My thoughts on Plastic Packaging this Christmas…

Christmas is coming and with the Coronavirus cancelling 2020 we are looking forward to it a lot sooner in the year. It’s getting colder and with no Halloween parties in the calendar, it’s easy to fantasise about jumpers, hot chocolates and presents on Christmas morning. If you are anything like me, you are thinking about your Christmas shopping now and if you are reading this you are probably just as concerned about the plastic packaging your gifts will arrive in.

Plastic Packaging is a real problem. Large companies around the globe are taking advantage of consumers and the lack of regulation around eco-friendly marketing. They use the cheapest available materials to package their products and maximise their profits. Unfortunately for us, this results in us being sent a lot of plastic packaging, even if the item that we ordered was ‘eco-friendly’. This is even more frustrating because it doesn’t match our expectations for the product we ordered or our own values on eco-friendly. So why do we keep going back? Convenience? Cheaper Prices?

Last year, I ordered some brown paper from Amazon for eco-friendly wrapping paper, it arrived looking like cling film! It almost negated my eco-friendly intentions and created more waste for me to throw away. This is one of the core reasons I founded New Footprint, to give consumers another convenient way to find products online, without having to worry about the packaging their orders arrive in.

Amazon is not the only offender on plastic packaging. Even in retail stores, you will see water bottles, wrapped in plastic wrap, bamboo face wipes wrapped in plastic and even grapes individually wrapped in plastic and presented in a plastic box! To be perfectly blunt, brick and mortar stores have zero excuse for selling ‘eco-friendly’ products wrapped in harmful plastic as they don’t have to worry about the packaging it will be delivered in. But they still use plastic.

The real problem is that these retail and ecommerce giants have all the resources to deliver you a carbon negative product at a reasonable price. They have such a large market share that they also have the power to completely change the future of the plastic crisis. However, the reality is that they deliver a cheaper product that is nowhere near as eco-friendly as they want you to think. In fact the marketing leads you to believe that you’re receiving an eco-friendly item. They clearly care less about being eco-friendly and more about profits. Unfortunately, the environment and plastic free living is a hot topic and they are taking advantage of this without being truly honest or responsible for their messaging.

Small businesses like New Footprint and the amazing small businesses that sell their products here, are committed to delivering customers an authentic eco-friendly experience. Eco-friendly products delivered in eco-friendly packaging. That’s our main priority, not profits at the consumers’ expense. There are so many homegrown small businesses in the UK with the same eco-values but they are overlooked by consumers because they don’t have £thousands per month to spend on advertising. We are hoping that by collecting them all together on one platform that they will no longer be overlooked. Individually they are all amazing but together they are outstanding!

At New Footprint, we have put as many sellers and products on one platform so you don’t have to search for hours to find eco-products that you can trust. We monitor the packaging that all of our sellers use and take all customer feedback very seriously. After receiving my cling film wrapping paper, I wrote to Amazon about my experience. They did not respond. To them, this subject is not worth their time and does not make them money. They have already built their brand and it was not with an eco-friendly agenda.

It’s not all doom and gloom though! There are so many big brands that are using their power for good. You are now able to recycle makeup in Tesco with Maybleine, recycle cosmetics in Bodyshop stores, recycle any electrical appliance in Currys stores and Costa are finally offering a place for us to recycle our single use coffee cups! Bravo to all these brands and any others that are offering us new ways to reduce landfill waste. If only more companies saw that this should be their priority. What good is all that money if all your customers succumb to the impending threat of global warming.

This Christmas it can be very tempting to buy the cheapest option available to you (especially right now, times are tough for everyone) but that is not always the smartest idea. Small businesses need to charge more for their products than ecommerce giants because they are prioritising things that don’t cost the earth. They are building brands with integrity and care way more about you as a customer. At this wasteful time of year we should focus on boosting our economy and supporting small businesses.

Furthermore, when you are doing your Christmas shopping this year, do you think that Jeff Bezoz will do a little jig when you place your Amazon order? No, he won’t, he’s already a billionaire. But do you know who will do a little jig? The small business owner who is proud of every one of their products and is ecstatic to have you as a customer. If that business is New Footprint, you won’t have to worry about the packaging either.

Shop small businesses this Christmas and all year round with New Footprint for an authentic eco-friendly experience.

Have you had any negative plastic packaging experiences or positive recycling experiences?

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Thanks for reading.