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Apr 12, 2021
We realize we are part of the problem. So we need to also be part of the solution.
Hey there paper people: we all want to protect our cards from damage. Plastic sleeves have been the norm. But the world has changed. Single use plastics, even if they’re ‘recyclable’ or ‘compostable’ are actually no better. So we want to be part of a solution! E. Frances feels strongly about this, and we are reducing plastic use, with an eventual goal of entirely plastic-free packaging.
When we started our company in 2013, one of our first thoughts was to make our products plastic free. Muslin bags for notepad packaging, cardboard boxes for boxed sets of cards, etc. Once we launched and started getting our first orders however, the stores buying our cards demanded they each come wrapped in individual plastic cello sleeves so they wouldn't be handled and damaged. So excited for an order, and to be up and running, we went along with it. All cards were stuffed into cello sleeves. All notepads were stuffed into bigger cello sleeves. All boxed sets were stuffed into clear plastic boxes so the product is easy to see. In hindsight, we took the easy road and just turned the other way, not thinking about the plastic waste we were pumping out of here.
One day it just hit us that we can't continue without thinking of the impact of all these single use plastics. We try to limit plastic in our personal lives, we need to do the same in our business. And we HAVE a business... let's use it for change! So we set out on a mission. If more people became aware of the problem, we really think more people would change their habits.
In our industry, packaging each card and notepad in a plastic sleeve has been the norm. Store owners, rightly so, want to protect the merchandise and keep it clean and undamaged. Shoppers, to no fault of their own, have gotten used to pretty much everything wrapped in plastic. It is the way of the world right now.
But the plastic waste on our planet has reached crisis levels. Did you know that every piece of plastic ever made still exists in one form or another? Thinking we can recycle it away is not even close to true.
- 8 MILLION tons of plastic enters the ocean every year. To help you imagine how much this is, picture five large, overflowing trash bags, stacked on top of each other along every ONE foot of coastline on the planet. Every. Year.
- Over 1 MILLION plastic bags a minute are used worldwide. On average, each bag is used for 12 minutes and then thrown away. 1% of plastic bags are recycled.
- In the next hour, Americans will use and throw away 2,500,000 plastic bottles. Every one of those will still exist 1,000 years from now.
Our Sustainability efforts at E. Frances:
- We have eliminated the use of plastic sleeves on cards
- We have eliminated use of bubble wrap (unless it is brought in for a second life)
- We source only 100% cotton for our gift tag string and retail ribbon
- We have introduced our first plastic-free packaging with our gift tag boxes and plan to discover ways to eliminate all plastic packaging
- We provide recycling for all pens, markers, and dental care product
So! Our challenge is to start the process of change. We think that a major part of the problem is simply awareness.
How can we work together?
We would love to hear your opinions, ideas or things you have done to cut down on plastic waste. Hopefully both makers and buyers will join together and find solutions that work for all AND help save our planet. Join the discussion on Facebook/Paper Not Plastic. Please join the forum, you can also learn more about the plastic crisis on our planet at Papernotplastic.org