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Going Plastic-Free For Our Courier Shipments

We’ve been using courier services to deliver our goods, ever since we started business. But the one thing that bugged me was the use of those plastic sleeves to wrap each parcel – they only served one purpose, which was to protect the parcel and hold the consignment note while in transit, and after that it would be torn or cut open, and discarded. I thought they were a compulsory requirement from our courier companies – until someone showed me how they shipped their parcel via PosLaju, without any fuss from the staff when there was no outer plastic sleeve. What a revelation!

So this is what we’re going to do, from now on:

  • All our parcels will be going out in kraft or manila paper envelopes or cardboard boxes, with our items wrapped and protected with paper GEAMI wrap.
  • We will forgo using the outer plastic sleeves that courier services provide us.
  • We are replacing cellophane tape with paper tape.

And yes, we’ll still be able to hold our consignment notes to the odd-shaped envelopes, without relying on clear plastic windows.

Here’s how we’ll do it, and you can follow along too!

Step 1: Gather your materials

You will need:

  • An envelope, roomy enough to fit your item(s) in and wide enough to accommodate your courier’s consignment note / airway bill,
  • Scrap paper
  • Scissors
  • Good quality glue

Step 2: Make paper corners

Cut 2 strips of paper, about 2 x 4 fingers wide. They need to be fairly wide, in order to hold your consignment note securely on the envelope.

Fold each end down to make a 90º angle in the middle of the strip. This is your paper corner.

Cap diagonally-opposing corners of your consignment note with your paper corners, if you are only using 2. Otherwise, cap all 4 corners.

Step 3: Position your consignment note on envelope, glue down paper corners

Step 4: Insert contents and seal envelope

…et voilà, your plastic-free parcel is ready to go!

Also, it would be a good idea to write your addressee’s details directly onto the envelope, and include the courier’s consignment note number too.

We’ll do the same paper corner trick with our parcels that go out in boxes, or at least glue the whole consignment note down onto the parcel and cap the corners where the duplicates open up, just to make sure the paper doesn’t flap around during transit.

I hope this gives you an idea of how you too can go plastic-free with your shipments. 🙂

2 thoughts on “Going Plastic-Free For Our Courier Shipments

  1. Interesting how different minds think.

    For me, being from the pre-plastic bag era, I always had in my mind that anything being sent from a Post Office had to be wrapped in brown Kraft paper. So from the time we set up business in Penang in 2009, that is exactly what we did. Every online order was dutifully packed in a box and carefully wrapped in Kraft paper. We purchased a big stock of the stuff and had custom cardboard boxes made.

    It is only in the past few months that a few orders are now being shipped by our staff in the PosLaju plastic envelopes. With the volume of orders being shipped these days, the staff finds the PosLaju plastic envelopes a lot quicker.

    I need to re-examine this and encourage staff to go back to Kraft paper. I think it is a nicer experience for the recipients of our orders.

    Thanks for the reminder Michelle

    1. Hi Mike, I’m really glad to hear that you’ll be getting your staff to go back to using kraft paper as wrapping! 🙂 And as the boss, you can insist on this being the standard practice, and not merely make it a suggestion. We’re probably going to return all those plastic sleeves to our courier company too.

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