War on waste: usethings trench

We are very pleased to see a program on waste with broad appeal — ABS’s War on Waste with Craig Reucassel. We watched the episode on plastic bags and packaging last night, it certainly got the kids fired up. #waronwasteau

Dealing with waste has been a long experiment for usethings as a manufacturer, working with our own production and admin waste, and taking plastics out or our packaging is one of our successes.

Our drying rack kit is shipped in recycled card held together with jute string. Like the drying rack itself this is an old mode that predates current solutions, which in packaging is plastic tape, bubble wrap, cling film and shrink wrap. One customer told us she’s still using the packaging string in her garden!

Reducing our single-use plastics is a project for our business and daily life, usethings is that kind of blend for us: a vision for the future and experiments to forge that path.

We can see the pride and skill packaging used to have, it’s quite an art to make an efficient and safe package with string, knots and card — like all crafts it is one honed through repetition, having done thousands of these packages, we can see the shopkeepers of the past must have been packaging ninjas! Japanese still respect and honour this craft.

We  improved our coat rack packaging last year by substituting plastic packaging tape for a paper tape and it works well, although the tape is much more expensive. We still hack up boxes sourced from neighbors and around town to package the coat racks and gum boot stands, it gets quite creative at times solving these puzzles. Box corrugated cardboard is recycled content already so it gets two goes around, and hopefully is recycled by our customers.

We can do this at our hands-on small scale because it matters to us, but there are plenty of bigger companies who manage it too, the packaging of our Opinel knives is brilliant… now we are really geeking-out on cool packaging!


sustainable packaging


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