With consumers increasingly more eco-conscious, Sendle is trialling new sustainable packaging made from corn-starch. Will it be feasible?
Australian logistics startup Sendle has today announced a trial of 100 percent compostable and biodegradable postage satchels. The environmentally friendly alternative will be offered on a trial basis to the first 100 eligible businesses that register here. Those businesses will be offered 100 free satchels and, based on retailer and customers feedback, will be available for sale later in the year, with pricing and other details to be ironed out in the trial.
The announcement comes off the back of heated discussion surrounding single-use plastic in Australia. According to the Global 2018 SME Pulse Report from American Express and Oxford Economics, 86 percent of small businesses believe sustainable and ethical business practices is a key driver in growth and profitability. While consumers are in favour of more sustainable packaging options, the fallout from Coles and Woolworths banning single-use plastic bags earlier this year shows that implementation is key when it comes to helping consumers make the switch.
The new Sendle-branded satchels look and feel like plastic, but are actually made from corn starch with a binding resin, so that they are waterproof, flexible, tear resistant, printable and reusable. At the end of their life they can be placed in a home garden compost environment as food for worms.
CEO and Co-founder of Sendle, James Chin Moody, says the trial is a way to offer small businesses choice and to enable eco-friendly options at scale.
“By offering compostable satchels, Sendle is levelling the playing field for Australian small businesses, enabling them to offer their customers the types of sustainable options that are often only reserved for large businesses,” Moody explains.
“Sendle is Australia’s first and only 100 percent carbon neutral delivery service and a certified B-corp, but our pledge to the environment goes further,” adds Moody. “We support a circular economy in which generating endless waste is not an option and the earth’s resources are not treated as infinite.”
The trial serves to test the market, getting an understanding of the issues that small business face and what works for them and their customer base. While consumers are clearly passionate about the environment and many retailers have seen a boom in products that limit the use of single-use plastic, what we have also learnt is that convenience and pricing are key. Fulfilment and logistics are an enormous element of the consumer experience and speed and pricing are a key element of this.
Sendle has not been able to advise at what cost the new packaging will be available (as much of this is dependant on feedback from the trial). It will be interesting to see how feasible the packaging is and whether costs will be passed on to the consumer or worn by the retailer.