Open Air Embraces Plastic-Free Packaging On Online Orders

It’s no secret that one of the biggest culprits of plastic waste is food and product packaging. Polythene plastic postage bags may be a staple in the mailing industry, however are often non-biodegradable or not recycled properly and end up in either landfill or damaging places for the environment.

As an online retailer who sends out hundreds of packages each week, we believe that we too have a responsibility to reduce our plastic waste, reduce the use of polythene bags and to help spread a message of sustainable packaging within the clothing retail industry.

That’s why at Open Air we are proud to be taking our first step to reducing our plastic waste and are focusing on working with those who share our vision and care for the environment.

As of June 2021, all online orders placed at Open Air will be sent via EcoMailingBags™, a fully sustainable, recyclable, climate-neutral and biodegradable solution to polythene plastic packaging.

Why Packaging Matters

It can be easy to distance ourselves from the packaging crisis and it is inevitable that almost any order that consumers place will have some form of environmental impact, whether it be from transport, production or packaging. However, we believe that change starts with the first step.

Non-compostable plastic bags can take up to 1000 years to decompose and are generally not capable of bio-degradation. Instead they ‘photodegrade’, a process by which the plastic bags are broken down into smaller, toxic parts to both wildlife and fauna when ingested.

We’ve all seen videos of plastic bags being swept into sea (if you haven’t, this article helps visualise the extend of the problem)–  and because the bags floating in open water can resemble prey such as jellyfish, they pose significant dangers to marine mammals such as Leatherback sea turtles when they are eaten. Over time, this may prematurely cause the animal to die and even once the animal’s body decomposes, the plastic reenters the environment, posing more potential problems to other wildlife.

Finally, even though the bags are plastic and can physically be recycled, they typically cannot be recycled in general waste bins and need to be taken to a location that accepts plastic film or a dedicated recycling bin. Whilst the nation has certainly made an effort to recycle materials at home such as this, plenty of plastic bags still ends up in general waste and eventually…landfill.

How We Want To Help

Our thinking is, why not remove the material that’s causing all of these issues! As outdoor lovers ourselves, nothing breaks our hearts more than seeing plastic waste laying across the landscapes we love so much.

Being made from 140gsm kraft paper, these new eco mailers are still just as strong, robust and splash-proof as polythene, ensuring your goods are kept safe against the elements; whilst the peel and seal adhesive strip ensures a secure closure without the need for plastic packing tape. In fact PrioryElements™ (who manufacture the bags)  have taken this a step further and also produced an adhesive tape of the same paper material, removing the need for plastic tape adhesives.

How These Bags Will Help Us (And You!)

Being made entirely from sustainably sourced paper materials and being 100% recyclable, these paper mailing bags make for an excellent alternative to polythene, without the environmental impact. These bags are perfectly sized to match Royal Mail large letter dimensions, making them a letterbox friendly packaging choice.

To help convey the eco message and highlight the importance of sustainable packaging, each bag also has easy to understand eco-markers and assigned each bag an endangered animal affected by plastic waste, such as a Penguin, a Hammerhead Shark, a Sea Turtle or even a Blue Fin Tuna. Not only do these animals act as a handy size guide for our packing team but they also show ours and PrioryElements™ commitment to protecting our planet and reducing our impact on the environment. 

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So now every time you order from Open Air you can have full piece of mind knowing that you are doing your small bit to help reduce plastic reduction on your order! Our teams are all incredibly excited to be a part of this initiative and think it serves as a fantastic starting opportunity to continue reducing our environmental impact however we can!

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