Since I began creating more products with my own designs it's been a priority of mine wherever possible to find manufacturers based in the UK. I've aimed to use packaging that is recyclable, biodegradable or compostable, and also do what I can to make the most out of any packaging/product 'scraps' that are created in the process of running the shop.
In the past I have 100% been caught up in just trying to find the cheapest options, especially when starting out. Making changes like this is always worth it though, and I'm hoping they will be equally appreciated by customers. Knowing that when they make a purchase, it isn't going to be sent to them wrapped in large amounts of plastic or other packaging that will stay in landfill for years and years to come.
The goal with MyGreenCow is not to have every single product completely eco friendly, with zero plastics in sight. The goal is to simply be more proactive with my choices as a small business, and reduce the impact on the environment as much as possible.
I have provided links below to some of the UK packaging sellers I use, so other small businesses can find alternatives. These are all shops I have purchased from in the past and would personally recommend.
Printed in the UK
All of the products for sale including Sticker sheets, Postcards, Ephemera, Calendars, Paper & Cards, have been printed in the UK by various businesses. I tend to opt for uncoated card stock, and avoid laminated finishes where possible so they can be recycled/decompose quicker.
For a lot of the packaging I have chosen various Kraft paper/card.
I went for Kraft over other plainer white/cream/coloured papers, as I know crafters enjoy using a good bit of Kraft paper in their journals & projects. Kraft papers also break down well, and go through less of a bleaching process to produce.
All packing tape is now kraft tape. I only ever use plastic tape on packages going further afield and may need more security.
All of the kraft packaging I use comes from various different UK eBay sellers.
Cello bags are something I've been trying to move away from as much as I possibly can. I exclusively only buy biodegradable cello bags now, and more recently I have been making the change over to compostable cello bags. It's a gradual process as I'm not going to waste any of the ones I've bought already.
Some UK sellers I purchase cello bags from:
I've done my best to move over to glassine bags, from cello bags where I can. There are some products that don't need completely clear packaging to see inside but could do with being packaged securely. Even though Glassine bags do work out slightly more expensive in comparison to cello bags. I know that they are much more re-useable in comparison to cello bags when it comes to including them in crafty projects!
The UK seller I purchase my Glassine bags from:
Scraps & Offcuts
While creating products and using various packaging, there can be offcuts and scraps. In order to try and combat throwing a lot of these straight into the recycling. I have hand carved various stamps that I will use exclusively on the paper scraps. I pop these up on the shop in little bundles, so they can still be enjoyed.
Sometimes I will pop odd bundles up that others may be able to use.
Alongside the tradition ways to help avoid packaging ending up in landfill. I try to share any ways that packaging can be used and upcycled into different projects, over on the blog.