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Otrium’s plastic-free shipping pilot

Everyone who takes an active step towards sustainable living is working towards the common goal – which is to preserve our planet. It can be in the form of being a more conscious shopper and avoiding overconsumption.

Waste and excess inventory are built into the fashion industry’s model. Not only is waste created during the manufacturing process, but a huge part also comes from packaging and shipping practices. Poly bags play a part in the waste that is created, so we want to find a solution together with you!
Quick glance: The pilot
What: All orders containing a single item will be shipped without a poly bag in a recycled paper envelope
Why: Otrium will reduce plastic waste by keeping the poly bags in the loop 
How: By reusing or recycling the poly bags into high-quality material
When: Until January 2023 
What you can do: Submit feedback directly to [email protected]
A short story behind plastic
A poly bag is a plastic bag around a fashion item that protects it from dirt and water which they possibly encounter during their shipment and in warehouses. Sounds great, doesn’t it?
These plastic bags are great for protecting fashion items, however, plastics are harmful to our environment. Plastic sticks around in the environment for ages, threatening wildlife and spreading toxins. Plastic also contributes to global warming. Almost all plastics are made from chemicals that come from the production of planet-warming fuels (gas, oil, and even coal).
Plastic is a collective name for multiple materials and compounds that each have unique properties. You might have heard about PET (Polyethylene Terephthalate) which is often used for soda bottles or polyester which can be found in the composition of many fashion items these days.
Many types of plastics can be recycled at a high-quality level. This can be done only by recycling the same type of plastic in one stream. Unfortunately, plastic waste is collected often as one waste stream rather than separating the different types of plastics. As it’s difficult to sort these plastics after collecting them, the result is recycling to a downgraded material in most cases.
The majority of poly bags in the fashion industry are made from a plastic material called LDPE (low-density polyethylene). Hundreds of billions of polybags are produced for the fashion industry every year, and it is estimated that most of them go to waste.  To recycle the poly bags on a high-quality level, they should be sorted and recycled as a separate stream of LDPE.
Otrium wants to make sure that the plastic of the poly bags stays in the loop and keeps its quality. Either by reusing the poly bags or recycling them into new high-quality material. We don’t want to put the burden of recycling the poly bag on our members. Instead, we want to keep the bags in our warehouse and in our loop. By taking off the poly bag before shipping we can create the potential of a waste stream where the poly bags can be reused or recycled into high-quality LDPE material again. 
Interesting fact: The poly bags of Otrium are made out of 100% recycled LDPE. 
Our responsibility 
At Otrium, we’re constantly working on making the fashion industry smarter and less wasteful. It’s our job to keep improving our practices in order to become a more conscious platform. Being aware of the environmental impact of plastics, we want to take responsibility and keep them in the loop. Empowered by our members who expressed their openness to receive items without a poly bag, we want to test ways of plastic-free shipping. 
The purpose of this pilot is to reduce our plastic waste and to get a step closer to closing. We will be removing the poly bag from the items right before shipping them to you. This way we keep the poly bags in our warehouse which makes it possible to reuse or recycle them ourselves. The poly bags we will keep, keep their value since they are recycled with the same type of plastic. This will ensure high-quality plastic recycling.
We will collect customer feedback and evaluate if shipping with a paper envelope is enough coverage to secure the item shipped. Only together with our members, we can figure out new ways of plastic-free shipping and improve our practices. 
Want to know more? Read our FAQ here!

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