In the craft supply chain many businesses are small enterprises and great innovators of new products, but, unfortunately, this thinking seldom transfers in to supply chain and packaging.
Wrong choices cost money – and the environment – so there is a real business case to focus on.
I fully appreciate that there are many challenges facing our supply chain. One specific area we need to focus on is plastic packaging and micro-plastics; an example of this is glitter. In the past, we have been offered bio-glitter, which, on the surface, sounds like a great solution, but there must be substantive evidence of the claims made to ensure we comply with the various Advertising Standard Authority codes.
In 2018, Greta Thunberg spoke at the UN for climate change about changing together and she is not wrong.
The retail supply chain has been here before. In 1994, The FSC was formed specifically to ensure forest management becomes more sustainable – it can be done. We all have a responsibility and the supply chain must become more curious of the materials being used.
Recently HMRC surveyed a number of retailers, the aim of the research was to understand plastic types and tonnage within packaging materials. With plastic elements of packaging waste dramatically increasing in cost, there is a real commercial impact. It’s regrettable that the ‘essential requirements’ of packaging are so little known. One of the core essential requirements is “minimum amount of packaging”, and specific requirements around packaging being “recoverable and reusable”, which is often disregarded.
More recently, many customers are challenging us about plastic within our packaging.
The costs are getting high, but, it’s essential that we all have more curiosity and question existing standards. It’s this curiosity about the types of materials we use, recycling and cost, that will enable us all in retail and the supply chain to achieve our environmental goals – it just makes corporate sense.