Last year, in a bid to provide duck feeding fans with food that’s better for ducks and as convenient as bread, we launched our Quack Snacks boxes. They proved to be more popular that we could have ever imagined.
However, in our bid to reach a low target selling price of £3.99 (inc standard delivery!) we made an uneasy decision to use plastic in our packaging. Last year we used hundreds of plastic bags for our portion packs and what has often felt like miles and miles of plastic sticky tape to seal our boxes.
On one hand, many ducks have enjoyed healthier snacks and many humans enjoyed their Quack Snacking, but on the other, there’s a fair bit of plastic gone into people’s bins. Or we hope they at least went into bins.
So this Christmas we’ve been testing some reduced plastic packaging options – with the best balance of cost, availability and fulfilment ease being glassine bags for our snack packs and a new paper-backed packaging tape. The glassine bags are made out of pure pine wood cellulose which is 100% recyclable.
The problem is that the new tape and bags cost four times our existing packaging materials – and we can’t fit as much duck food in each pack.
Our existing plastic bags spread out so we can fit that bit more into every spare bit of space in our boxes. The non plastic bags are less flexible, so have to contain a little less so they all still fit in the box.
If we were to increase the depth of our boxes to accommodate fatter bags, they’d move from being “large letters” in the eyes of Royal Mail and become “small parcels”. That would cost an extra £1.32 via standard second class post. Without significantly raising our £3.99 price point, we’d make a loss on every box.
Also, bigger boxes may mean less letterbox friendly – so Royail Mail might not be able to deliver them if you’re out. That’s not at all convenient for many!
So, reducing plastic in our packaging means either:
1) A bit less duck food in each potion – 40g instead of 50g (Our retail packs have always been 40g portions!)
2) A sizeable price hike and potentially a box that doesn’t fit through your letterbox anymore.
Do you think it’s worth it? Or should we stick with plastic? We’d really appreciate your thoughts – please comment below or email us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Thanks for taking the time to read this and respond!