cotton bags. There are now claims they might have a more serious environmental impact than plastic, depending on how many times you use them. 

The Long-Term Plan — Once you feel clued up on a wide variety of environmental issues, it could be time to start an online blog to help spread the word. Plenty of people make a living from sharing their environmental advice and personal experiences on the internet and this is a great way to connect with others on the same journey. 

Once you’ve tackled your home, it’s time to start reducing your business’s carbon footprint. Browse our range of commercial food packaging products for some seriously sustainable inspiration.

Cobbs Farm Shop and Kitchen – a Place for the Whole Family

For those that have never heard of Cobbs Farm it was establish in 2007 and founded out of a passion for supplying quality food with provenance to our customers. They’ve grown a small group which now include seven farm shops featuring cafés and other delightfully foodie additions such as traditional butchery counters, fishmongers, delicatessen counters, artisanal floristry and giftware.

The public’s interest in supporting the local and regional artisan producers continues to grow and cobbs seem to be playing a big part in ensuring that support continues to flourish. A willingness to reduce food miles and in turn our carbon footprint has seen their businesses go from strength to strength and ensure they remain one of the UK’s largest and leading farm shop group.

How have Takeaway Packaging contributed in helping Cobbs?

We supply the farm shops with all their biodegradable napkins, cups, lids and stirrers. This was one occasion where the customer had their own artwork. When it comes to branding, we are very flexible and are more than happy to work with artwork that is given, alternatively we can start completely from scratch and work with the customer to bring their vision to life.

This job took 12-14 weeks to produce and we hold their stock in our warehouse and they call of goods when needed. So, if this was something you were worrying about, stress no more.

What is there to do at Cobbs Farm?

When we say there is something for the whole family, we really mean it. There is a butchers, fishmongers, vineyard, café, florist and a brand new Play Barn. So, if you wanted to take the kids for something to eat in the café, then drop them at the play barn while you have a stroll round the rest of the farm then this is the place for you!

They have a fully licensed café serving breakfast, homemade fresh meals, light bites all using homegrown or local produce – you couldn’t really ask for much more.

Are there any upcoming events worth visiting?

Yes – there are two events coming up next month. There is a wine and cheese evening for the adults on 4th July and then on the 13th there is a Tractor Ted event where the kids race around the track or play in the digger den. The one good thing about this as well is that it is free! You don’t have to pay for the tractor ride or to play in the digger den. Simply round up the family and head down for a fun filled day of activities.

Did you know that Cobbs even won an award this year!

They are the winners of the 2019 South West Regional Farm Shop award. On Monday 8th April they attended the 2019 Farm Shop & Deli Awards in Birmingham. Where they were awarded South West Regional Farm Shop 2019! Needless to say, this is a massive achievement that they are proud of. It was also the perfect opportunity to discover fantastic new suppliers from across the UK. Keep an eye out for out for these to be stocked in our cafe and farm shop shelves soon!

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Is Polystyrene Recyclable? We’ve Got the Definitive Answer
is polystyrene recyclable

Most materials have straightforward waste credentials. For example, things made of out of paper are almost certainly going to be recyclable, compostable and biodegradable. Things made out of single-use plastic, however, are a little more sinister when it comes to disposing of them.

Polystyrene – that foamy material used to create fast-food containers and, when shaped like peanuts, provide the most annoying yet protective addition to parcels – is a little more complex.

Is polystyrene recyclable? Should we even care about it? After all, is it really that bad for the environment? It isn’t as talked about as plastic packaging is, so it mustn’t be. Right? In this blog post, we’ve crafted the ultimate Q&A about polystyrene, including whether it’s recyclable, its environmental impact and what packaging alternatives exist for businesses to use.

Q: What Even is Polystyrene? And, Why Does No One Talk About It?

A: That’s the thing, polystyrene is, in fact, a form of plastic. Although polystyrene is plastic, it’s lesser talked about than some of the other plastic types that we’re well acquainted with – like PET (polyethylene terephthalate) used to make plastic bottles, for example. Beware, polystyrene is potentially even more hazardous.

Polystyrene (PS) is sometimes named Thermocol as it’s a synthetic polymer that, when heated, can be cast into moulds. Remember those little S-shaped peanuts that fall from your online orders? Those impossible to hoover squidgy shapes are made from polystyrene.

Polystyrene seems like it is less publicly scrutinised than other forms of plastic. Other everyday items like plastic bottles and shopping bags seem to get the brunt of the packaging debate, with government taxation to match it. Some cities – like New York City – are clamping down on polystyrene use and a small part of the packaging war is attributed to it.

Perhaps polystyrene is a trickier material to have act as the poster girl for packaging change as it’s less controlled by consumers and shifts the responsibility to companies. Whereas items like water bottles can be replaced by stainless steel reusable cups, packaging peanuts and takeout boxes are only controlled by the shipment and restaurant firms.

Our guess is that polystyrene doesn’t make a compelling enough argument to encourage people to think twice about their waste. Using polystyrene to spark the packaging debate would likely result in people thinking “well the packaging companies should change their ways, there’s nothing that I can do about it.”

Nonetheless, polystyrene should be talked about – especially if you open a package only to discover those nightmarish S-shapes and don’t know what to do with them.  

Q: The Big Question – Is Polystyrene Recyclable?

A: Despite most people’s common belief, we’re here to set the record straight – polystyrene is sometimes recyclable.

Don’t breathe a sigh of relief yet though, this material is commonly non-recyclable and will only be recycled correctly if you do your research and make sure it’s disposed of responsibly.

Q: Oops! I Have Some Polystyrene Already, What Should I Do?

A: Although polystyrene is commonly non-recyclable (ouch!) it’s always worth checking your local council’s, town’s or state’s recycling policies to figure out if they offer any additional services.

If you’re living in the UK, you should visit the Recycle Now website to learn more about recycling in your area. All you need to do is type in your home’s postcode to find about a specific item, locate your nearest recycling facilities and figure out what each domestic recycling bin should be used for.

Recycle Now even have a dedicated polystyrene page that breaks the bad news – only a few councils will have facilities to accept polystyrene as household waste. Fingers crossed that you live in a lucky area!

At the very least, consumers are advised to recycle polystyrene by reusing it (so long as it isn’t food-based as this is dangerous). If you’ve been given packing peanuts you can reuse them for your own packing purposes or deliver them to UPS – a global shipping company that accepts polystyrene from the public.

Q: I’ve Managed to Recycle My Polystyrene, What Happens Next?

A: If you’ve done the impossible and found a recycling home for your polystyrene, you might be wondering how recycling polystyrene works. HowStuffWorks has a comprehensive four-page explanation of this on their site.  

In short, polystyrene is a plastic that is incredibly difficult to recycle. This doesn’t mean that polystyrene can’t ever be recycled, but nine times out of ten, polystyrene will simply end up floating about in the environment. The exception is Expanded Polystyrene (EPS) which is 100% recyclable, but will likely not be recycled if mixed in with other household items, during waste disposal.

If you’ve already rid yourself of the unwanted polystyrene and handed the material over to the local council, it’s likely that the council will work with third-party companies to produce new products with the substance.

Q: Why’s It Such a Big Deal to Recycle Polystyrene?

A: You might think, what’s all the fuss about? Washed up whales are often seen with discarded plastic bottles in them and scare stories about animal suffocation focus on plastic bags, but don’t be fooled – polystyrene is not a saintly material.

Polystyrene is an incredibly light material that usually takes up a fair amount of space. When used for its purpose in packaging, this can be a positive thing – a fragile vase has no space to move around in transit and get damaged if the package is stuffed with a polystyrene mould. However, when it comes to controlling waste, polystyrene takes up a lot of room and causes bins to overflow and make it difficult for normal households to dispose of the substance in a responsible manner.

The truth is that polystyrene is made from benzene and styrene which are both carcinogens – substances that are capable of causing cancer and negatively affect wildlife. Polystyrene can’t biodegrade* and instead deteriorates as a result of the sun. These foam particles are difficult to manage and when they’re in the ocean they pose a real threat to fish and other wildlife.

*There’s an exception to the rule. The only time that polystyrene will ever biodegrade is if a certain type of mealworm ingests the substance. Once in the mealworm’s guts, bacteria can convert the styrene into biodegradable PHA (Polyhydroxyalkanoates).

Q: What Polystyrene Alternatives Exist?

A: As a company honed in on the takeaway sector, we don’t have great insights into shipment companies. But what we will say is that the world’s largest retailer, Amazon, forbids the use of polystyrene in their packages and manages to deliver up to five billion packages in a given year without it.

To learn more about polystyrene alternatives for food consumption, visit our online shop where you’ll find a variety of alternative packaging options. Our ranges include Kraft board and other innovative materials that use sugar cane residue.

All My Friends Are Telling Me To, So Why Should I Switch To Eco Friendly?
why should I switch to eco friendly

Being eco-friendly might seem like the trending thing to do right now with one in three consumers preferring environmentally friendly options. But going green isn’t just a fashion fad that will someday be deemed uncool. Unlike elaborate hair perms and MC Hammer pants, being eco-friendly is a long-term statement. It’s a commitment to contribute to the planet’s salvation – a cause that will never go out of style.

If all of your friends have been pestering you to have a greener outlook, this is one of the few times that you should give in to peer pressure.

To help get you started, we’ve pieced together the ultimate Q&A with a green newbie’s most common worries about environmental living. We’ll talk all things eco living including hard to beat habits, bringing green values to your business and environmental packaging alternatives.   

Q: Why’s it Such a Big Deal to Be Eco Friendly?

A: Being eco-friendly isn’t just about sporting a cotton tote bag and being done with it. Sidenote, recent reports reveal that a cotton tote bag could be as comparably damaging to the environment as plastic ones.

While it might seem straightforward from the outside, going green means undergoing a lifestyle change and getting educated on the matter. The good news is that being eco friendly will have a real impact on the future of our planet.

Take a look at the following news stories that outline the globe’s current state:

  • In 2016, the UN conducted a study that found human behaviour to be damaging the earth faster than it can recover – this was the UN’s first warning about climate change. Last year, the UN warned that we only have 12 years to limit the climate change crisis, meaning that we must act now.
  • High profile publications like The Financial Times are spreading the word about veganism since the production of meat is damaging to the environment (more on that in our last question). In a new article, The FT reveals the amount of farmland needed – if the entire world population was to go vegan – would reduce by the size of an African continent.
  • The National Geographic continues the conversation on diet, by considering how our current habits will fare in the future, when the population has risen to 10 billion in 2050. The publication focuses on the dangers of meat consumption and overall food waste – currently, 30 per cent of all global food is wasted.  
  • Struggling to see climate change as a reality? Get up to scratch with the current crisis by listening to Britain’s national treasure, Sir David Attenborough. His new BBC series Climate Change – The Facts is available to watch online. If you can’t spare the 60 minutes it takes to watch the full episode, watch the four-minute version, instead. We promise it will change your perception.

Q: What’s The First Step to Becoming Eco Friendly?

A: Although being eco-friendly is incredibly serious, it doesn’t have to be hard. Just making small changes to your daily routine can have a positive impact on the environment. For example, you could get into the habit of flushing the toilet less, as the average flush in a Western toilet uses 6 litres – equivalent to 1.6 gallons – of water.

How to start peeing less? Well, you can’t change your bodily functions and we’re not suggesting that you should. Instead, you could start making a habit of peeing while in the shower. Yes, science has finally given us permission to pee in the shower, claiming this is just as hygienic and dramatically saves on water. Researchers reckon that by relieving yourself once per day in the shower and cutting down on your flushing, you’d save 2,190 litres – equivalent to 579 gallons – of water each year. So, if you usually pee, on average, six times per day, do the dirty five times in the toilet and once during your daily rinse.

So, while being eco-friendly is serious, the steps to get there are not and while the effect of your greener behaviour on the planet is a big deal, it’s less of an ordeal than you might think to go green.

Q: How Do Eco Friendly Products Help the Environment?

A: “Eco-friendly” is a broad term, but when applied to products it means that the substances used to make that given product should have no adverse effect on the environment.

Either an eco-friendly product is easily reusable, or it has compostable and biodegradable properties meaning that it won’t get trapped in a landfill. Using an eco-friendly product means that you’re helping to reduce worldwide pollution. But what does worldwide pollution even mean? Well, an estimated 14 billion pounds of garbage is thrown into the ocean each year, which means more than 1.5 million pounds of rubbish is pumped into our waterways every single hour.

Q: How Can I Tell If a Product is Eco Friendly?

A: Not so easily. All of the obvious tell-tale signs such as the way the product is marketed, the brand’s imagery and even reputation can be faked. Some businesses simply see the words “eco-friendly” as a smart approach to sales. The harsh truth is, you can’t always trust that products marketed as green are legitimate.

One article reveals how difficult policing the carbon footprint of products actually is when Tesco enforced a labelling system, only to later drop the initiative due to its complexity.

So, how can you be sure that what you’re buying is legit? In this case, the proof is in the pudding – or you might say the packaging. Check the manufacturing process and materials that the product uses and this will give you the clearest indication of whether a product is harmful or not.

If a brand is claiming to be green but is still repping plastic packaging, this is a red flag. The more transparent a brand is about its product’s make-up, the better chance that the brand is trustworthy. Avoid trusting buzzwords like “planet-friendly” and instead, jump straight to the product specifications to figure out the item’s waste credentials for yourself. If this information isn’t easily identifiable, perhaps the manufacturer has something not so sustainable to hide.

Q: How Can I Make My House Eco Friendly?

A:
The great news about this answer is that practically every step to building an eco-friendly home has some added “selfish” benefits, in that your finished abode will likely be cost-effective and self-serving.

Simple examples of this are switching to energy efficient light bulbs, installing solar panels and switching to a smart meter – all of which will give your home greener credentials by using fewer resources. Can you guess the added bonus? As you use less energy, your monthly bills will be reduced.

There isn’t a “one-size fits all” solution to eco-friendly living. As such, creating an eco-friendly home doesn’t mean that the end result will be identical to any other sustainable house. Instead, you should work off a general rule: to reduce resources in order to make every domestic process self-serving. By this we mean you should look to produce resources yourself, rather than buy resources elsewhere. This is the whole argument behind solar panels – why would you buy energy when you can create energy yourself?

Serious eco-friendly enthusiasts might choose to get into gardening, in the hope of producing their own organic vegetables. Allotment gardens are popular amongst advanced environmentalists as they reduce the number of poisons that are fed into our waterways. A beginner might take a more transitional route and begin feeding environmental products – like green kitchen cleaners and dish soap – into their home.

Q: What Lifestyle Changes Can I Make to Become More Eco Friendly?

A:
As discussed earlier, you can start peeing in your shower and saving on household bills in order to go green. There are some less frivolous ways to curate an environmental lifestyle too. These include:

  • Take Alternative Modes of Transport – It doesn’t take a genius to note that cycling is better than driving when it comes to the environment. As is walking better than taking the tube and so on. In some cities, you’ll find choosing greener modes of transport easier than others, depending on their public transport system, traffic signals and availability of free city bikes. This article on examples of green mobility highlights that cities like Copenhagen currently have the upper hand when it comes to encouraging residents to be eco-friendly during travel.  
  • Be More Prepared – If you’re not already an organised person, becoming eco-friendly will force you to clean up your act. Forward planning is a simple tool to reduce the amount of waste you use. For example, bringing a reusable cup to your favourite coffee house will significantly reduce your intake of plastic cups, straws and lids.
  • Consume Less and Get More Social – Unless you need to buy an item brand new for hygiene reasons, try to borrow or share an item instead. This forces you to be more social, looking on shared marketplaces and social groups for answers. Plus, it also helps you to build a network of eco-friendly advocates. Swapping parties have become a hugely popular way to stay fashion-forward while practising environmentalism. As the second largest polluter in the world, the fashion industry is not your friend. While you might want to update your wardrobe with the latest trends, don’t look to shiny stores for a makeover.

Q: I’m a Business Owner. Can I Make My Company Eco Friendly?

A:
Absolutely. Environmentalism is not reserved for personal practice – it can be company wide too.

Just like switching up your personal practices, adding an environmental touch to your business has some hidden benefits. For example, you might choose to allow your employees to work out of the office for a few days of the week to reduce the hefty cost of running a commercial space. We don’t often factor in the excessive fuel it takes for each member of staff to get into the office either, but we should. All of these moving parts add up to one big corporate carbon footprint. On the face of it, the adoption of flexible work arrangements might have been implemented purely for the planet’s benefit. But studies show that remote work helps employee’s happiness and productivity, giving your company more than it bargained for.  

Much of creating a green company is about using your common sense and embracing the modern workplace. Instead of hanging on to files of unused paper documents and insisting that meetings notes are printed, vow to go digital. This is probably the more streamlined and professional approach to meetings anyway, but the green benefit might be the clincher in persuading you to make the change.

Depending on what type of business you have, you might want to study your supply chain in more detail and figure out where you can make positive changes that are individual to you. Creating a Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) report is a structured task that’s often a good exercise to highlight the possible improvements you could make in the future. Not to mention, that these documents are often shared publicly, making you accountable for your actions.

Q: Do I Need to Change My Diet to Be Eco Friendly?

A:
The consensus on this a little foggy. While we’ve discussed home allotments to promote organic produce that doesn’t involve the use of harmful chemicals or poison and cuts down on the fuel used for food delivery, the nature of your diet is also up for debate.

Some people vote that eating less meat is better for the environment. Some scientists go as far as to say that reducing your meat consumption would be more beneficial than changing all of the other aspects of your life, such as your mode of transport. Their view is that meat production is endangering our planet through deforestation and greenhouse gas emissions. In fact, emissions from cows and fertiliser use are estimated to pose a higher risk than the emissions of all the world’s cars, trucks and aeroplanes.

Meat or no meat, we think that if you’re new to eco-friendly living, you should pick a few achievable pointers from this post, as this is simply better than doing nothing.
If you must change your diet to protect the planet, thank god you don’t have to give up takeaways. Discover our online shop that’s stocked full of sustainable food packaging options for the UK’s restaurant sector.

Ferrari’s 70th Anniversary Printed Cartons

We thought we would go back a couple years and take a look at a burger and chip box that we create for a London advertising agency. They asked us to produce a couple of promotional cartons for Ferrari’s 70th Anniversary celebrations.  Ferrari were looking for a chip carton to hold some polenta chips and also mini burger box to take a hamburger. 

These cartons were digitally printed to the highest standard on a 500micron folding box board.  We can supply folding display cartons in both standard and food grade materials and we are BRC certified for the storage of food & non-food grade packaging.  In this case the cartons were to be lined with grease proof paper, which we can also provide in plain or printed with the clients own branding.

This job was produced to a very tight deadline with dates that could not be moved due to the cartons being required at a specific event.  In many cases advertising agencies work with short lead times for their projects. In these cases we will always do everything in our power to meet these deadlines, delivering your boxes on time, every time.

We had the artwork guidelines and the Ferrari logo’s sent to us and for a small additional fee we created a number of  artwork and colour variations for  Ferrari to choose from. 

Within 7 days these promotional printed cartons were designed, die cut, printed, hand glued and delivered in time for the event.  All thanks to the expert knowledge and flexibility of our digital manufacturing unit.

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Gelato Anyone? Scally’s do the best Ice Cream around!

Have you ever heard of a supermarket in Ireland called Scally’s? They are discount supermarket chain specialising in own-brand groceries and Irish produce – Real Food, Real People!

What is it that you have produced?

We have been working with this company for around a year now, we have been working with them to create a branded 16oz tub with a lid to match. This is one case where we created the artwork – we have an amazing in-house design team that will work with us to get the design the customer is looking for. With this design we had to leave a space on each lid so that the customer can add stickers for each individual flavour. This is a new product we have created and have been told they are selling well in the small village in Ireland.

Where can I find these tubs?

If you live in Ireland or are heading, there soon then make sure you take a visit to SuperValu Clonakilty – Scally’s. there is everything from meat to fruit and of course gelato!

What are the tubs made from?

The tub and lid are made from food grade board, with a bioplastic (plant based) lining on the inside of the tub. The inks are vegetable based making the product completely biodegradable, compostable, and recyclable.  Our vision is to convert 100% of both our new and existing customers to our sustainable packaging range by 2021.

Were your customers happy with the end result?

Yes, the customer was amazed with the results they have had. Check out his review. “Fantastic service from packaging design, updates, delivery and follow-up to a great finished product. Great customer service from Tina – a pleasure to deal with. 100% recommend them for business.”

Interested in branded Biodegradable Ice Cream Tubs?

We can brand these biodegradable & compostable ice cream tubs with your chosen artwork and in your desired sizes and style. If you are interested in branding these ice cream tubs, please get in touch with us. We offer an extensive branding service to clients, from initial roughs to fully fledged artwork to delivery at your door. You can read about out design services here.

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All You Need to Know About Cannes Lions Award Show?

This event has been called the most creative week of the year! If you are not at Cannes Lions this year, you’ll be playing catch up for the next 12 months. From the 17th – 21st June 2019 this is all anyone will be talking about. It is your annual chance to get the insight and intelligence you need to supercharge your brand for the future.

What is the purpose of this event?

Cannes Lions is the only global event that covers every aspect of how the industry is evolving. There’s nothing else that comes even close. This event is where brands, agencies, media companies and consultancies discover the meaning of creativity and how creative marketing works in the real world!

What will I find at this festival?

You will expect five days of inspiration, meetings, discoveries and talks tackling big issues and real-life problems head on in stimulating and pragmatic ways. Every moment is aimed to provide you with tools and knowledge to improve business performance and results in marketing creativity.

Here are the 10 questions the festival will answer:

  • How can you infiltrate popular culture and stay relevant at scale?
  • How do we strike the right balance between purpose and profit?
  • How can creative strategy build brands to drive performance and growth?
  • How can modern technologies improve the art of storytelling?
  • How do we use creativity to drive exceptional consumer experiences?
  • What creative business models thrive in a direct consumer world?
  • How can we drive diversity of thought to deliver more positive and better work?
  • How can creativity deliver competitive advantage in the long and short term?
  • How can we meet consumers wherever they are in both physical and digital world?
  • How do we fix the issue of trust, ethics and transparency in creative marketing communication?

Who will be speaking at this event?

There are many speakers at this event over the five days. There are big names like Alfonso Cuarón (Mexican film director), Shonda Rhimes (American television producer), Dwayne Wade (American basketball player), John Legend (singer-songwriter), Kerry Washington (American actress), Steven Pinker (Harvard Professor). This is only a handful of people! Why not take a look at who else will be there.

How much are tickets?

There is a wide range of passes with prices ranging from £359 to £22,810 so as you can see, this is a premium event with A-Listers attending! However, if this is not in your price range and you do not have the time to attend then there is a digital pass available for £173. If you were to get this pass you can access 8 mainstage talks a day, the award show and curated content. This is available for 2 weeks, either watch it live or on demand.

What has this event got to do with Takeaway Packaging?

Now this is something you may have been thinking when reading this blog, so let us explain. Now you may have heard of a company called Spotify – they are a Swedish media-services provider founded in 2006. There primary business is its audio streaming platform that provides DRM-protected music and podcasts from record labels and media companies.

We created a 4oz Single Wall Cup, a 3oz Ice Cream Tub and an 8oz Double Wall Cup, all of which are PLA material, making them fully recyclable and compostable. PLA stands for polylactic acid and it is a vegetable-based plastic material consisting of renewable materials. We were given three different sets of artwork for each product made, which is they there ids a slight difference in colour.

How long did it take to produce?

All three of these products were created in 20 days and have a minimum order of 1,000 units (when branding them) and the turnaround time is 2-3 weeks. So if you are interested in creating your own branded packaging then give us a call 01753 655344 or email us at [email protected].

Was the customer happy with the final product?

They were extremely happy as we were able to create the goods within a short amount of time and we were able to ship them to Cannes with plenty of time to spare.

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Here’s Why Britain Is Banning Plastic Straws in 2020 (and Other Plastic Items)
Plastic ban

We love sharing positive environmental changes — big or little — but today, we’ve got some major goss to spread for all the right reasons. The UK government has announced that plastic straws, plastic-stemmed cotton buds and plastic drinks stirrers will be banned in April 2020 in an effort to reduce plastic waste. 

Keep reading as we take a look at the most important statistics related to this piece of government legislation. These numbers explain why this ban is crucial, right now, for the safety of our planet and its inhabitants. Short on time? Don’t worry, you can scroll to the end of the article for our very own infographic on the topic. But remember, changes like this will give us all more time, in the long run, to enjoy our natural surroundings. 

The Basics – What You Need to Know about the Plastic Straw Ban 

The ban is part of the UK’s 25-year environment plan, first proposed by former prime minister Theresa May. This is a huge scheme that will span an entire generation and, obviously, has more than just the abolishment of three types of single-use plastics on its agenda. Among the targets of the 25-year environment plan are goals relating to clean air, clean water, plants, wildlife, environmental hazards, heritage, climate change, waste, minimising chemical exposure and enhancing biosecurity. What a list! With that said, banning plastic straws, stirrers and buds is a huge leap forward. and we’ll explain why a little later on in this blog. The government is hoping that the ban and other future pieces of legislation will see the same success as the plastic carrier bag charge, which has reduced the sale of plastic bags by 83%. 

This particular ban was confirmed by the Environment Secretary Michael Gove in late May. You can read more about the announcement on the government website, which is paired with shocking environmental stats, including the estimated 4.7 billion plastic straws that England uses each year. And if you think that sounds like a lot, the United Kingdom is estimated to use an even greater 8.5 billion plastic straws annually. 

In April, all shops, including supermarkets, will not be allowed to sell the three items listed on the ban (apart from some necessary exceptions we’ll cover in a moment). If you’re a company owner facing the ban, it’s a good idea to start exploring straw alternatives, including metal, bamboo and paper straws, if necessary. The same goes for drinks stirrers. Environmental cotton buds should be stocked instead of their plastic-stemmed counterparts. 

If you’re an individual consumer, it might be best to purchase and carry around your own straw alternative, as many other environmentalists have long been doing

The Exceptions – Why Some People Can Still Use Banned Items 

The ban will have a few exceptions for some of the items on the list. 

After a public consultation raised concerns about straw use for those who need them for medical reasons, the rules on the straw ban changed. People with either medical reasons or disabilities will be exempt. Why? For people with immobility issues, using a flexible straw made from plastic makes it easier to drink and avoid dehydration. For this reason, restaurants and registered pharmacies will be able to provide plastic straws to these customers on request. 

Although the ban on plastic stirrers will be a total ban — meaning there are no circumstances when these items should be sold, plastic-stemmed cotton buds are permitted in some cases. Plastic-stemmed cotton buds will be accessible to medical and scientific laboratories for research and forensic purposes. Single-use plastics are widely used in healthcare because of the material’s hygienic and durable nature (in fact, we wrote an entire blog post on the good points of plastic). It’s because of this that plastic-stemmed cotton buds are still deemed necessary for accuracy in testing and criminal cases. 

The Reality – Why It’s Important to Get Rid of These Items  

Why’s this ban so important? Well, we all know that without the implementation of an official ban, the cycle of plastic waste we’re currently experiencing will continue. 

The cycle goes like this: single-use plastics are broken down into fragments by exposure to UV rays and oxidation. The small particles of plastic — also known as microplastics — then pass through fine screens and enter our waterways. Once in rivers and seas, marine animals are unable to distinguish the tiny particles from food. At this point, plastic enters the food chain, resulting in the death of thousands of animals. 

If this isn’t shocking enough, this then poses a further risk to humans, as we can potentially ingest plastic through our food and water supply. According to Healthline, people are at risk of ingesting around five grams of microplastics per week — the equivalent of a credit card. Why is this bad? Different types of plastics disrupt hormones and can introduce pollutants to the body. 

The truth is that we’ve known for a while now the terrible effects of microplastics, but drastic measures will only be taken when a mass of evidence creates a case strong enough to be debated in Parliament and, ultimately, be backed by the public and industry officials. 

The Numbers – The Shocking Statistics behind the Ban

So here’s the strong case that we’re talking about — we’ve put it together in one long infographic. That’s right, we’ve decided that the figures do enough talking on their own and don’t need any explanation. However, if you do want to brush up on your knowledge and become an environmental expert, we’ve listed all of the sources below. 

Fed up of fake news? Help us spread the facts. You can use our easy-to-embed code to share this infographic on your blog. Why not share this article link on your socials? We dare you.

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How Can I Reduce Business Waste?

15 Realistic Ways to Wipe out Waste from Your Business

Reduce waste in your home

It’s common to find advice online about reducing waste in a personal sense, such as in pieces like Huffington Post’s 9 Simple Ways to Reduce Waste In Your Home. This is all well and good for decreasing your personal footprint, but how can you enforce this mentality in your business?

Using the common reduce, reuse and recycle model — adorned on much government signage — we will show you 15 realistic ways to reduce waste in your business.

In this model, recycling is shown as the last resort — and rightly so. For this reason, our advice appears as top-heavy, with an abundance of tips on how you can reduce waste and plenty of ways to reuse items before a few final suggestions on how to get to grips with recycling in the right way.

8 Ways to Reduce Business Waste

  1. Don’t just reduce but eliminate all plastic bags

On the surface, your aim is to reduce business waste, but there is much more to it than that. Sometimes, completely eliminating a material, product or action is necessary — and such is the case for plastic bags.

We can make small-step progress with other areas of business waste, but plastic bags are to be eliminated immediately due to their severe effects on the environment.

Related post: Here’s Why We Should Not Use Plastic Bags Anymore

  1. Add sustainability into your company’s ethos

All of your efforts will be in vain if you don’t spread your values both externally and internally. If you’re truly committed to a zero waste vision, this should be outlined in your company’s ethos.

This is less of a practical step and more one that follows the law of attraction and holds you accountable for your actions. Pro “waste-free” businesses consistently communicate their efforts to their customers and stakeholders in a sustainability section in their corporate reporting — and it’s much less tempting to fall back on old habits when you publicly spread your message, unless you want to face backlash, that is.

  1. Spread your waste-free message to the workforce

Your employees are natural brand advocates, so they need to be well-informed about your vision for the future.

Updating your company’s ethos is the start of that transition, but you can take further steps to initiate positive action. Doing things such as adding environmental awareness training to your development syllabus and holding a specific meeting to communicate your updated values will kickstart this.

  1. Delegate waste monitoring responsibilities to your team members

If you want to go above and beyond when integrating a “zero waste” mindset in your workplace culture, you should delegate waste monitoring responsibilities to different team members.

We know that people who are either misinformed or unaware of their environmental impact are less likely to take action. By tasking an employee with monitoring your electricity usage month on month, for example, you’re forcing them to realise how much control we have over our own waste problems.

  1. Create ‘waste-free’ signage

Creating a waste-free business is a process. To continually reduce the waste produced by your company, you need to ingrain the idea of a “zero-waste” organisation into your team.

Do this by creating signage in key places that act as reminders before employees take negative action. A good example of this is a sign above the light switch to remind people to turn the lights out when a room is unattended. You might also install a pop-up on a monthly order form asking those responsible for ordering office supplies to think twice before adding items to the invoice.

  1. Go digital (and forget about paper)

Going paperless is trending right now because of the changing business and social landscape. This is only ever positive when it comes to the environment because it reduces the amount of paper that we use.

Try to cull the amount of physical mail that you receive by switching off paper invoices, reminders and promotions. This is often easily requested in services like banking or rolling contract subscriptions. Internally, send email memos and newsletters and encourage employees to consider whether they really need to print emails.

  1. Only align with companies that share the same values

The cheesy Instagram saying, “your vibe attracts your tribe”, is true. If you align with companies that have the same values, your journey towards a waste-free future will be made easier.

Also, consider whether the businesses you sub-contract work out to (such as cleaning services) could be damaging your corporate footprint. Does the cleaning company that you hire promote the use of disposable wipes or toxic chemical solutions? It might be time to find out.

  1. When in doubt, buy in bulk

Although this section is about reduction (where we encourage you to do less), it’s still smart to buy in bulk for items you really can’t live without. If you’re a retail business that needs items like clothing hangers, paper bags or any other frequently used item delivered, it will benefit your footprint to get more all at once.

Think about the fuel and packaging it takes to fulfil small orders. You can reduce your waste in subtle ways by opting for bulk orders. This is another major change for your buying department — and for an added bonus, you’ll hardly ever have to worry about running out.

4 Ways to Reuse Business Waste

9. Create the golden rule, ‘repair, not replace’

If something breaks, your initial reaction shouldn’t be to go out and replace it and throw the malfunctioning item in a landfill. This is detrimental to both your “zero-waste” efforts and your bank balance.

Invest in repairs before completely writing an item off — in a business sense, you will need to apply this golden rule in the case of electronics. This is also a good reason to buy only high-quality items that aren’t prone to easy and frequent breakage, as well as to shop from businesses that source components sustainably and don’t have as harmful a supply chain.

10. Forget business stigma and consider second-hand purchases

There’s a certain expectation in the business world that everything associated with a firm should be new and shiny. Upholding your reputation is about more than showing off flashy material goods.

When it’s possible to make a second-hand purchase, do so. This gives you the chance to get a discount and promote reusing other people’s unwanted trash. If every business leader did this, it would decrease the production of goods laced with harmful materials, such as plastic.

11. Remove single-use plastics (specifically drinking water bottles)

We’re smart enough by now to know that single-use plastics are bad… period. If you’re still promoting these, it’s time to put an end to it.

Take a look at our blog post The Good and Bad Points of Plastic for more insider info.

You can make a change in your organisation from doing something as small as switching from single-use plastic drinking bottles to biodegradable cups. Trust us, hanging around the watercooler will feel a lot less criminal.

12. Keep it classic and don’t forget your long-term vision

In this final reuse point, we go back to the purchase of quality goods. When making buying decisions, always have the longevity of the product in mind. For example, if you’re purchasing marketing materials for an upcoming event, it’s a good idea to opt for timeless branding so you can reuse your roller banners, signage and other costly materials at your next conference or pop-up.

If a purchase is going to be wasteful — in that it has a definitive end date to its use — it’s worth considering if you can go without it altogether or switch to a product that you can reuse and get better wear out of.

3 Ways to Recycle Business Waste

13. Educate yourself — and others — on recycling rules

Look, this seems like a fairly straightforward tip that shouldn’t even be on the list, but you’d be surprised at how in the dark some people are when it comes to recycling. The impact of recycling affects everyone, so getting educated on recycling rules should be a team effort.

You can find more information on disposing of business and commercial waste on the GOV website.

14. Look outside of council recycling schemes

It’s easy to pass the buck to someone else, but to make major strides in wiping out waste, you’ll need to look further than the local authorities. If your council is unable to recycle certain materials, don’t take this as gospel.

Private companies and charities will have provisions in place to recycle items such as mass quantities of plastic or electronics. Fancy getting paid for your good deeds? You may even be financially rewarded for opting for certain recycling actions.

15. Try to rehome before you scrap it

Selling items or donating items before tossing them into a landfill are good for your conscience, your pocket and your business. Selling your items will give you a financial reward and donating to local charities is a great PR activity — it makes for a fantastic Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) initiative. It’s a no brainer that you should adopt this method of wiping out waste.

The rise in social media has made it easier than ever before to pitch items to a localised audience. In fact, most items will be picked up and require you to do nothing except wait for a willing buyer or collector to turn up on your doorstep.

There are plenty of ways you can realistically reduce business waste. If you implement all of these fifteen ways to wipe out waste, you’ll be a pro at taking commercial responsibility.
At Takeaway Packaging, we help businesses make this transition by providing environmental food packaging in bulk quantities. Been meaning to switch to biodegradable drinking cups? Do you need branded packaging for your next event’s catering? Look no further than our sustainable shop.