Plastic-free delivery - sustainability is a matter of course at Mahina
Nina Neugebauer·April 26, 2022
Online shopping is easy, fast and flexible. You don't have to stick to store opening hours. A quick click and the pretty item ends up in your shopping cart and a little later at your front door. But as nice and convenient as online shopping is, the disadvantages can be just as great. Many goods, especially from global players and large corporations, are sent around the world by ship or plane before they land on your doorstep. Simply put, the CO2 balance of such products is beyond good and bad. In addition, the goods are mostly produced in low-wage countries, where environmental protection and fair working conditions are often only rudimentary or non-existent - even if the corporations would like to sell us something else.
Packaging waste nightmare
Neither laws nor regulations or guidelines have managed to reduce packaging waste in Germany, let alone eliminate it completely. On the contrary, in an international comparison we are way ahead. Every year each of us produces 227.55 kg of packaging waste, which is about 50 kg more than the average European citizen. The growing online trade in particular is making a decisive contribution to this. In addition to CO2, shipping also produces tons of packaging waste. Under certain circumstances, this in turn ends up in our oceans. What is meant here, in addition to the many boxes that are produced and which can at least be recycled, is above all the inner workings such as bubble wrap or plastic air cushions. The consequences of plastic waste in the sea and on land are mostly devastating. Sea creatures and birds mistake the plastic for food and some die in agony. But even on land we are not protected from the consequences of plastic waste. The plastic waste also finds its way into the ground. Researchers assume that at least a third of the plastic waste has found its way into inland waterways and into the soil. Much of it is microplastic that, due to its surface properties, acts like a magnet on environmental toxins.
Plastic-free online shopping
It almost goes without saying that we do without plastic bags and the like when shopping. Disposable plastic tableware, plastic cotton swabs and plastic drinking straws are now banned and are no longer produced. The topic of sustainability is now becoming more and more important. But what does it actually look like in the online shops? Let’s get straight to the point: you can also shop online with a clear conscience, because there are shops that not only do “greenwashing”, but also really care about the topic of sustainability.
How do I recognize green online shops?
A first indication of a "green online shop" are of course sustainable products. Nevertheless, you shouldn't be fooled by it. Because sustainability is incredibly trendy right now. The global players and large corporations have also recognized this. Not everything that says "sustainability" on it actually contains sustainability. Another indication of a sustainable or green online shop is that the goods are shipped CO2-neutral and the items are packaged sustainably. Smaller online shops in particular usually have their warehouse in Germany, which means shorter transport routes. So the goods don't have to be sent halfway around the world before they get to you.
Trend macrame and handmade
In addition to online shopping, there is also something else experienced a real boom during the pandemic. On the one hand the Home & Decor area and on the other hand handicrafts such as macrame, crocheting and knitting. While macrame used to be considered hippie chic, these hand-knotted beauties can be found in many (living) rooms today.Almost nothing stands for boho chic so much and brings exotic vibes into your home so quickly. The knotting technique originally comes from the Orient. In the meantime, however, it has long since begun its triumphal procession around the world. In the seventies there was probably a hanging basket made of macrame in almost every living room. This is probably the best known representative. If you would like to try the knotting technique, you can of course get the right yarn in our online shop.
But what does all this have to do with packaging waste? Our online shop Mahina is active in the areas of home, decor and living. We also offer macrame workshops and are happy to lend out our macrame pieces, for example for shootings or your boho wedding. However, Mahina's roots lie in the handmade area. It all started with that. Sustainability and the protection of the environment are naturally important to us and our customers, which is also an integral part of our corporate culture.
We have recognized that it is primarily up to us, companies and consumers, to avoid or at least reduce as much as possible plastic and packaging waste. As a young e-commerce start-up company, we want to face up to this responsibility and set a good example. All orders leaving Mahina are shipped completely plastic free. Should it ever be necessary for the consignment to be packed in plastic, we recycle plastic that we received ourselves with deliveries, which we of course also label. In addition, boxes are reused and reused, which is why one or the other box that arrives at your place may not look quite as pretty. But in the end it's the content that counts. Every customer receives a "recycle sticker" from us with their package, asking them to reuse the boxes as well.
Therefore cartons should be reused
The most important goal in the context of environmental protection and sustainability is waste avoidance. If we and our customers continue to use a cardboard box, we save valuable resources such as water and energy in addition to a lot of paper. Of course, paper or cardboard can be recycled. But even with this process, fresh wood fibers have to be added on the one hand and water and energy are used on the other. Let's just use the cardboard until it loses its protective properties and only then put it back into the cycle. In this way we conserve water resources and save energy at the same time.