What’s In The Box?
In response to feedback I received, this page explains a bit more about the packaging materials used at Just Flow.
There’s a short explanation on the shipping page and in the shipping e-mail, but as it’s not the main subject there, it tends to get overlooked.
The general aim is to work as eco-friendly as possible, without compromising on protection and hygiene.
Most items at Just Flow are fragile, and nothing is more disappointing than finding your purchase damaged, so filler material and protective materials are very important. Wherever possible, these are recycled, re-used, eco-friendly or, preferably, a combination of those.
The box is usually new, but occasionally boxes from incoming shipments can and will be re-used. The tricky part is that most boxes containing incoming shipments are often already re-used, and that tends to take a toll on them.
The new bubble wrap is bio-based and made with at leat 60% sugar cane pulp. It’s still plastic, just not oil-based.
If there’s bubble wrap in incoming shipments and it’s re-usable, then it gets re-used, even if it’s just to fix some lids in a box in place.
These are re-used whenever possible, mostly for packing cosmetic jars. Often, packing a bag of bottles or jars tends to use less bubble wrap than packing them individually in strips of bubble wrap, which is another consideration.
The grip seal bags are where the hygiene factor comes in. I think it’s important to pack caps and items without closure/lid as cleanly as possible. So a new seal bag is non-negotioable. When there’s a good alternative for them, I will switch to that, though. I have considered using paper bags, but those tear easily, so that would defeat the hygiene purpose.
Filler chips are either re-used from incoming shipments or fully bio-degradable. Or both, because this is a material that is easy to re-use. The bio-degradable chips are made from potato or corn starch.
Most businesses use the bio-degradable chips or paper as filler, but every now and then there’s a shipment that contains polystyrene chips. If you find those in your shipment, they are always re-used.
You can easily tell the difference between the two: polystyrene has a dense structure, while the bio-degradable starch chips have an open structure and will disintegrate when they get wet.
Sometimes, there’s a piece of foam strip that protects items that are a bit too close to the wall of a box for my peace of mind.
Foam strips are used for protecting the edges of auto windshields during transport. They are sturdier than filler chips, and if the gap is too small to fill with paper, these strips will do the trick.
Instead of throwing them away, they get used one more time.
Sometimes, kraft paper is used to fill boxes. This is either new or re-used from incoming shipments.
For filling larger spaces, I sometimes use grids from Miron DIN18 bottles. This has the added benefit of creating a sturdy barrier between the contents and the wall of a box, and it saves filler material.
While there’s a large variety of boxes in stock, it regularly happens that a box is too small, but the next size is too big, so that’s when you’re likely to find grids in the box.
Air-bags and other inflatable filler materials originate solely from incoming shipments.
Boxes are either closed with PP (polypropylene) tape or paper tape.
The plan was to switch to paper tape exclusively, and to only use the orange ‘Fragile’- tape alongside it, but it turns out that the paper tape has less adhesive power and that is a problem for some shipments. So, paper tape whenever possible, and PP tape when needed.