As much as possible, the Tinkerbox uses non-new packaging. Since I don't commission packaging, what I use isn't uniform but it's functional and it can be pretty: received packaging, unwanted envelopes, clean packing paper, and even rolls of unwanted children's drawing paper.
I have considered plastic-free (i.e., paper) alternatives but even though paper is technically recyclable, the recycling ecosystem is flawed and I figure I don't need to introduce packaging into the environment each time I send out an order.
I'm proud to be part of The Sustainability Project's Zero Waste Packaging Initiative to save 66,000 new pieces of packaging from entering the packaging stream by 2025.
In 2022, Singapore generated 7.39m tones of solid waste and according to the NEA (Singapore's National Environmental Agency), "Packaging waste, including plastics, makes up about one-third of domestic waste" – 620 million kilograms.
Bio-degradable or compostable options typically require industrial facilities to break down. "Greener" packaging options are more expensive yet still ultimately in landfill. Single-use still requires scarce resources to produce, and resources to incinerate with energy recovery.
We can reuse green packaging, but we can reuse any packaging and that's what I choose.
If you have special packaging requirements, I'm happy to think creatively and do what I can.