The world has changed in the past year faster than it has in a long time, and so have we! In 2020, we responded to the greatest surge in orders we’ve ever experienced and we managed to stay on our feet to serve our community. Our ability to stay grounded is largely thanks to our team members that have given 110% to their work as well as due to our ability to adapt.
Part of this adaptation impacted our packaging, and we know you’ve noticed! In the spirit of transparency, we wanted to share with you why we made these adaptions and what we are looking forward to in the future.
If you’ve been a SPUD customer of ours for a while, then you know that we’ve delivered groceries in reusable bins (or reusable boxes if you’re in Edmonton) for years. While we are still committed to delivering as many groceries as possible in reusable bins, we have changed who is eligible. Here’s why:
Reusable packaging is only more sustainable than single-use when it gets reused a certain number of times. What the pandemic showed us, is that our reusable packaging was not coming back at a high enough rate for us to deem the practice sustainable. In other words, we were losing a lot of reusable packaging. As a result, we’ve committed to delivering groceries in reusable bins to customers that are likely to re-order from us. If you are a subscribe and save customer, or have joined our membership program, this is you! This eligibility enables us to improve the circulation of our packaging in a more sustainable way. If you are a customer who is getting your deliveries in cardboard boxes, but orders on a regular basis, then you will want to join one of these two programs for more reasons than one (hint: exclusive discounts)!
What we take back
Depending on where you are located, we offer various packaging takeback services. We ask that you familiarize yourself with what packaging we accept back, and how you can help us!
- Reusable packing material: If you’re grocery order comes in a reusable box or bin, we want this back! Please leave this packaging outside and we will take it when we make your next delivery. You can schedule a pick-up for these here if you will not be placing a new order for awhile. In addition, if your order comes with any cold packs or reusable silver bags, we will also take these back when we are making your next delivery. Learn more here.
- Cardboard boxes: If you get your SPUD order in a single-use cardboard box, we will take it back if you live in the Vancouver, Calgary or Edmonton region. Please help our drivers out by emptying and flattening your old SPUD box before your next delivery. You can also drop off your flattened SPUD boxes at Be Fresh or Organic Acres in Vancouver, or Blush Lane in Alberta.
- Reusable product packaging: We takeback, rinse, and reuse all Avalon milk bottles/crates, Kula Kitchen jars, Ernest ice cream jars, Soap Exchange containers, as well as any bottles that have a deposit on them (product availability varies depending on location). Please make sure that you rinse and empty any of containers if you wish to return them to us!
- Takeback bags: Place your empty and clean Nature’s Path or Be Fresh plastic pouches in your SPUD bin and we will recycle them with our friends at Terracycle. This packaging type is not accepted in curbside recycling programs.
What we do with returned packaging
We love finding innovative ways to reduce waste and repurpose packaging where we can.
All reusable packaging is sanitized in our warehouse or sent back to the supplier to wash and reuse! With your box, we either recycle it for you, or if you’re in Edmonton, we use this amazing cardboard shredder machine which turns your box into a soft, mesh-like packaging material. This material is then used in your future SPUD orders to protect fragile items from damage! We are currently trialing this cardboard shredder machine in Edmonton and we hope to have it in all of our locations soon!
Thank you for your ongoing support. Follow us on Instagram @spuddelivers or @spudalberta to keep up with all packaging updates!