How we’re thinking outside the box with our packaging.
Products need to be protected, but not at the expense of the bigger picture. So we’re always exploring new innovation to help minimise or prevent any environmental impact. This is obviously an ongoing process – there’s always more to be done. However we still think it’s worth sharing the news of recent success within our future-forward approach to sustainable packaging.
Take a walk through the supermarket and it’s easy to find plenty of unnecessary packaging. At Topflite we’re not just focused on growing great crops and making delicious feed. There’s also a lot of work that goes on behind the scenes making sure our products get to our customers with maximum quality and minimal impact.
With such a large product range there is no one-size-fits-all solution here. Rather it’s a matter of careful measures for specific products. We also need to ensure that any packaging provides continued strength and protection. Good intentions matter little if product damage results in more waste.
A big change for us recently has been in the wild bird energy range, where we’ve replaced the plastic trays with sugar cane trays. These trays are now made from the pulp left behind in sugar refining production – a fibre called bagasse. It’s a raw material that is plastic free, tree free, home compostable and recyclable. These trays are now covered in a compostable film too.
The new pottles we use with Gourmet Hanging Treats, Hen Health Tonic and Oyster Shell Grit are also made from a new material, this one call Ingeo. This is a bioplastic that uses plant raw materials rather than oil, making it commercially compostable. The Poultry Pecker is also contained in a compostable cellophane film.
Our Rabbit & Guinea Pig packaging is also changing. Premium treats Meadow Medley and Timothy Cakes are both packed in 'Nature Flex', a compostable, marine-degradable film that is then contained within recyclable cardboard. The new large Meadow Hay bales are packaged in recyclable and compostable cardboard boxes that have minimal dyes.
While new products are carefully assessed to ensure we can send them out with peace of mind, so too is our existing range constantly being updated. Such is the case with our cage liners and cuttlefish, which are now packaged in recyclable boxes or bags.
Behind the scenes our production processes have changed to help meet our sustainable goals. Our move to paper bags during the seed mixing stage is eliminating approximately 20,000 sacks going into the waste stream annually. Any imported material uses hessian sacks, which are then composted locally at Rosedale.
We’re also removing as much packaging as possible from our subscription packs. And we’re looking forward to some big changes in our wild bird seed range too. Watch this space!