Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) has become an integral part of corporate annual reports and sustainability has now become a widely used umbrella term. It’s not strange, because almost half of the Dutch people indicate that sustainable or socially responsible aspects are important in new purchases. Companies are constantly making statements about environmental friendliness and biodegradable materials, but what does this say? We would like to tell you more about how we see this, why we see it that way and how we take our responsibility.
Environmentally conscious or environmentally friendly: consumer distrust
Consumer distrust of sustainability claims is growing. Consumers prefer companies in their core business to focus on sustainability. Donations to social causes seem to make less of an impression. This distrust is not entirely unfounded. Companies are increasingly making claims about environmentally friendly products, but what is an environmentally friendly product? At De Ridder Packaging, we prefer to avoid the use of such terms. (Commercial) products are seldom climate-neutral, let alone environmentally friendly.
De Ridder Packaging: in favour of environmentally conscious alternatives
We are very much in favour of offering environmentally conscious alternatives. And for each alternative we are happy to explain why this is more environmentally conscious than the regular offer. After all, a clear and specific explanation must not be lacking. As a subsidiary of Bunzl plc, we aim to have an alternative that is recyclable, reusable, compostable or renewable for every packaging product in our range by 2025. And we have come a long way.
With environmental awareness, we want to say that the choices made in the production process have been made with high consideration for environmental impact, compared to the regular product range. We are therefore looking for opportunities to use recyclable, reusable, compostable or renewable materials, instead of materials that are not. A term such as ‘green’ or ‘biodegradable’ will be avoided here, because just about all materials can be degraded. What only differs from material to material is the time it takes for it to degrade. And perhaps the most important thing: what harmful substances are left behind in nature. Plastic, for example, is also degradable, but this process takes a very long time and leaves behind substances that are harmful to humans, animals and the environment.
The fact that a material is ‘biodegradable’ does not necessarily mean that it is compostable. When we talk about compostable, we always mean industrial composting, certified according to EN-13432. This refers to composting in an industrial environment, not at home on the compost heap.
State of affairs: environmentally conscious alternatives at De Ridder Packaging
We work hard to create products that have as little impact on the environment as possible. Classics that have been part of our range for a long time are the shape-retaining cooling elements and EPP cooling boxes. These products are made of strong materials, which gives them a long life and is therefore suitable for repeated use. But we are also very proud of new, innovative cooling solutions! For example, we have developed various alternatives to the regular gel pack, whereby both in the foil and in the cooling padding, a (partially) recyclable or renewable alternative can be chosen. Read all about the possibilities here.
We also offer the EcoCoolBox, which was recently awarded the NL Packaging Award in the category Webretail. This fully compostable and insulating packaging box is innovative in every respect. The EcoCoolBox is made of mono-material. The box itself is made of cardboard and paper fibres have been used to achieve a high insulation capacity. Concrete user benefits? The EcoCoolBox can simply be thrown away with the waste paper.