Zero Waste

Journey to Zero Waste (Part 1): Packaging Liners

. 4 min read . Written by Jennifer
Journey to Zero Waste (Part 1): Packaging Liners


There’s no question about it; Earth is a stakeholder here at Mylk Guys and we make all of our decisions with the planet in mind. It’s true in the products we carry, but it’s also a philosophy we use to steer the ship in every aspect of our business operations. At the core, we want to save the planet and there’s so much we need to do to make that a reality. We know that doing better for the planet is an ongoing effort. There’s always room to do more, but it’s also important to celebrate every win to keep us going along the way.

Right now, we’re in the process of making our packaging process more eco-friendly and sustainable. So we thought, “Wouldn’t it be fun to take our customers along on our journey to zero waste?” Let’s get started.

The mission? Ship vegan products nationwide with the lowest carbon footprint. By reducing our footprint, we indirectly reduced yours. Win Win!👏

The result?

Wait.

Before we get started on our zero waste journey, we’d like for you to meet Yeva. Yeva leads our Operations Team and she puts in tremendous effort in researching, testing, and improving our process to find the best shipping & packaging options for you. (Gracias, Yeva!). She also runs a rescue farm on the side, and has rescued numerous puppies and ponies (yup, she’s amazing). Follow her journey to reduce Mylk Guys’s carbon footprint, and yours, too.

Our awesome co-worker Yeva, who works extremely hard for you and animals. 

Our First Step: A Zero Waste Checklist

Does it insulate well? We needed the liners to maintain a suitable temperature to keep perishable and non-perishable items nice and fresh. We tested rigorously to ensure the liners can maintain the same temperature for up to 48 hours. Even though your products are only in transit for 24 hours, we use 48 hours as the threshold because shipping is unpredictable and we needed to account for those delayed instances. Though our packages are shipped within a day, our rule was a 48-hour time-frame. Absolutely no compromises. Ever.

Is it an optimal weight and thickness for shipping? Liners needed to be light enough to maintain a-low-as-possible shipping fee, but thick enough to remain durable during transit. Another thing we tried to keep in mind was optimal space so that we could ship all the items you ordered, at once. To reduce our overall carbon footprint, we needed a liner that allowed us to utilize every space.

Can our consumers recycle the packaging with ease? (aka is it curbside recyclable?) To make recycling convenient for you, we needed to find packaging that can easily be recycled at home. It didn’t make sense to ship out packaging materials with recycling opportunities that weren’t available and accessible to as many people as possible.

Are the materials made from recycled goods? To further reduce our environmental and carbon footprint, we looked for packaging materials that are made from post-consumer recyclables to give each material a second chance at life.

Is it affordable? Finally, we wanted to maintain an affordable price point that allowed us to continue to ship items quickly and perfectly, but without adding any extra costs to you (important!).

Our Current Solution (!)

Bubble wrap liner that we replaced.

Material: Insulated bubble wrap liner
Our thoughts: We started off with the industry standards. It was light and cost-effective, but it was not entirely recyclable. This is probably one of the biggest changes we can make to our packaging right now that will reduce our carbon footprint.

What Made the Cut?

After months of research, testing (and more testing), Yeva narrowed it down to her top three choices.

Material: Jean Insulation
Our thoughts: Made from a blend of recycled cotton panels and virgin polyester fiber that are both recyclable and biodegradable, at first look, jean insulation was a great choice. But then we thought, since it is made from fusion materials, the box would need to be deconstructed for proper recycling (a bit inconvenient, right?). Plus, the cloth needs to be processed at special recycling facilities that may not be available to some cities.

Material: Cellulose Liner
Our thoughts: With 3-panel foams, this was a great option to protect the package from moisture, humidity, and damages during transit. The liner was also backyard compostable, biodegradable, and water-soluble (score!). Though it was love at first sight, we weren’t too keen with the thickness of the lining. A bulkier liner means shipping fewer items in bigger boxes. Ultimately, resulting in increased shipping costs and carbon footprint.

And the winner is...

Material: Celluliner
Our thoughts: The celluliner is made from 100% recycled tissue and cellulose fiber with at least 30% post-consumer waste materials. It’s fully curbside recyclable and biodegradable, too (woohoo!). It insulates so well that all products will stay nice and fresh for 48 hours - even without the additional weight and thickness. A clear winner!

We’ve tested our new packaging with our larger 14x14 boxes and it’s proved to be a success. Planning to roll out with all other packaging sizes soon! Be on the lookout for the zero waste impact of your next box!

What’s Next?

Everything we use to pack your order to ensure it arrives fresh and safe. 

There is a lot of detail that goes into packing the perfect order for you and we’re obsessed (really, we think about it all the time) with finding reusable, recyclable, non-wasteful alternatives for our current packing process. The liner is just the beginning. There’s a lot more in our journey to zero waste and we’ll keep looking for ways to improve our process from manufacturing to transporting, down to the details of our packaging. The next thing on our list?

Packaging tape. Stick around for more!! 🤭😂