We, like you think our planet is worth protecting and are always looking for new ways to reduce our footprint and cut back on waste, especially plastics. For us here at Surya, the majority of our plastic usage previously came from sending our online orders to you, by using the only available option at the time -  Australia Post plastic satchels. Used once and then tossed in the bin. After conducting a wastage audit on our business at the start of 2019 though we found a MUCH better option.

The team at The Better Packaging Co designed and created a satchel that is not just recyclable, but also compostable. Made from corn starch and other plant based waste materials, their postage bags are revolutionising plastic usage in the eCommerce sector.

Surya Australia Slow Fashion Environmental Efforts - Compostable Satchels

If you were lucky enough to be part of a survey we conducted early 2019, you will have been one voice who contributed to this shake up. I say tentatively though that we may not have listened to you ... read on.

In question one I asked people about their preferred packaging with online orders in general. I admit I was a little surprised.

Surya Australia Survey - Online Packaging

I asked this question believing that I knew what everybody would say, but I was wrong. Over 50% of our people said that they still wanted their piece to be wrapped in paper, inside the satchel. I was not sure what to do.

When I personally receive online orders, it always stings at the amount of 'stuff' I have to dig through just to get to my item and ultimately have to throw away. Beauty products (that I can't buy locally) placed in a (way) too large box, wrapped in paper padded with plastic air bubble 'balloons'. The exact same for stationary items such as postcards and business cards.

Or clothing wrapped in tissue paper placed inside a cloth bag. If I used tissue paper I would keep it of course (and do), but we wrap all gifts with newspaper now and I almost resent having to keep and use this paper that's only purpose it is look and feel good for the recipient - almost like unwrapping a present that you bought yourself. The cloth bags are always (way) too small to be used in any practical sense and they end up lingering around my home until I end up giving them away too.

I have horrible flashes of shame for contributing to this shocking wastage when I open my parcels sometimes, and then decide to not order from the company again.

I don't want that for my people.

So I ignored the results from that particular question, and went ahead and did what I thought was best - to pack our orders 'naked' with no wrapping whatsoever. When your piece arrives it's just your ordered item inside a bag that you can drop into your home compost bin.

While I hope that's OK, over 70% of people surveyed said that were "very happy with the no waste, minimal packaging" that they received from us in question 2. I'll call that a win, and definitely OK.

I did get some fantastic responses from the 'other' section as well. Here are a few of my favourites, if any of these were you - then mwah.

  • "Anything that breaks down this side of Christmas'
  • "As little as possible while still keeping the product in good condition"
  • "Anything that protects the purchase and is recyclable"

We believe our planet is worth protecting and will be always looking for new ways to minimise our business and (of course) personal waste. Next time you receive a parcel from us, please shoot us a line and let us know what you think - good or bad we always appreciate feedback.

 Surya Australia Compostable Packaging Bags Better Packaging Co


Until next time,

Mel Xx

Surya Australia Ethical Trade with Nepal