Since the start of our business, I've always wanted to make sure we were conscious regarding our use of plastic and our waste. Being a zero waste lifestyle blogger and having roots in packaging sustainability, creating more sustainable packaging for our cookies was second nature. We believe in making not only an all organic cookie but also consciously sourced packaging to be more kind to the planet.
Sustainability takes all different shapes and forms in our lives, but combatting waste is a tangible starting point for any individual or business. Single use items take resources to be extracted and manufactured, and we need to be cognizant of how much waste we produce due to the planet's resource constraints. As we often receive questions about our packaging and tips for small business owners, this blog post will provide additional details regarding our cookie packaging.
What our packaging is made of
Our iconic cookie box is made from unbleached, uncoated kraft cardboard. If there is no grease on the box, it can be recycled. Otherwise, it should be composted. Typical bakery boxes may be laminated with plastic or have a plastic window for seeing what's inside, making it more difficult to be recycled. If based locally, you'll find that each cookie box you receive is also lined with deli sheets treated with a soy wax blend that reduces the reliance on petroleum. Most wax bakery sheets have a plastic coating to help reduce grease, but we've opted for one that can be composted. To top it off, we seal each box with a compostable FSC certified paper sticker printed with soy-based inks.
Finding a packaging solution for our shipped cookies has been one of our biggest challenges as we'd like to keep things low waste, and it's why we decided to discontinue shipped orders outside of California during the hot summer months (but we will resume in October for the holiday season!). We currently use paper glassine bags to pack each cookie instead of plastic or biodegradable bio-plastic bags, as glassine is 100% paper and can be composted. Glassine paper is more resistant to moisture and grease due to how it's manufactured, which makes it a great option to keep our cookies protected during transit. We use paper stickers for these bags as well and are in the process of making sure our seals are also 100% paper.
Each corrugated shipping box is 100% recyclable and filled with recyclable kraft crinkle paper for cushioning. You might've seen a few pieces of egg cartons as well, which we repurpose from the eggs we use to bake our cookies - they work well as edge protectors! We also add a business card as a thank you for your purchase, made from recycled paper. If you'd like to opt-out of receiving the business card, you can always leave a note for us during checkout.
To seal our delivery bags and our shipped boxes, we utilize water-activated paper tape. It's one of our favorite finds as we started this small business as it's much more robust than plastic tape - we'd recommend it to anyone if they're looking to make a switch! Our shipping labels are also recyclable, so no need to take them off the box.
How to create a more sustainable package
Creating a sustainable packaging solution boils down to using fewer materials, which translates to fewer resources, fewer emissions, and less waste. Overpacking is a common mistake businesses make when packing their products, so be sure to conduct some testing and see how you can trim down your packing material. If you can lower how much you need to pack your product, you can also downsize your outer carton, which is more efficient for shipping couriers.
Opt for paper-based materials if possible or materials that are easily curbside recyclable or home compostable. There are quite a few innovations in the sustainable packaging space that use bioplastics that are unfortunately only industrially compostable. Not all municipalities have the luxury of offering industrial composting to their residents, so be aware of this before opting for bioplastics.
Bring your reusable container
As a zero waste advocate, I love any business that allows me to bring in my own reusable container so I don't have to receive more single-use plastics. To keep the spirit of zero waste going, we recently introduced the option to bring your own container if doing local pick up. While we love our iconic cookie box, there's nothing better than reducing your waste while you get a fresh cookie! All you have to do is put a note in your order that you'll bring your container, so we don't pack your cookies in advance, and we'll give you a discount for doing the earth a favor.