• Plastic: A Valuable Part of the Circular Economy

    25th Sep 2018

    Duo UK explains the importance of taking a holistic view of the supply chain when it comes to packaging waste.

    Is 'plastic-free' a pipe dream?

    Although many retailers have made promises to become ‘plastic-free’ in the next five or so years, it would be unrealistic to expect the industry to expunge plastic altogether. The fact is that plastic is resource-efficient, flexible, hygienic, durable and lightweight – and other materials available don’t match those functional properties. Instead of getting rid of this valuable material from the supply chain, we need to take a holistic view and find ways to make packaging more sustainable, design it in a way that makes it reusable, and improve the infrastructure for it to be easily recycled on a national scale.

    Clever design

    When it comes to the design of our mailing bags, one of the pioneering improvements we’ve made is the addition of a second glue strip. This means that when a customer wants to return unwanted items, they can use the same bag their order came in to send them back, without the need for additional packaging items. They simply pop the items back in the bag and use the second glue strip to seal.

    Closing the loop

    Naturally, recycling is a primary concern for us at Duo. While there are limitations when it comes to end consumers recycling their plastic mailing bags – something that will hopefully improve as the government takes greater heed of mounting pressures to improve recycling infrastructure – we’ve made great strides on the industrial side.

    With our closed-loop recycling scheme, we’re working with retailers to help segregate their waste polythene on-site – for example, when customers make returns – and bring that waste back to our factory. We then recycle this and make it into new packaging, ensuring that as little as possible goes to waste.

    All of these measures have been painstakingly made with two clear and unwavering goals in mind: to reduce our dependency on finite resources, and to keep valuable plastic in the economy and out of the environment.