Our sustainable packaging journey
Introducing our new courier packs
We’re proud to introduce our new range of courier packs, which are manufactured from a material known as I’m greenTM and represent an important step forward in reducing the impact of our packaging on the environment. During November 2020 we will be trialling our new courier packs with a number of Account customers. Following this, we expect to make the packs available to all Parcelforce Worldwide Account customers to purchase.
I’m greenTM polyethylene is a bio-based thermoplastic made from sugarcane, rather than from non-renewable fossil fuels. Our new courier packs come in a range of sizes and will eventually be available for all Parcelforce Account customers to purchase.
Find out more about our courier packs, including where you can recycle them, here!
What is I’m green™ polyethylene?
Traditionally, courier packs, or any other plastic bags, are made from polyethylene which is derived from fossil fuels. However, I’m greenTM polyethylene is derived from sugarcane – yet still retains virtually the same chemical properties and performance of traditional polyethylene.
Manufactured from ethanol derived from sugarcane, I’m greenTM is carbon negative, renewable, and the packs themselves can be recycled.
How is I’m green™ polyethylene made?*
Firstly, the sugarcane used in I’m greenTM polyethylene is grown in the south of Brazil and cultivated in a socially responsible way. Through photosynthesis, the sugarcane naturally absorbs carbon from the atmosphere as it grows, helping to reduce greenhouse emissions.
Once fully grown, the sugarcane is crushed, and the syrup produced is used to create the regular sugar that most of us love to consume, whilst the rest is used to produce the ethanol which goes on to make the I’m greenTM polyethylene.
Furthermore, the leftover biomass (or ‘bagasse’) is used as a biofuel to power the production process, and the nutrient-rich liquid that is a by-product of the ethanol production, is used as a natural fertilizer for the crops.
Once the I’m greenTM polyethylene has been made, it’s shipped to our manufacturing partner in the UK, Duo, who produce our courier packs. Duo has over 30 years’ experience producing courier packs and is the first UK packaging manufacturer to use I’m greenTM polyethylene.
The green credentials of our new courier packs include the entire production process within the UK, with Duo working towards their PAS2050 accreditation, supported by Energy and Low Carbon Specialist, Envantage. This award assesses the total carbon footprint of the bags from the raw material to their final production (Cradle to Gate).**
*Source: Braskem: www.braskem.com
Can the new courier packs be recycled?
I’m greenTM plastic is recyclable in the same way as traditional polyethylene plastic from fossil source. The CO2 captured by the product remains fixed throughout the lifecycle of the plastic.
It is important to say, however, that the packs are not biodegradable. To find out where you can recycle our packs, please read on…
Where can I recycle my courier packs?
Recyclenow.com is a fantastic website that will help you find out where you can recycle your Parcelforce Worldwide courier packs, or any other plastic bags or film.
Simply enter your postcode on the website’s handy tool to find out drop-off points for recycling near you and what they can accept.
The website is also a great source of information on what to do with everything from old aerosol cans to yoghurt pots, and everything in between.
I’ve received something in a courier pack, how can I re-use it?
There are endless ways to reuse your courier packs, with a little creativity. See our list below for some inspiration and give yours a second life as…
- A second-use courier pack (remember to remove any previous labels before you send)
- A furniture cover for when the kids have the paints out
- A bag for your muddy boots, post-autumnal walk
- A cover for car windows and mirrors when it snows (remove when driving!)
- A bin liner for a bathroom bin