Can I return my box for re-use?
The short answer is: yes please!
We love it when you return your packaging - not just your boxes - for re-use!
Some examples of how we re-use packaging are:
- Returned boxes get reused to package orders until they reach the end of their life and then they are recycled - we don’t mind if you flatten them for storage in-between RFG delivery days, as the team will re-assemble them.
- Returned plastic milk bottles are used to package our worm wee from our worm farms!
- Returned glass jars are sanitised and used to package our dry bulk goods.
- Returned rubber bands are sent back to the farmer to re-use for bunching herbs, carrots and beetroot - we are happy to take any and all rubber bands, even if they weren’t supplied by us, as we will find a use for them!
The easiest way to reduce your carbon footprint is to simply buy items with little to no packaging. The saying is ‘reduce, reuse, recycle’, and there is a reason reduce is the first step. While reusing and then recycling are great steps, reducing first means that there is simply less (or no) waste!
Returning items helps us to close the loop, reducing waste sent to landfill, and relies less on practices like recycling that can be inefficient or costly. According to Clean Up Australia, over 5 million tonnes of packaging were used in Australia in the year to June 2018. Only half was recycled after use - the remainder ended up in landfill, in our waterways, or scattered across our land.
Styro Boxes WITH lids can also be returned in the same way as our cardboard boxes. While they’re not our branded boxes, these styro boxes usually come to us from our farmers to package produce, and we re-use them to minimise their environmental impact. We are more than happy to re-collect these and re-use them, as unfortunately polystyrene packaging can't be recycled. Styro boxes without lids, or with broken lids or broken bases unfortunately cannot be returned, as we can’t re-use these!
How do you return jars and other packaging?
Just leave it all out for us in your returnable box on your next delivery day. Unfortunately, we cannot arrange to pick up packaging if you do not have an order with us, the fossil fuels used for this extra stop outweigh the environmental benefits of the re-used items (especially as the amount of packaging we use is so low) .
We ask that you consider the environment when you choose what to do with these items instead, and reuse whatever you can before recycling the rest.
Is re-using packaging "food safe"?
For customers with high level allergies we always provide new, and not reused, cartons. Everyone else will get a mixture of new and re-used cartons over their time using our service.
We use common sense when re-using boxes and throw out any that are dirty.
You should also be washing your fresh produce - it's so essential. You have to remember that food is grown in dirt, and that even your fridge at home is not sterile - so right before you use it, wash it. Bacteria like lysteria only take 20 minutes to gather on produce like lettuce - so pre-washing items far in advance isn't the best food safety practice either.
When we re-use jars to package bulk dry goods, we wash them according to the highest food standards.