Moving from plastic to paper packaging

In 2000 Susan Bijl set out to design one bag that would render all others obsolete: The New Shopping Bag. Its main purpose has always been to replace the plastic bags you get at stores and markets. This bag is our contribution to the fight against plastic waste. Ironically, for our packaging we picked a single-use plastic. But not anymore, as we finally introduced our new paper packaging!

All of you who have bought The New Shopping Bag in the past will have noticed the plastic wrapping. This was ideal for us as the transparent plastic packaging showed the bag and its contrasting colours nicely. It also kept the bag nice and clean during transport.

At SUSAN BIJL we are very much focused on reducing our ecological footprint through the choices we make in food, lifestyle, and production chain. But even for us, plastic is often the easiest and cheapest solution. As we see plastic constantly all around us, we sometimes are blind to the fact that it can easily be replaced.

Over the years, we have been searching for a sustainable and high-quality solution. We wanted a packaging that still shows most of the bag and into which the bag could compactly be folded. We’ve been looking into bioplastics, but they didn’t meet our standards. Also, we wanted to get rid of the feel and look of plastic. Inspired by our collaboration with Hay, this led us to the paper: it has much less of an ecological impact, as it is much easier to recycle.

From now on, starting with the Grey collection, The New Shopping Bag will come in a paper wrap. The new paper packaging shows less of the bag’s trademark flash, but this is a sacrifice we happily make in our effort to exterminate single-use plastics. Part of moving away from single-use plastics is that we need to realise that the ‘less ideal’ option is also very good.

Our other products were never sold in plastic packaging. Yet the hangtag they came with wasn’t completely harmless either, as both the string as the tag itself were partly made of plastic. We are replacing both with more sustainable options.

As you can see, we are constantly trying our best to reduce the impact we have on our beautiful planet and its inhabitants. But we have difficulties doing everything perfect. The packaging is a work in process and more big steps will be made in the time to come. We will keep you posted!