In late August, we shared our research on the benefits and considerations of using either Paper or Plastic for our packaging. We placed our priorities on the following factors when it came to our decision-making:
- Perform its intended function
- Consider the lifecycle
- Make it reusable
Here’s a quick recap of our previous Dai’alogue and the pros/cons of each.
+ Higher paper recycling rate and more waste streams to recycle paper (recycle rates of 71% in EU, 67% in US)
+ Post-recycled and/or recyclable paper can recycled to create new products of equivalent viability, not downcycled
– Lots of trees, resulting in less carbon dioxide absorption and less oxygen
– Heavier, bulkier in transit
– Manufacturing process uses more resources than plastic
+ Lighter and takes up less space in transit, resulting in less CO2 emissions
+ Less resources and energy to create plastic
– Made from oil, a non-renewable source
– Takes 500-1000 years in landfills to degrade
– Harmful to wildlife
– Only 30% of plastics are recycled, and only 1/5th of this is used to create downcycled new plastic
Our Verdict: Paper
While we know that both paper and plastic can perform their intended functions, the points that we additionally value are lifecycle, recyclability and reusability. We source packaging made from recycled materials that can be 100% recyclable again. We screen and work with suppliers who are FSC and ISO certified. The fact that plastics have lesser recycle streams and only 6% actually gets recycled to make new, downcycled (clumpier) plastics made it the less viable option for us.
For full transparency, we do use a plastic component in our packaging. Our garments are flat-packed by our Portuguese factory with a clear plastic bag around each garment to protect against damage, dirt and water in transit. We view this as mandatory for care and preservation of the garment from the factory to you. The clear plastic also helps us identify obvious errors in style and color.
We use 3 sizes of packages to best accommodate for space and weight used in transit, thus minimizing CO2 emissions as best as we can. Our packaging can be reused for returns and donations which we actively encourage, including an easy dual-adhesive strip for our large parcels boxes.
Finally, we have partnered with DHL as our logistics partner within the UK and globally, and we elect DHL’s GoGreen Climate Neutral service for every shipment. A GoGreen shipment is just like any other shipment with DHL, except that Dai makes a corresponding contribution to a climate protection project through the purchase of carbon credits from verified and high quality projects, thus neutralizing the shipments CO₂e emissions.
Questions or comments? We look forward to hearing from you. Email us at firstname.lastname@example.org.