Our new sustainable packaging
The plastic tubs that contain our equine dry mixes have been replaced by lined Kraft paper bags – so why have we decided on this change?
It’s taken us nearly 18 months to find suitable packaging for our 100% herbal feed supplements for horses. In fact the project list was pretty comprehensive and we wanted to achieve the following:
- Reduce our environmental impact
- Maintain our 3-year product shelf-life
- The bags had to stand up to stocking and transport
- The bags had to be robust enough to live in the average feed or tack room
Cutting down on plastic
On average Hilton Herbs uses more than nine tonnes of plastic per year for our dry and liquid supplements – that’s a lot of plastic! Despite the fact that our plastic tubs and bottles are recyclable and in the case of the tubs are often re-used by our customers, the total amount shocked us to the core. In order to help reduce the amount of plastic that horse-owners use in their stables we’ve decided to relaunch our equine dry supplements in Kraft paper bags with a polypropylene liner.
A plastic liner!! What’s the point of that?? Sadly we were unable to find a truly compostable paper bag with a suitable liner. It’s possible to get Kraft paper bags with a starch liner but these don’t stand up too well to getting damp and the liner is only guaranteed for 6 months for potentially starting to break down. As we sell through retailers and export our products worldwide we had to find a solution to preserve the shelf-life of our products. The polypropylene liner is very thin and is seven and a half times thinner than the plastic bags we currently offer our customers as refills – 20 microns as opposed to 150 microns.
Cutting down on our carbon imprint
When the new Kraft paper bags are empty they represent, weight for weight, a considerable reduction in weight than the plastic tubs. Additionally using a paper bag for each supplement and having a single unit size means our frequent deliveries of tubs are replaced by one large one from our supplier of the new bags. Fewer trips = less CO2.
How to keep your supplement fresh
Whilst still sealed the Kraft bag will maintain the product’s optimal freshness by guarding against the light, oxidation and damp. All you need to do is protect the bag from mice if you keep your supplements in your stable. Once open the word of the day is RE-CY-CLING! Reuse the plastic tubs you already have on the yard to keep the herbs fresh and dry once the bag is opened.
The new Kraft bags will come in one size – 1kg so if you’re used to buying 2kg or even 5kg then you will be buying multiples of the 1kg size bag – however the 5kg multi-buy is still more environmentally friendly than the old 5kg plastic refill bag. For those customers who normally buy larger quantities of our supplements we are making available a sturdy heavy duty plastic crate which conveniently takes five of the new 1kg bags. This crate will be FREE when you purchase 5 Kraft bags at one time and can be used for a myriad of things – not just for storing your supplements!
So how do we recycle the new bags?
To recycle the Kraft bag all you have to do is separate the plastic liner from the outer packaging and then dispose of the bag with your normal paper recycling. The plastic liner can be recycled with your supermarket bags. Alternatively use the empty Kraft bag as a rubbish bag in your feed room, tack room or club house, instead of using a plastic rubbish bag!