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For those of you who follow us on Instagram/Facebook you’ll probably have seen our founder Hanna talking about our research and plans to start using RePack, the reusable packaging service to deliver your orders. Hanna went through her thoughts and the research we have done (it’s in our highlight videos if you’d like to watch it) but we wanted to do a blog post to provide you with more information. So here goes!
RePack is a reusable and returnable packaging service. It is a globally unique, circular packaging service for online retailers and shoppers.
At Acala, our ambition is to eliminate waste created by our store. RePack is a sustainable alternative to conventional plastic packaging for online retailers and shoppers that will help us achieve this goal because of its numerous use phase cycles. A single RePack packet can be used over 20 times.
RePack combines innovations in reusable packaging design, return logistics and business model. It works in a similar to the returnable bottle-system where consumers first pay deposit for the bottle and later collect their deposit by returning an empty bottle back to the store. It's not just packaging, for every RePack you return there is a reward, more on that in the section below.
When placing an order on Acala you would go through and do so in the normal way, just when you get to shipping options you will select the RePack option from the list.
Then once you’ve received and unpacked your order just pop it into your nearest postbox and it will go back to RePack. The return is free and the return postage is already on the package, you do not need to do anything.
Once the RePack is returned you will receive a 10% discount voucher via email that can be used at any store using RePack. Yes, for every Acala order + RePack packaging that you make you will get a 10% discount voucher. The number of amazing, ethical and eco-conscious stores in the RePack marketplace are growing all the time.
Some of our favourites are:
To use Repack shipping would be a little higher cost than standard disposable packaging. To use RePack would cost the standard delivery rate for your country plus £2.50. For example if you are a UK based customer and choose second class delivery your total delivery cost would be £2.99 + £2.50= £5.49.
This is due to the increased cost of the RePack package- eventually we would like to absorb this cost completely ourselves but at the moment financially as a small organisation we are only able to absorb part of the cost. At this point we will move to using RePack for all our orders.
Watch the video for a live demo of RePack in action.
Reusable RePack packaging reduces CO2 emissions by up to 80% when compared to disposable cardboard boxes and paper. That’s A LOT!
This is because RePack packaging is durable and it can be used at least 20 times. It is returned to be reused efficiently via post, as a letter. This in comparison to a waste treatment and manufacturing of 20 new disposable packages results in significant CO2 savings. From our research, if a RePack packet is returned only once it already has a smaller carbon footprint than two disposable boxes or bags.
Currently RePacks packaging is made from recycled plastic. In the future their aim is to further reduce RePack's environmental impact by moving to bio based materials and increasingly localised returns handling to reduce distance travelled by each package.
If you want to read more about the study, scope and emission factors used you can download it here. We’d recommend giving it a read, it clearly breaks down the pro’s and cons of all packaging options from plastic to cardboard vs. RePack.
So, there you have it. Please do leave your thoughts/feedback in the comments section below or email us at firstname.lastname@example.org. We would really like to hear from you on this.
The plan is to launch our RePack shipping service in mid-late August.