#12 Sustainable Packaging & Shipping Solutions For Ecommerce Brands - on a Budget!

Find us: 
Where to find Packhelp:

Packhelp - Website

Where to find Zuzanna Mazurek:

Zuzanna Mazurek - Email: zuzanna.mazurek@packhelp.com

Where to find Byrd:

Byrd - Website

Where to find Sinem Yazici:

Sinem Yazici - Email: sinem.yazici@getbyrd.com

Links Mentioned in Episode:

Indie Do Good

DHL - Go Green Solutions
DPD - Sustainability at DPDGroup
GLS - KlimaProtect

Luminia Tandem


Krissie Leyland  0:00
Hello, and welcome to the MindfulCommerce Podcast, a place where we talk to ecommerce brands and service providers and developers who care about protecting our planet. I'm Krissie.

Rich Bunker  0:11 

And I'm Rich, and we're your hosts. This podcast is an extension of the MindfulCommerce Community.

Krissie Leyland  0:18 

The MindfulCommerce Community is a safe place for ecommerce brands and experts to connect, collaborate and explore opportunities to work together to unleash the power of ecommerce as a force for good.

Rich Bunker  0:30 

You can join by going to mindfulcommerce.io and clicking 'Community'. See you there!

Krissie Leyland  0:37 

Hello, and welcome to another episode of The MindfulCommerce Podcast. So today, you'll be hearing a replay of a special panel event that we did in April. This event was all about sustainable packaging and shipping. The reason why we chose this subject is because as always, we polled the MindfulCommerce community. The biggest topic or challenge that they had on their mind at that time, was how to package and ship their products in the most environmentally friendly way. So we thought, "right, we're gonna get some experts to talk about this so that our community members can learn and ask questions." And and that's exactly what we did! So we speak to two experts. First, we speak to Zuzanna from Packhelp, and they provide custom designed packaging solutions for ecommerce brands. Then, we speak to Sinem from Byrd. Byrd is an ecommerce fulfillment company. So that's the perfect blend, we thought! So if you have any questions after listening to this event podcast, please feel free to find Zuzanna and Sinem's contact details in the show notes or join the MindfulCommerce Community to carry on the conversation. We will also be adding a handy guide on this subject to the MindfulCommerce Education Hub. So be sure to check that out for more tips. I'll link it to the show notes, of course. So thank you very much and enjoy!

Zuzanna Mazurek  2:21 

My name is Zuzanna Mazurek and I'm going to briefly tell you what I do at the Packhelp. So at Packhelp, we have this creator where you can design & personalize your own packaging and that's my responsibility. We also have this feature for eco friendly, eco minded people. You can add any kind of icon or symbol related to sustainability and also you can plant trees with us. So that's pretty cool.

Just a few things about my agenda: So I'm going to talk about making your packaging sustainable, about eco properties... so what's really important, and the third point: are inspirations. I'm going to skip this part where I explain why sustainability is such an important topic. I know that since you voted for this topic, then you must know that already. I'm just going to give you very quickly, a short statistic that I read in many different reports: that almost half of the population worldwide pays attention to information about packaging, if it's sustainable or not. They're looking for some information. So that's why I think it's very important to have sustainable packaging, and also to share the message that you have sustainable packaging.

So first point: how to make your packaging sustainable. You can follow two different paths. The first path is that you use something that is already on the market, available. Both ways have advantages and disadvantages. But this one, is very convenient in a way that you can check some kind of reviews online on this package. You can actually read the opinions from end customers how they liked the packaging, if it's strong or durable, these kind of things. But also there is another path you can follow: So it's ordering something custom made for you. Well, I think this path is very exciting because you can invent something totally new. But on the other hand, it's riskier, because you have to put effort & invest money. The result, you can't really predict. Also you have to bear in mind that regulations regarding disposal are changing. So that's why I think it's riskier, but also, when you follow the second path and you get something custom made for you, then it's also connected to some kind of publicity. So a lot of different newspapers can write about you & your packaging can go viral. So I think that's, that's pretty cool. So both ways, very attractive. You just have to choose something for you.

Then, there are several strategies how to achieve sustainability in packaging. But the very important point is that sustainability is not just one moment. It's the whole supply chain. So you have to think about sourcing, manufacturing, distribution, use an end of life. So the whole life cycle. That's why there is a term we call "life cycle analysis". So you analyze the sustainability in the whole supply chain. It's basically your responsibility, it's up to you how your packaging is going to end up: if it's going to be disposed properly, or if it's going to be recycled and used again. You as a business or business owner, you have to decide about that. This circle you see on my slide shows this kind of circular strategy to packaging. However, you can use different strategies. For example: use fewer materials. That's a bit easier, because circular economy is still something we are working on but still, there is much to be done in this field. But using fewer materials, it could be actually a solution for you. Another strategy is sourcing alternative materials. So, search for something that is not made of petroleum. Another way is finding multiple uses for your packaging, you can also improve practices in the whole supply chain so as I said, delivery & storage. The last point, I think that's something pretty cool: once you follow this sustainable path, you can share your eco friendly approach with your customers.

So now going to my second point. I'm going to tell you about free eco properties that I personally think that are important. The first is certified wood. This is a certification that shows that your packaging, if it's made of paper, or cardboard, that the pulp comes from responsibly managed forests and meals. There are actually three types of these certifications. So it could be 100%, meaning that it totally comes from this well managed forest. If it's a mix, then obviously it's a mix. And recycled means that it's recycled, but that it still comes from these well managed forests. So this kind of certification, I think it's really important and it's also worldwide known. So I am pretty sure everyone has seen it somewhere on some of packaging. The certification is just a simple sign that this cardboard or paper comes from well managed forests. So that's important. Also, another one plastic free, as you know, plastic is something that really, first of all, has bad publicity. Second of all, you know, it contributes to marine waste. That's a huge topic and nowadays. You can avoid petroleum based plastics, either by using cardboard, or you can actually go for some plastics that are not based on petroleum, for example those that are made of starch. So here, you will usually see these two terms that something is compostable or biodegradable. And you have to bear in mind that those things are two different things. So a lot of customers they actually think that if they put in their your garbage, something that is compostable, it will compost in their garbage and it's not true. Usually, it has to land in some kind of industrial facility for composting.

For volume reduction, that's something that is probably quite easy. It doesn't require a lot of money and it's simple. You just have to use something that is lighter, smaller than your usual packaging. I had this conversation with my friend at work yesterday, actually, that sometimes you just receive a tiny, tiny product, but it's packed in this huge cardboard box. And you think, "Oh, my God, somebody who just shipped me, across the whole country, for example, a box of air!" and that doesn't make sense, because it always takes your money, and also CO2 to ship something is empty. So that's why I think it's something that can be easily made and it will lower definitely our co2 emissions.

If I may give you just one hint: it's to do your own research. It's very important to find what is important to you, what are your values, and what kind of properties you want to follow. Also, if you're selling something globally, not only in one country, you have to know that the rules are regional, so the disposal rules are different in every country.

For the inspirations, I have two examples. One is kind of an innovation. The second thing are two different packages that were actually our products from Packhelp, and you can see them later. So for the innovation, I have this mycelium. I don't know if you have ever heard of that. That's an innovative material and so there is still much to do about this material. It's not very popular nowadays yet but it's organic. So it doesn't contribute to marine waste. It's a massive reduction of carbon emissions and you don't need a lot of energy to produce it. And the funny thing is that this material is made of mushrooms. In order to produce it, you have to grow mushroom in this special form, it takes five days. So I mean, it depends on the mushroom, definitely, but you need at least five days. It grows in this form, then you have to kill the mushroom, you take the form and it will stay in this form. I think it's a very interesting material. As you can see in the pictures, you can, for example, ship a glass bottle in it, or cosmetics. This material is very durable and strong. I heard that there are companies that are making buildings out of mycelium and also a lot of very fancy furniture. So, a very interesting material and I think it's the future for packaging.I also know that IKEA is working on this mycelium packaging in order to replace the plastic forms that they use.

So the green inspirations that I prepared for you, refer to the strategies I discussed before. So first one, you can see that it's cardboard. It's not a very big box, right? We don't know what is inside. But also you can see that on one side, one wall of the packaging, it's written "You just planted 10 trees." So you can actually plant trees in order to reforest what it took. Basically, when you use cardboard, you use trees so you can plant trees in order to pay back. That's one strategy, and also in the other picture, you can see packaging that is very simple. It's paper but it's very light and also quite small, right? So you can see that it's not very innovative but it's not going to cost you a lot of money. Since it's very simple and very light, it's cost effective. In the shipment process, if it's durable, and you can make it durable, then it's going to be very effective. You just send you know the product in a very small pouch, and it goes to your customer. Also, as you can see, they're both good looking. So it's not only about sustainability, but also it keeps a great opening experience for your customers. That will be all from me. As you can see my email, so if you want, you can always email me with questions, or we can go request questions right now.

Ayesha Mutiara  15:54 

Wow, thank you so much. That was so interesting! I used to make fun of my brother a lot because he didn't like mushrooms and I'm going to tell him this was one more reason that he shouldn't be more of a fan. I would have never thought. It's great that it seems to be durable. It's just five days of growing mushrooms. That's so cool. But everything else was really, really insightful, like the viral packaging like Krissie said. I think we have a few questions. Does anyone else want to ask any questions? The floor would be yours now.

Maria  16:31 

I am not sure if I can ask a quick question... So Zuzanna, my name is Maria and I'm from Bezos. Just to give a quick overview, at Bezos we partner with ecommerce sellers, and we help them to fulfill and send their orders. So sometimes we also arrange packaging for them. Right now we're also working on a more sustainable delivery through cargo bikes, and I'm looking as well into packaging. As I was looking into packaging, I actually found out that the extraction process of the cardboard is far more emmissions, then of plastic and petroleum. I was shocked, because I was also thinking, "oh, but surely cardboard must be the most unsafe, sustainable!" I was wondering if you could help me understand why, at the end of the day, is cardboard still more sustainable? If the extraction, in terms of tonnes, is almost 10 times higher than the one from from plastic?

Zuzanna Mazurek  17:28 

Thanks for this question. It's a difficult one. It refers to this "lifecycle analysis" I was talking about. If you think about the whole process, not just one part of it, you can clearly see that there are so many variables to think of. So if you think just about CO2, then probably plastic is better than cardboard. But if you think about the end of the life, then cardboard is something that is organic. So even if your customer, when he stops using this packaging, for example, if this customer doesn't dispose properly, like he just puts it on the streetor anywhere, then this cardboard cardboard is organic, and it will just simply compost, right? If it's plastic, that's the problem, right? Because as we know, we have these huge islands of plastic in the ocean. While it's always a choice that you have to make, like I said do your own research and find what's important to you. Because maybe it's marine life or maybe it's CO2.... You always have to make choices. It's always a trade off, unfortunately. You can't find something that is perfect, not yet.

Maria  18:55 

Let's hope that the research will lead to better materials, then!

Zuzanna Mazurek  19:01 

You also asked why it's cardboard that's so popular and not plastic. Well, I think it's mostly because of the fact that cardboard is used mostly for shipping, right? And it's just a better material than plastic because plastic is a strong material, but I think it could break. You know, when when it's shipped then it could break while cardboard is strong, but it's also flexible. So it's just more about properties for shipping. That the purpose

Maria  19:44 

Thank you. I'll definitely look into the disposal of packaging a bit more. Thank you.

Ayesha Mutiara  19:50 

Thank you, Maria, for that great question.

Zuzanna Mazurek  19:52 

Yeah, it's a very important question.

Ayesha Mutiara  19:55 

It's always like that. The questions that most interest us don't always have a clear cut answer.

Zuzanna Mazurek  20:01 

There are there are no answers like that, unfortunately, in sustainability.

Ayesha Mutiara  20:05 

Yes, and you explained the reality pretty well. I think it seems we have another question from Luminia (Tandem): "Would you know any Miss mycelium packaging supplier in Canada or the USA?"

Zuzanna Mazurek  20:16 

Oh that's a difficult question. So I'm definitely not an expert in suppliers so I can't tell you the names. I've done some research on that and if you just type on Google: "mycelium packaging", you will find few different names of companies who produce it. And you just have to check it because honestly, I have no idea. I'm in Europe so it's also quite difficult for me to name a company.

Ayesha Mutiara  20:51  

Here's a suggestion that maybe you can give: while she's searching for potential suppliers, would there be specific things you would suggest for them to look out for, like maybe on the website, that would help them decide which of the suppliers are the best fit for them?

Zuzanna Mazurek  21:08  

Well, I know from my net, from my experience, but for my colleagues experience that what do you have to look for is if they are able to ship it to you. Sometimes, there are like many problems with shipping. So I would look for some company that is in near proximity from you, not far away. That's I think one thing. Other than that, nothing comes to my mind, but definitely how easy it is to ship to you. Yeah, that's all. Some of them, they sell like ready made products and you can also find like Do It Yourself kit. So I think that's quite exciting if you can grow your packaging by yourself.

Ayesha Mutiara  21:55 

Oh, that's so cool and I think Steven (Clift) just shared a link. So thank you, Steven that's really awesome. We're all very appreciative for you to share your knowledge. Does anyone have any other questions for Zuzanna's Q&A, before we move on to the next portion? Or she did an amazing job and already answered all your questions in our presentation it seems!

Zuzanna Mazurek  22:18  

You can always send me an email.

Ayesha Mutiara  22:22 

Great. Well, thank you very much, Zuzanna! I think now, we will move on to Sinem. So please introduce yourself and let us know what you'll be speaking about today.

Sinem Yazici  22:31 

Hi, thanks a lot. So, I'm happy to be a part of this. Basically, I was mentioned by Packhelp. It was a great time for us as well at Byrd. Just from our side, we are a ecommerce fulfillment shipping company and I'm leading the strategy and partnerships at Byrd. Just a quick background on basically what is outsourced fulfillment & what is ecommerce fulfillment: We basically help ecommerce merchants for their warehousing picking, packing, shipping and returns handling procedures. So as we have discussed or as Zuzanna has touched base on: packaging is an important aspect of how to position the brand as well as shipping because these touch points are the only physical touch points when it comes to ecommerce and when it comes to online shopping. These touch points also have a great impact on the sustainability footprint or CO2 footprint or generally, environmental footprint that you have in your brand. So in order to make it as consistent as possible through the whole supply chain it is important to look into. At Byrd we are basically covering the Europe region at the moment, with worldwide shipping of course, but our operations mainly focus in Europe. We basically cover inventory management and order management for it.

I just want to give you a brief information on our sustainability journey and basically what we have lived with sustainability and went through. So as Zuzanna also mentioned, a statistic that 79% of the consumers reported that it's important for them that the brands provide transparency, authenticity, and certifications when they are purchasing the goods. So it is becoming more and more important for buyers, thankfully, and basically from a supply chain perspective, it's good to give that understanding. So there's the warehousing part. So like, there's the production part, which we don't basically look at, but we are looking at the warehousing, picking, packing and shipping part of the thing. So if you think of Byrd or a fulfillment company, there is the company's overall emmissions. The dashboard and server use, and there's the warehouse, and also shipping. So there are three pillars actually in carbon neutrality or sustainability. Those are the areas to improve, if you look into it that way. What we did, basically, was looking into it from our company perspective.

So I don't know if you're familiar with Planetly, but they basically provide some options for consultancy for merchants, and also companies to calculate their CO2 emissions. Basically they consultant them to reduce and enable them to offset these emissions. So what we have done with Planetly is that we made sure that we calculated our overall office carbon emissions. In 2020, we basically submitted a offsetting project with them in two different areas, one of them in Netherlands and one of them in Indonesia, to make sure that we are basically offsetting it. I think that's a start. So basically, from the supply chain perspective, like Zuzanna said, there is no perfect solution. So, you start with offsetting projects, you start with reducing the carbon emissions and then move towards carbon neutrality. Also for for your brand from production side and the materials that are used side, it is the same so you you basically start step by step, and it is the same for shipping, as well.

Basically, the one pillar we had was the office emissions, the other warehouse emissions, and then the last was the shipping emissions. On the warehouse ones, we tried to compensate it with sort of three plantations for the 2020 period as well for our customers. For the overall project basically, for our offices but this will cover the servers that you're using &  all the external providers like Google Cloud, Amazon cloud that we're using, or whichever cloud based system it is, and how much emission we are actually causing in these terms. There are lots of different calculation points we analyze. Together with Planetly, we had 321 data points for us, and we basically offseted it with two different projects. And this journey depends and differs for every company & every merchant. In terms of what today is for fulfillment and and shipping, offsetting is the best solution and basically that's what we are working on as well for the next years too.

I will come to the shipping options. Basically this is what we also provide and I think it's useful for merchants to understand that shipping sustainably is an important aspect at the moment DHL ,DPD & GLS provide Climate Neutral shipping options. With DPD it comes directly with the contract. With DHL gogreen, you pay a surcharge of additional cents per parcel. And with GLS, it comes automatically as well. These are the options that are available in Europe. And there are other options across the world as well to enable and make sure that there are sustainable shipping options. Fulfillment providers also use these sustainable shipping options. With this said, I think this is a stat from Germany, but with the next generation, the millennials say that companies influence their purchase decisions and they would choose environmentally friendly shipping, rather than paying less for it. So it is something thankfully that we are as a society are getting more conscious about and we are providing these options for brands to make sure that the proposition is also eco friendly.

I think one other thing I can add is, basically this is just a start to a journey in general. We are working with Packhelp, as well as other partners like Planetly, to make this journey as full as possible. So we are working with Packhelp on a deal that we can offer to our clients: a sustainable package deal that we can offer to to our customers & to our to the merchants, so that it's basically easier for them to opt in for that option. I basically tried to summarize key takeaways for any merchant to start their sustainable shipping journey. So in order to understand the demand, talk and have a conversation with your end user. You need to make sure that you have sustainable shipping options, especially if you have an eco friendly brand. Basically shipping and packaging is the last and only physical touch point that you have with your consumers so that's a very important aspect. Outsourcing fulfillment: if you have sort of like grown out, so we don't recommend outsourcing fulfillment, if you were having less than 100 shipments per month. But outsourcing fulfillment helps automate the processes and increases efficiency and therefore, it is more efficient to outsource and look out for a fulfillment service if you are growing and working on growth. And one other point is that other than choosing the sustainable shipping options, is decentralizing the inventory. This also helps because then there will be again, more energy saved on custom clearances and high shipping costs and for a long haul. For example, if you're a US brand, and are selling also in the EU, let's say 40% of your merchants are in EU, having your warehouse set up in the EU as well will help you with the CO2 emissions and the efficiency as well since you wouldn't have to ship your goods or use air freight for getting your goods across to Europe every time you have a delivery from your end user. That's basically a wrap for the key takeaways. I kept it a bit short but I'm happy to have questions and I will also post my email as well in the chat.

Ayesha Mutiara  33:39  

Wow, thank you. That was a great presentation. Did I see a question that was asked?Krissie did you have one before the outsourcing fulfillment one that you might want to ask?

Krissie Leyland  33:50  

Yes, it was actually me! So have you thought about green last mile? As in, partnering with people who do that?

Sinem Yazici  33:58  

Green last mile meaning the shipping options I provided? Or is there something I'm missing?

Krissie Leyland  34:07 

I know that Bezos offer a green last mile solution. So perhaps they're the guy on a bike who cycles to do the last mile and delivers to three houses on the same street or something like that to save the vehicle driving to each individual location. I just wondered if you've considered that yourself or if you could maybe partner with someone who's doing it?

Sinem Yazici  34:41 

We are partnering with different last mile delivery companies ,in that sense. As I said, all the deliveries that we do with DHL, DPD & GLS are carbon neutral. So I think that those are green last mile delivery in that sense itself because it is carbon neutral and that that is the offering. I think there are amazing different options with last mile delivery with using pack stations or basically using bicycles. I know there's a couple of other startups also in Berlin. They'reusing just public transportation, basically to deliver. In terms of that question from you again, Krissie: at what point should you consider outsourcing or fulfillment? That is also related to that, because when you have higher volumes, then it might not be possible to deliver with bicycles and public transportation for such brands. But then you would use more shipping options with go green availability. I think that depends, but for outsourced fulfillment I read 200 shipments per month is useful. For Bezos, I had a chat, Maria, with one of your colleagues, Diego I think, like a month ago. I think it's basically everywhere that that's what we're going for, and that makes me happy to to hear: that everyone is basically looking for the same goal for the sustainability efforts.

Krissie Leyland  36:34  

Amazing. Thank you.

Ayesha Mutiara  36:36 

Yes, great. Does anyone else have any questions for Sinem?

Krissie Leyland  36:40 

Oh, I think it's more of a comment, Steve, feel free to speak up!

Steven Clift  36:43  

Sure. Well, I can I can turn this into a question. So I've done some research on to recommend to a GoodCarts' member's stores, potential providers in this space in the United States. There's Indie Do Good, which is the one local one here in Twin Cities where I'm at in Minneapolis, St. Paul. But I haven't yet found a sustainably branded sort of nationwide network and there may be issues related to scale. I'm just curious to hear if you have any comments on that, about folks in the US or Canada that are doing some similar things? Future count competitors or collaborators for you?

Sinem Yazici  37:20  

Actually, we had sort of goal and the aim to expand to us beginning of 2020. With COVID, unfortunately, we had to put our expansion on hold. We have some partners in US at the moment we're working with. The US is a huge country and I think that's why maybe in Europe, it's easier to find a solution. So maybe that's why providers do not or cannot offer these solutions. Our reason for freezing it was basically us not being able to provide the service we wanted to begin with. I can look it up and definitely let you know if there are any interesting companies doing that in the US.

Steven Clift  38:17 

We have a lot of waste here... so there's lots of opportunity! I also have a related question. This is like a pie in the sky thing butthink about all the local shops say in the of Fairtrade community. Like there's just like one or two stores, probably in each metro area, maybe a few more. I always thought, well, if there was some way that somebody could just know "Oh, that's on the shelf in your town in a small local business!" You know, have a be fulfilled from a local vendor. Is there anything that sort of like tries to connect the catalogs of multiple small shops, that are already there. They're not warehouses, but they might have a niche product available? Does that ring a bell? I've not I've not researched it so it's just been on my mind.

Sinem Yazici  39:03  

You mean, a channel from local shops and linking that to the ecommerce and enabling that to them?

Steven Clift  39:10  

Yeah, so basically, any small business that has some inventory. In theory, someone from their region was looking for that product. You know, there had to be obviously, a massive connection, this could be a Shopify thing, maybe down the road, but something where if you realize, "Oh, I can get that scarf... here. I actually don't need to ship it from Madagascar, or wherever it might be." You know, the whoever has it needs to make some of that money. They're not just a warehouse, fulfilling for someone else, they would want a cut. But I just wondered if anyone's ever looked at you know, ways to do that.

Sinem Yazici  39:46  

That's a great idea!

Steven Clift  39:49  

Yeah. Uh-oh! Shhh... let's work on it ourselves then!

Ayesha Mutiara  39:57 

I mean, it's great for the environment of course, when you're not emitting as much CO2. But also, I feel like that'd be very interesting for the customer, because the shipping is probably less, if there's any shipping at all. So yeah, that is lovely. Thank you for bringing that up. I think that gives us a lot to think about.

Krissie Leyland  40:16

Shopify do have their shop pay, so you can actually like log on the app. And as a customer, you can find all the local stores in that app. So perhaps still missing something. Maybe it should be at checkout.

Ayesha Mutiara  40:33  

Maybe the inventory, like knowing for sure, 100% "Oh, they have one available for you" might be a little bit more difficult, but at the very least knowing that it is available, so that you can at least get in contact with that more local or regional provider. And you could at least get in contact with them and ask them, "Is there any availability? Can I purchase it? When are you restocking?" Things like that. So that could be very, very cool.

Steven Clift  40:58  

Maybe there's a fair trade wholesaler that will figure out that their products is in 60 cities, and maybe can figure out how to get more business, right?

Ayesha Mutiara  41:10  

Especially in a country as big as the USA, and a country that I feel like has everything too. So it's very likely that's something you're looking for on the other side of the country actually might just be within your state, even so that's cool!

Steven Clift  41:24 

Very decentralized.

Krissie Leyland  41:27  

I've been calling him a genius!

Sinem Yazici  41:29  

I like the idea.

Ayesha Mutiara  41:32  

You know, I hope that the expansion to the US comes sooner than later. We're sure the American public would love to be working with Byrd sometime soon. Definitely. I also loved how you talked about your project and related to Indonesia, because I'm actually originally Indonesian. So that touched me and made me very, very happy.

Sinem Yazici  41:58

Yeah, that was one of the projects we were really interested in. Basically, the Borneo rain forest reforestation was one of the projects that we used. I really got excited about the overall Planetly collaboration that we did as well.

Ayesha Mutiara  42:16 

Actually, I'm originally Indonesian, but I haven't lived there for the majority of my life. And one of the first times I really started caring about, like sustainable practices, and the environment was actually going on vacation to Indonesia. There were two situations. Once, I went hiking on a mountain but then last minute, my family had to change plans. Apparently, they went to that mountain when they were children and loved it. But nowadays, it's just become so trash ridden with trash that people who hike bring, and then the packaging, the waste is just abandoned on the mountain. So we went ended up going to a different location. Then another time I went to a beach that apparently had so much waste washed up on shore... it was just an immense amount that the locals have even completely given up on picking up all that trash. In their eyes, there's no point because every time they pick something up, there's just more. It's unfortunate that it's gotten to the point where it feels so irreversible, that people have stopped trying. So I love any effort that contributes to helping Indonesia. So that's lovely. Does anyone else have any last questions for Sinem after I've been rambling?

Steven Clift  43:32  

I do have one Indonesia comment. So I showed earlier a link about gangs in Indonesia that are importing plastics from the United States and dumping them on towns. So that whole "end of life" thing, it's a real deal. Now that China no longer takes all the you know, basically West Coast plastics, the West Coast and the US are shipping them wherever they can, because we don't, they don't have the capacity to actually process the plastics on the coast because it was cheaper to ship it away. In Minnesota, we actually process our own plastic here, and you can buy like furniture made from local plastics. But anyway, it's Indonesia has now become like a real target.

Ayesha Mutiara  44:12  

So these gangs are being paid to just dump it in Indonesia, basically?

Steven Clift  44:16  

They're buying it and maybe it's an illegal business right? You know, they might not be your gangs on motorcycles. So think about it in terms of like organized crime where they can buy the plastic and then the way they recycle it is basically they dispose of it illegally in parts of Indonesia. That's what the article suggests. It's from Vice. And it's earlier in the chat. I happened to share it because, you know, it's just a really scary headline for me. I see a lot of bad things, but the idea that organized crime has figured out how to make money on dumping plastic on vulnerable parts of the world is... wow.

Zuzanna Mazurek  44:52 

Yeah also, if I might add to this topic, sometimes I know that plastic is also incinerated, which means burnt. And in many countries, these facilities, they don't have any standards. Basically, it's air pollution. So a lot of communities, they don't have clean air because of the plastic that is just simply burnt with any filters. It's terrible.

Krissie Leyland  45:24

And then we have e waste as well, which is a whole other thing.

Zuzanna Mazurek  45:27  

Oh, e waste. That's also very interesting topic, I think.

Ayesha Mutiara  45:32  

A potential other theme for another meetup sometime!

Krissie Leyland  45:37

I was gonna say at least, you know, we can get together and talk about these things. Build awareness and figure out some ways to tackle it together. So yeah, thank you everyone, for including your own voice in the conversation. It's been very interesting. And also, thank you as well to our lovely speakers! Brilliant. I love it. I love it all.

Ayesha Mutiara  45:59 

Yes, thank you again to Zuzanna and Sinem and for everyone who came today. We will send a follow up email to you. Lastly, I will share the link for the next event if you would like to carry on this conversation. And yes, if you haven't yet sign up to our community and you somehow joined onto the this event, there's more like this coming! So maybe that would interest you. But yes, without further ado, thank you everyone! Have a great, great, great evening. We were so delighted to have you all. It was our pleasure.

Krissie Leyland  46:31  

Thank you.

Zuzanna Mazurek  46:32
Thank you.

Sinem Yazici  46:34  

Thank you!

Rich Bunker  46:36  

We hope you enjoyed the episode today. If you did, you would probably like being in our community. There's a whole host of exciting things going on.

Krissie Leyland  46:43  

So don't forget to join by going to mindfulcommerce.io click on "Community" and register from there.

Rich Bunker  46:49 

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