Recyclable boxes

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Yes, you read correctly.

Our boxes are now fully curb-side recyclable. [Ed... curb? er kerb?. Curb it old fogey. We speak American.]

As a company, we have grown more aware of our impact on the environment in all areas of our operation. A critical component of our footprint was the packaging methods that we use, specifically using polystyrene (aka EPS) as our main insulative material. The fantastic thermal properties of the EPS and affordable price stood in the balance against its damaging chemical properties and excruciatingly long compost time. With this in mind, we were on a mission to develop a fully recyclable box.

I took on this project at the start of 2021, in the hope of a quick fix. I realised this was going to be a more complicated task than originally thought. We tried and tested many solutions, from lambs’ wool to thermal linings made from recycled clothing to more variations of cardboard fluting and thicknesses than you could think of. The challenge was finding an insulator that could keep fish frozen for 36+ hours. Despite many assurances from legions of salesmen, it became apparent this system did not exist. Not in the form of cardboard or another eco-friendly solution.

However, with a stroke of luck helped by some serious digging, we then encountered an all-cardboard insulation R&D project being developed by an innovation-led manufacturer. “Would we care to test it?” We bit their hand off!  And after many tests (including sending countless parcels to my home) to test all variations and worst-case scenarios, we concluded that this ingenious new liner worked just as well as the polystyrene boxes.

So now, we just needed a cardboard box to lone with the liner box itself. In the middle of a ‘national cardboard shortage’, we thought this may be another uphill task. A few zoom calls later, and many more tests, our grade of cardboard was configured. We had a recyclable box.

Then it was a waiting game for the boxes and the insulators to be manufactured. Meanwhile, we had one more task – to make the boxes look good. We worked with a funky design company to come up with our new-look stylish boxes. I think you’ll agree that this is a huge upgrade from our poly boxes, both in appearance and feel.

Behold! - our new fully kerbside recyclable solution. It's important to note that we are on the way to phasing out non-recyclable plastic vacuum pack pouches. We are about 50% of the way through the transition and hope to have transitioned to circa 95% recyclable plastic by the end of the year. 

We're really pleased with our new boxes and we hope you are too.

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Our first batch of newly packaged orders!

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The highly anticipated delivery of our new packaging.

#Thefishsociety