At The English Truffle Company we care a great deal about the environment. We are working hard to make our packaging “greener” while ensuring your order gets to you in great condition. Here we give you information to help you reuse and recycle it. We appreciate any more reuse ideas, feedback or suggestions on our packaging or this information.
We are still searching for packaging that fully meets our requirements and are making a few trials. We have seen some great environmentally-friendly solutions but they are far too big for the quantities of truffles we sell. Consequently, the below may not be an accurate reflection of how you receive your truffles, or if you have ordered other goods such as truffle shavers or truffle oil.
Food Vacuum Sealer Bags
Our search for recyclable or biodegradable vacuum sealer bags has failed. Vacuum sealing helps preserve and protect food. The bags we are using are manufactured from a composite film made from polyamide (PA) and polyethylene (PE). This falls into the plastic recycling category 7 "Other or "Miscellaneous". Regrettably, these plastics are not recyclable in normal collections.
We use food safe Sorbatek ice packs to keep your truffles cool whilst in transit to help get them to you in optimum condition. Their unique design retains melting water to prevent any liquid escaping.
Reuse The ice packs can be reused. They can be refrozen and reused repeatedly. When frozen they will stay cool for a long time - perfect for your picnic, drinks or day out. They can also be used as a cold compress for injuries and sore muscles.
Recycle Unfortunately, despite being made of totally of recyclable materials, the ice packs are not yet fully recyclable at recycling centres in the UK. Many are not yet equipped to separate the component materials for recycling. Do not pour ice pack contents down the drain. We are working to source a similarly sized, recyclable or biodegradable alternative.
Foil Bubble/Padded Envelopes
We have looked hard for an alternative to polystyrene boxes used by our competitors. Polystyrene is not biodegradable and being difficult to recycle, is usually landfilled. It is light and easily carried by the wind to litter or end up in water bodies. We use foil bubble padded envelopes.
Reuse These envelopes can be reused for keeping food or drinks cool.
Recycle Unfortunately, these ‘mixed material’ padded envelopes cannot be recycled. If you open carefully, you could instead re-use them.
Cardboard Boxes / Tubes
Depending upon the size of your order and the time of year your trees may be in a box or cardboard tube.
Reuse Your local school or playgroup may use cardboard boxes or tubes for craft projects. Smaller boxes can be re-used as gift boxes or for storage. Larger ones can be re-used if you or your friends / neighbours move to a new house. They can also be used for mulching and compost in the garden or under-the-bed storage. Cardboard tubes can be reused in many ways, search online.
Recycle Most local authority kerbside schemes will collect cardboard, or you can take it to a recycling bank.
Our tree suppliers trialled biodegradable packing chips but unfortunately they did not protect the trees as well as polystyrene chips do as they were not dense enough. Regrettably therefore, trees in boxes are protected by polystyrene chips. The ones used are manufactured from 100% recycled polystyrene. While industry can recycle their polystyrene waste, most householders are unable to recycle it.
Reuse You can reuse polystyrene chips for cushioning delicate items in a house move or for sending breakables through the post.
For shipping, the roots of truffle trees are wrapped in cling film to retain moisture and contain the soil. When removed the film is likely to be wet and dirty. Our suppliers are looking at alternatives.
To get the books to you in excellent condition we use book boxes made from recycled cardboard secured with paper tape.
Reuse Try to reuse the boxes by adding new labels.
Recycle They can be put in your household recycling or compost heap.
Their appearance may vary from the one illustrated above.
Reuse Your local school or playgroup may use these boxes for craft projects, or they could be re-used as gift boxes.
Recycle When appropriate, please remove the plastic window from the cardboard box before recycling. The plastic window should be put in the rubbish bin. Most local authority kerbside schemes will collect cardboard, or you can take it to a recycling bank.
Most padded envelopes are made of paper and plastic bubble-wrap so cannot be easily recycled. We are moving to eco-friendly padded envelopes. These envelopes have paper outer and an inner section of paper corrugated fluting to protect your goods.
Reuse Try to reuse the envelopes by adding new labels.
Recycle They can be put in your household recycling.