Crafting that doesn't cost the earth.
Crafting by its very action consumes and uses a variety of resources. As manufactures of products we have a duty to reduce this impact and to ensure a dialogue with the crafting community is encouraged to ensure the community as a whole takes action to reduce its impact.
There are many USA and EU regulations in the use of materials, safety testing and disposal of waste. Tonic Studios comply with all relevant regulations in every region that we operate. We have a rigorous testing and quality standard that we have been refining for the past 19 year since we started the company. This has been to ensure we comply with the local regulations as well as ensure the safety or our staff and our end consumers. We also implement strict controls to make sure these standards are maintained and the quality level of product we product is maintained to give longevity to our products and to reduce waste in the manufacturing process.
However, we have an obligation to go above and beyond what is allowed and improve what we are doing to ensure minimal impact on our environment.
Big companies, small companies, governments and consumers can do more, everyone can do more together. Each small step we all take will make an impact.
We have to be aware of all the impacts we have on our plant as a business and continue to evolve. From carbon footprints to recyclability, from marine pollution to raw material usage – there are many aspects of what we do and how we deliver products to you that we have to constantly review.
As we learn and grow our knowledge and review the changes we have made, we will update this document in a transparent and open process. We need to:
- identify what changes will make the biggest and fastest impact.
- research and test alternative materials and designs to reduce the impact our product have.
- encourage a culture throughout the company to ensure each aspect of the business is considered for continual improvement.
- be transparent and open with our achievements and challenges with our customers.
Since 2006 we have use plastic in our packaging that can be recycled. Predominantly APET has been using in our plastic blister packaging which is widely recycled and does not contain harmful plasticisers.
However, the rate of recycling in all areas of the world vary considerable. Even within the UK and USA there are vast differences between councils as to the efficiency of recycling schemes. With this in mind we need to look at not only the recyclability of waste but the reduction or elimination of materials that if not recycled correct will still harm the environment.
We are in a good position with a skilled team of designers and engineers to enable changes quickly and efficiently. Within the design brief to our in house design team we will (in all new packaging) add additional considerations as to the best use of materials:
- Can the packing design be made from materials that will degrade naturally?
- Can we limit or exclude completely any plastics that if not recycled correctly will have less of an impact on the marine and land environment?
- Can we use bio plastics in transit packaging that compost over time?
- Can we ensure all components that can be reduced are clearly labelled as such to improve recyclability?
- Can we ensure the separation of materials is effortless to increase the end user recycling rate?
- Can we create alternative uses for the packaging that consumers can use in projects?
We aim to achieve this and still allow our products to be attractive and communicate the function of the products. We have set ourselves targets to:
- reduce our use of plastics in packaging by at least 50% for all new products ordered by the end of 2019. Older product will have newer packaging once the stock is depleted and reordered.
- have zero landfill components in our packaging by the end of 2019 (for newly manufactured product).
- ensure all new dies manufactured from September 2019 to be within the new packaging format with increased recycling awareness communicated to our customers.
In addition to the packaging of a product the product itself needs consideration during the design phase. We have always made products to last but need to consider this more as we use the resources we have wisely:
- Is the product durable? If we are to use resources for a product can we ensure the product will be durable in its life cycle to last many years.
- At the end of life, can the product be easily recycled?
- Are all the components in the product inert as to not effect the environment if not recycled correctly?
- To invest in products which are not single or limited use but more durable products that will last for many years with interchange parts to enable longevity of use.
- Can we challenge ourselves to have a continual improvement policy and never be satisfied that the final design could not be improved further.
In moving the product from factories to warehouses, to retailers and end consumers we need to consider how we ship the products and how we can improve the impact of this stage.
- Using carriers where possible who are committed to reducing their carbon footprint in their delivery network.
- Reducing and eliminating single use plastics in the transit shipping of our products internally and to our consumers.
- Reducing the overall packaging material in our shipments by innovating ways to safely ship products.
- Ensuring the size of the package is proportionate to the product so we are not transporting larges amount of empty air.
Office and Warehouse
Our working environment can also improve.
- Reduce the use of paper by moving to more digital solutions.
- Increasing awareness of recycling and introducing office recycling segregation of waste (warehouse waste is separated and recycled currently).
- Refurbishing the warehouse and office spaces to include energy efficient lighting and equipment.
- Raise awareness though staff initiatives improve and evolve the working practices.
- Empower and support staff in personal goals and environmental causes. Involving them in the change process throughout the organisation regardless of role within the company.
Progress (Updated 19th July 2019)
This document is work in progress and as we evolve our strategy we are implement changes and making progress. To date we have:
- improved office recycling with dedicated waste bins.
- refurbished lighting within the building so 70% of the warehouse and office spaces are new low energy LED lighting.
- undergone testing of various alternative transit packaging formats for bulk shipments to reduce both cardboard use and plastic use in each carton to implement in new orders.
- redesigned all die packaging to dramatically reduce plastic waste and enable easy separation. Samples are being tested and we hope to implement the new design in September.
- reviewed the use of glitter in products that could end up in the watercourse and are working on phasing out products that need washing in running water.
- undergone testing of degradable glitters to identify their fit for use in our products, age testing is still ongoing with result to be expected by the end of the year.
- Implemented new inner box paper 'bags' for our master cartons. Removing Plastic bags and reducing the cardboard usage. This new paper bag format will be rolled into the craft kit to remove the need for bubble wrap. Rolling out on new orders from September 2019.
As we explore new ideas we must ensure the changes we are making have a direct improvement and do not have any detrimental side effects. As a result we must ensure our testing of the product is extensive before me make the changes. As a result this testing can take time and this can be frustrating for our customers. We will update you as and when we can and assure you this is a priority for Tonic.
Sites we like
There are may simple things you can do outside of crafting to help. Ecosia for example helps plants trees when you do something as simple as search the internet. Try for your yourself :)