The Sleep Store is committed to doing what we can to minimise our impact on the environment.
As we have grown as a business we have found that we consume more materials - and produce more waste. So far our efforts to become a more sustainable business have focussed mostly on minimising waste. We have been making efforts to reduce, recycle and reuse for several years, but following a waste audit in 2013 we discovered that 90-95% of what we were sending to a landfill could be recycled and much of it could be reused. We found that we were throwing away packaging fill from suppliers which could be reused, and we were also sending to landfill a lot of paper (backs of labelopes and courier tickets) which could be recycled. Since that audit we committed to significantly reduce what we send to landfill, and got it down to less than one Council rubbish bag per week for all our landfill rubbish.
We recycle everything we can. Here is how we handle the different kinds of waste from our retail operation:
- Cardboard cartons are reused for packaging outgoing orders where possible. Cartons not suitable for orders are recycled via Reclaim
- All paper waste is recycled, including the backs of labelopes and the backs of courier tickets
- Packaging fill from suppliers is reused where possible. The only exception is polystyrene chip fill which is unsafe to send to houses with infants and toddlers.
- 100% of organic waste from our office (tea/coffee, fruit peel, bread, food scraps etc) goes to either our chickens or Hungry Bin worm farms
- Coathangers that suppliers send with infant garments used to go to landfill. We now deliver these to the Salvation Army who use them in their shops
- Toner cartridges go to Warehouse Stationary or BP collection points for recycling
- We reuse non-biodegradable packaging fill that is sent to us by suppliers
- Incoming LDPE courier track packs sent by customers with returned products are collected and given to Courier Post. Courier Post has an excellent initiative (Backtrack your Trackpack) where they collect used Trackpacks from customers and recycle them. Courier Post will take used Trackpacks from all Courier companies - so they take Fastway, NZ Courier, Courier Post, and all others.
- Plastic strapping comes on numerous cartons of stock from suppliers. This used to go to landfill but now goes to a specialist recycler
We joined the Sustainable Business Network in mid-2013 to help us stay focussed and to help get ideas on how we further reduce waste, recycle more, and source biodegradable/low impact packaging for outgoing parcels sent from our online retail business.