Guess what was in this parcel?

What-is-in-this-boxHere in the UK there has been a grass roots movement to deal with the epidemic of wasteful plastic excess. The introduction of a law to charge for single use plastic bags has been with us from October 2015 and since January this year the charge has applied to every new plastic bag provided by any retailer with more than 250 employees. I know it’s not ideal, but it is a start in the right direction.

There is also now a move to stop the use of plastic straws and plastic takeaway coffee cups. And, since January 2018 we also have a ban on the use of microbeads (very small plastic beads) in toothpastes and facial scrubs.

But, and it is a big but, what about all the plastic used in packaging especially in these online shopping days where goods are despatched from one end of the country to the other. The other day I had a surprise. The above box arrived for me and I thought this is rather odd I haven’t ordered anything remotely this size. This must be a mistake. So I began unpacking it  .  .  .  .  .


And, yes, you’ve guessed it, from peering through all that plastic bubblewrap – a tile.


Yup, it was just a single 6 x 6 inches ceramic tile! I was flabbergasted, a single tile. Madness. (I must just point out that another tile sample I received also came singly, but in a custom fit, simple, recyclable cardboard box. Sorry no photo of that nifty packaging as I never dreamt I’d be writing about it!)

And, if you were wondering about the packaging I use to despatch my scarves, they are sent off in recyclable and degradable cardboard boxes with the outer white box made from 75% recycled material.


Author: agnesashe

Artisan, blogger and passionate East Anglian working from home.

12 thoughts on “Guess what was in this parcel?”

  1. I knew you would be a responsible packager. Sadly we have no control over the parcels we request. I wonder if it was Amazon? They seem to have a bad reputation in this (as in many other) areas.

    1. Being responsible is difficult especially if you want your packaging to look at least a bit stylish. I do like the look of most recycled boxes, but they often have a functional, ‘brown’ quality that doesn’t match my scarves. No, surprisingly that wasn’t Amazon, but an independent tile manufacturer in the West Country. Don’t think they have quite sorted out their sample provision process!! And, the expense 🙄

  2. I’ve had similar when ordering a few make-up items on-line. And just the other day I was reminiscing with a woman about how we used to bring home the groceries. Well, in my mother’s day, it was a small daily shop and a string bag. But when I got a car, it was a larger shop with the goods packed in a carton. After unpacking the incoming stock, the supermarket would leave all the outer cartons in a cage at the front of the store for customers to use. The lady I was speaking to was advocating for a return of the sturdy paper bag. Good idea. But, as I said to her, the carton has already been manufactured – why can we not just reuse those?

    I’m also thinking of returning to the butcher shop (if I can find one), and getting my meat wrapped in butcher’s paper instead of the plastic trays and other plastics used by the supermarket butcher.

    1. Yes, yes re-using cartons and boxes or bags for life must surely be the only direction to go. On the wrapped meat issue it would properly be better too. Guess there might be a skills issue on wrapping so as not to get any leaks. I have already returned to wrapping my breads, rolls and sandwiches in greaseproof paper which I can reuse. I find the whole experience more pleasant than plastic and my bread is definitely keeping better.

    2. you get better meat at a good butcher anyway, far more flavour and usually more traceability – ours has the names of all his farmers posted on the wall, varying from week to week depending on who sends what. There are four butchers in the shop, one of whom is a farmer (true to stereotype he’s the grumpy one)

      1. That’s interesting. I saw a butcher shop in a country town which listed it’s suppliers, but traceability is not commonplace is the larger cities. Would you believe I couldn’t get plain old chuck or gravy beef at the supermarket? Must be catering to all those who need to cook in a hurry.

      2. Yes, traceability has become important over here not least following the BSE problems 30 years ago. I think our supermarkets still do chuck steak. I am not a vegetarian, but I hardly ever eat meat these days so am not the best person to know about available beef cuts.

      3. I have just moved and haven’t really sussed out any local butchers, but there is a fancy farm shop complex in the area with fancy prices too! I can’t wait to be able to start growing some stuff for myself again. It’s going to be challenging with only a small backyard!

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