Becoming a more environmentally friendly business

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We’re delighted to share a piece written by Amanda Miller from Denis Wick Products Ltd. Amanda shares the steps that the company has taken over the last few weeks to use only sustainable packaging for their products. 

Denis Wick had started looking at alternative packaging ideas approximately 3 years ago when we felt we were using too much Bubble wrap, something, that at the time, was completely non-recyclable and would go straight to landfill.

We settled on the Fillpack system, which has proved to be not only an environmentally friendly alternative but economically positive as well.

Fast-forward three years, and the world has changed in more ways than one. Environmental issues and the wellbeing of the planet are now uppermost in the public sphere and as a responsible manufacturer Denis Wick has once again started to look at sustainable and environmentally friendly alternatives.

The need was bought into sharp focus by the recent Cop26 discussion and the excellent drop-in sessions run by the MIA. It quickly became apparent that within the music industry there is a desire for change but a question as to whether the infrastructure is in place to allow companies to change.

The biggest snag factor seemed to be the availability of an alternative for polythene grip seal bags.

We, as a company, use a lot of these, mostly for protecting our mouthpieces within their boxes. Within a few hours, I had located a company that not only now stocked alternative ranges but were willing to send me samples. We received a range of bags including Biodegradable grip seal bags and non-grip seal bags in both biodegradable and compostable materials.

We are now trialling all the samples sent to us and so far the results are encouraging. It has also sparked the question as to whether we need to use sealable bags at all for the mouthpiece range.

This development then means that the packaging content for the majority of our product will be completely recyclable. So what about the outer packaging?

Obviously, the outer cardboard boxes we use are recyclable, but this relies upon the end user stripping the box of any plastic / non-recyclable elements that may have been used in the shipping process.

Recycling can be a complicated affair, with different component parts having to be dealt with in different ways. This can become confusing and laborious for the end user, which can then lead to items not being recycled.

At DWP we would like this to be an easy and friendly process, so I started looking into other products that would complete the environmental message.

Within two weeks of that first MIA session, I have sourced a good supplier for kraft tapes to replace the traditional vinyl tapes (all of which has now been sent back to the suppliers) and biodegradable document wallets. So, for the vast majority of shipments we make, the entire package will now be recyclable as one unit.

This of course does leave the problem of the remaining products where non-recyclable elements are required, such as our wooden mutes that have always been swathed in a protective layer of bubble wrap or the protective postal envelopes that are sometimes employed for the sending of smaller accessory items.

As of this week, I have started trials on a paper honeycomb alternative to traditional bubble wrap. It transpires that Green bubble is available as a biodegradable alternative, but for complete sustainability the recycled paper versions are preferable.

This is now also true of the protective postal envelopes, which are now filled with a recycled paper alternative.

Our aim, as a company, is to have as many of these elements in place by the beginning of 2022.

Some items can only be replaced once we have depleted our current stock, but we look forward to progressing with speed and efficiency.

Useful links:

Fillpack – https://www.lightningpackaging.co.uk/fillpak-tt

Biodegradable grip seal bags, compostable bags, biodegradable document wallets, protective postal wallets = https://www.polybags.co.uk/

Kraft tapes, alternative bubble wrap = https://www.kitepackaging.co.uk/scp/tapes/self-adhesive-paper-kraft-tape/