In 2018 we strategised to reduce our consumption and use of plastic and cardboard to prevent creating 3 Tonne's of waste by the end of December 2018. By June 2020, the total saved amounted to over 14 tonnes of waste damaging our environment.
We have now implemented Project ZERO. An immediate impact strategy where we have drawn a line in the sand and set a goal to prevent approximately 25 Tonne of waste from going to landfill by 2025. With the support of all of you choosing our products, we hope to be able to smash this goal and be well soon on our way to being carbon neutral by 2030. We no longer follow the standard production and packaging methods to make this a reality. Let’s put a stop to not only tonnes of new plastic and cardboard being produced, but also ending up as waste and entering our oceans and landfills.
Previously, every Hunters Element product came individually wrapped in a plastic bag for protection and storage. Researching plastic bags and how long it takes them to break-down, or in reality not break-down, resulted in us becoming very concerned about our environmental impact. The polypropylene (PP) bags used to wrap clothing can take up to a thousand years to fully decompose.
There is no way to properly limit the effects of these plastic bags on the environment because the bags are not able to be reused or recycled effectively and there is no disposal method available that will fully eliminate the problem. The PP bags will either be burned or will end up in landfills. Both options are damaging to the environment. Burning the bags releases harmful toxins into the atmosphere and filling up landfills across the globe is unsustainable and is a short-term solution with long-term effects.
Even when these plastic bags are taken to landfills, they are easily caught by the wind and escape, ending up in our forests, rivers, and seas.This has a devastating impact on wildlife as avian and marine animals can easily mistake the bag for food, inhaling the bag causing suffocation.
The most significant action we can take at Hunters Element, to reduce our damaging footprint, is to get rid of these plastic bags. To eliminate the plastic that wrapped each product we have changed how the products are folded and instead wrapped each product with recycled paper which is then able to be recycled again after its use. The branding on our paper is printed with vegetable-based inks which allows the paper to decompose quicker if it does go to landfills or if you choose to put it in your compost.
Every year we use approximately two tonnes of cardboard in our packaging. We therefore have an opportunity to make a meaningful difference to our environmental footprint by reducing the amount of card we send to landfills.
Firstly we chose to sacrifice the more polished look by using recycled card and vegetable-based inks. Also, after much research, we found that our current shoe box design made the boxes unrecyclable due to the glue involved. By thinking smarter and designing a box that avoids the use of glue, our shoe boxes are now 100% recyclable. While all our packaging is now made from recyclable materials and can easily be recycled, if it does find its way into landfills it will decompose quickly with no adverse effects. If you really want to you can chuck it in your compost bin at home.
We have also reviewed our swing tags and where possible, reduced these by putting more information about our products online. Avoiding unnecessary tags by only attaching key information will reduce the amount of cardboard we use. Like our shoe boxes, our swing tags have also been changed to recycled card and vegetable-based inks.
As a result, you as a consumer know that when you're purchasing Hunters Element gear, you are not only getting a product that will perform to the highest standard, but you're also supporting a brand that is doing it's utmost to have the smallest environmental footprint in the industry.
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