If something has come from nature, harvested and delivered in a sustainable way, it’s likely to be better than something that has involved artificial synthesis and processing. So when it comes to raw materials, we seek out a natural material base, preferably one that has been reclaimed from another life, like recycled card. We love by-products if they’re natural, like our sheep’s fleece padding used at Christmas for insulating fresh deliveries. And if it has to be a virgin material, we want the stamp to prove it was sustainably harvested, like our Forest Stewardship Council certified wooden hamper boxes.
We’re not fans of single use plastic, which is why we have never had plastic carrier bags in our farmshops. Our biggest challenge is where we need an atmospheric barrier to keep some of our delicious fresh produce from spoiling. Often only plastic provides a viable solution in this instance. We tried corn starch derivatives but then we lost our non-GMO source, and our strong stance against genetically modified organisms means for the time being we have reverted to plastics until a suitably natural alternative arrives.
Even the most sustainable materials need moving around to get from source, to use, to reuse, and back to the source again. A good piece of packaging will require little energy to cart it around, and this comes with good design and again, material choice. Milk is a regular purchase for most households so from the beginning, Daylesford wanted to get the packaging right. Milk bottles and cartons are transported to the milk packaging facility fully formed, so air is transported before and after containing the milk. Our Ecolean milk packaging is flat-packed in transit, it arrives for filling within 50 yards from where the cows are milked, and flattens for disposal too. Furthermore, it is made from 40% chalk: a natural, inert material. This material and design significantly reduces the packaging’s carbon footprint.
BACK TO NATURE
Much of our packaging is designed to be re-used, such as our glass clip jars and our hamper boxes. However, for more readily disposable items we try to make them compostable or recyclable. You can recycle, compost or reuse the majority of Daylesford packaging materials and we are getting increasingly close to our goal of 100%. Our range includes biodegradable and compostable clear bags which can be put in your garden compost.
We welcome your suggestions on ways to continue to improve our packaging – please do get in touch.