An award-winning company that has spent more than 10 years innovating in sustainable packaging has launched a scheme that it says goes ‘beyond recycling’ – by allowing the end user to return their packaging directly to them to be used again.
Staffordshire-based Woolcool has pioneered the use of 100% natural sheep wool to insulate Pharma products, investing millions in research and development to create ecologically-sound packaging.
Its range of boxes, pouches, envelopes and liners are used by the likes of Unilever, Henry Schein, The Dental Directory and Pharmacy2U – as well as food clients such as John Lewis and Abel & Cole – while the firm has picked up numerous accolades, including the prestigious Queens’s Award for Innovation.
Now Woolcool has launched its Circular Economy Scheme – believed to be a first for a packaging company of this kind – which will enable customers to return wool insulation to be cleaned and reused.
“Through years of investment in research and testing, we have proven time and again that not only is the pure wool we use biodegradable and compostable, it outperforms man-made insulating materials such as polystyrene,” said Managing Director Josie Morris.
“So, while polystyrene and other non-sustainable alternatives clog up landfill sites, taking centuries to break down, our natural wool products biodegrade quickly, releasing valuable minerals into the earth.
“While the processes that manufacture man-made insulators may impact on the planet, the wool we use is an abundant natural material.
“But even with its fantastic bio-degradable properties, we want each and every one of the natural wool liners to have even less ecological impact. Wool is an amazing material and so we want to make sure we are reusing this as many times of possible.
“We predominately sell Business to Business, however we take our responsibility in this chain very seriously, ensuring we are always working to reduce our impact on the environment. As the manufacturer of the packaging, we have now set up a scheme that allows our customer’s customers, to send the packaging back to us directly.”
“This sense of our responsibility has led us to launch our Circular Economy Scheme, the next step on the road to true sustainability.
“The scheme allows the ecologically-minded consumer to return their 100% wool insulated liners to us for re-use. For free.”
Under the scheme, Woolcool is utilising the 7000+ stores and collection points of the CollectPlus parcel network in the UK.
The company is encouraging regular customers to collect as many liners as they can, box them up and send them back, for the wool to be washed and prepared for reuse.
“Whilst having the ability to recycle, like turning a material into something new, such as a bin bag or plant pot, is extremely important, the real secret to sustainable packaging is not just recycling – it is re-use, reusing the material as many times as possible and reducing the amount of new material being created” Josie said.
“Woolcool is paying the costs of enabling this ground-breaking scheme, because it perfectly sums up our ecological ethos and determination to find packaging solutions that are not only good for customers, products and consumers, but they also help protect the earth.”