Last October we wrote an Eco Friendly Packaging blog. We were in the process of repackaging our luxury handmade soaps, candles and accessories. We were looking for luxury, elegant, bold packaging but trying to do our bit for the environment. NOW we use only recycled and/or FSC certified card, labels, paper and soap/candle boxes. We use compostable ribbon on our hampers. The wrap we use on our hampers and the little bags for some of our soaps, are made from biodegradable cellulose. Our hampers have reusable wooden boxes or trays. So we have already come a LONG WAY.
The last item of packaging we needed to deal with, is the shrink wrap around our soaps. Why use shrink wrap? We soon found that when we took our handmade soaps to outdoor markets and events, our soaps were attracting moisture from the air (because of the glycerine in soaps). This made the soaps look and feel almost like they were sweaty. The only solution that we could come up with, to ensure that you received your soap in the best condition, was to shrink wrap it (although not good for the environment, it's great fun to do).
So how can we change this? Well, we have already mentioned that we use biodegradable cellulose bags and wrap. We have been told that they are suitable to use in direct contact with soaps. Before we change the packaging over, we thought that we would see for ourselves. We have sealed three soaps into bags. I feel they don't look as attractive or neat as the shrink wrap. You can see from two pictures with the boxes, that the soaps on the left of each picture are shrink wrapped and the soaps on the right of each picture have the cellulose bags. We have placed one of these boxed soaps in the conservatory (because the temperatures in there can be extreme). The other boxed soap and the heart soap we have placed in the kitchen (because kitchens are usually warm to hot and have steam from cooking etc). Our plan is to check these in six months or maybe a years time, to see if there has been any impact. Watch this space!!