Reuse and recycling strategy

Image of reuse and recycle packaging strategy | Moody Mabel

We felt that it was time to take a stand.

As a company, and as the family behind the Moody Mabel brand we have always been worried about the effect of the world usage of plastics, and the non-stop production of virgin packaging. This worry was accelerated by the Blue Planet II series and the horrendous 25 year plan proposed by the UK government to tackle plastics. We should say that what we decided is not a political act, but is, we believe, the right thing to do.

We have a lot to learn about how the decision we have made will affect what we do, how we pick suppliers, shipping methods, partners and products going forward and are open to constructive guidance during this period.

A change to our business - recycled and reused packaging.

So the decision is this. Moody Mabel Ltd will be removing as much plastic and new packaging from its business as it possibly can. This covers incoming and outgoing packaging. In practical terms this will mean the minimisation of the use of bubble wrap, shipping peanuts, plastic bags, plastic tape in items we fulfil directly. It will mean trying to choose suppliers of packaging materials that not only supply plastic free packaging, but also deliver that packaging not wrapped in plastic (this may or may not be possible). This will take us time to do, and it will have a cost to us - it will take longer to pack and ship our products, and perhaps higher shipping costs. We are very happy to take this on.

What this means for our customers

For you, our lovely customers, this means that your package will still arrive safely and properly packaged, but it is unlikely that it will arrive in a new shiny box, overprinted in bright colours and designed as an advert. The insides of your package will not be wrapped in perfectly cut pink bubble wrap tied with nylon bows. Instead we will reuse every box that comes in to us, and every scrap of inside packaging will be reused packaging. If your item turns up in a branded box from Butternut for example, that will be because we had an incoming delivery of frozen food for Ripley and Beetle in that box. Please do not be offended by reused packaging, it is part of our commitment to the planet. You are buying reused items, we will deliver them to you in reused packaging.

How long will this take? 

We have existing stocks of packaging materials to use up, if we don’t then someone else will. It will also take time for us to educate ourselves, our suppliers and in some cases our customers about what we are doing and what we want to do. If we can go more quickly be assured that we will. Some things will be possible and some things may not. 

Ideas and progress

We don’t like shipping peanuts! We can and do hold a supply of biodegradable peanuts but would rather not use them at all. The alternatives are screwed up recycled rolls of brown paper (this works) and shredded paper, which we have a ready supply of. This however is heavy and would effect shipping prices for larger items. What would you prefer?

We are stuck (no pun intended) on packaging tape at the moment, most of the paper tape we have tried is just not up to the task. The struggle is real.

Bubble wrap will be used more judiciously, and mostly will be reused incoming packaging.

Putting items in plastic bags before wrapping them before boxing them stops now.

Plastic shipping pouches and envelopes with built in bubble wrap will be phased out and replaced with heavy brown paper envelopes.

Box resizing. This is currently under investigation. It is relatively easy to work out how to cut down an incoming large box to a smaller size. The difficulty we see is that tutorials on this usually involve the use of large amounts of plastic tape or glue. If you know of a method which is more origami than plastic tape please do let us know.

New packaging. We will inevitably need to buy some boxes at some stage. If we do, they will be from fully sustainable sources.

Labels, inserts and packing slips. We can do better with this than we currently do, but our supplies of these items are currently high. This is not our first priority.

Over to you

This is what Moody Mabel will be doing. How about you? Please consider what you will be doing with our packaging when it arrives. Will you take what we have sent you and discard it into the trash or the recycling bins, or can you reuse it again, and pass the reuse forward?

Please do let us know what you think of this initiative, we are determined to do our bit for the planet and hope you approve. Comment below or contact us at We’d love to hear from you.

And please do hold us to account on this, it is important.

Phil Terrett, Ripley and Beetle xx

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