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Plastic Free July: Our Road to a Plastic-Free Future

By Emily Rivers - 1st July 2021

John stacking Lisa Angel parcels onto wire cage
A close-up of Lisa Angel plastic-free cardboard packages

It’s Plastic Free July, and we thought it was a perfect time to reflect on how far we’ve come in making our packaging plastic free. Last year, 97.5% of our outbound packaging was plastic free - but we know we need to do better.

We’re working hard to improve our packaging all the time. We’ll go through some of the steps we’ve taken and why Plastic Free July is so important.

What is Plastic Free July?

Plastic Free July is a global movement whose aim is to help millions of people be part of the solution to plastic pollution. Its main focus is on single-use plastics: those that you use once and throw away, such as straws, drinks cups and cartons.

Plastic Free July began in Australia in 2011 and quickly spread across the world. It grew so much that the team behind it set up the Plastic Free Foundation as a not-for-profit charity in 2017 to help them support participants and grow the campaign even further.

Here at Lisa Angel, we think the movement is a fantastic way to help people consider just how much single-use plastic they’re using and see where they can make changes. As a company we’ve used this month to investigate our practices and see where we can improve.

Outer packaging

Our outer packaging is now 100% plastic free. You can recycle our boxes and bags that you receive your Lisa Angel orders in at home in your normal recycling. 75% of our packaging is made entirely from recycled cardboard. The remaining 25% is made up of 60-70% recycled material and FSC-certified paper or card.

Lots of people don’t know that you should remove the plastic packing tape from boxes before you recycle it. We ditched ours last year, which saves a huge 700kg of unrecyclable plastic every year!

Protecting delicate items

It’s always a challenge to protect breakable items so they make their way to you in one piece. Luckily, there are some great products out there now that replace traditional bubble wrap and airbags.

We use a combination of tissue paper, paper wrap and void fill (the paper used to fill the gaps to stop items from rolling around). It’s really helped us to reduce our plastic use. The tissue paper and void fill are made from 100% recycled paper, which we estimate saves us around ten tonnes of hard-to-recycle plastic every year.

Being honest about our plastic use

We’re pleased with our progress, but we know that we’ve still got a way to go. Ben, our e-commerce operations manager, is our plastic-free champion. We’re so grateful to him for working so hard to reduce our plastic use, and he’s reflected on how 2020 went:

“Last year we used 39.2 tonnes of outbound packaging to send orders to our online customers. This includes the boxes, mailing bags, tape, address labels and protective material we add to make sure that your order arrives in perfect condition.

“1 tonne of this total was plastic bubble wrap, either in our padded mailers or protecting glassware and other breakables.

“We think 97.5% plastic free was an ok result, but we can do better! We’ve increased this from about 70% four years ago and this year we’ve cut out even more - we’re aiming for more than 99.5%. There’s still some room for improvement, but we hope that we are well on the way to being totally plastic free.”

Our plastic free stats

Lisa Angel's plastic free stats from the blog arranged in bubbles with pastel colours
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