Grasmere Gingerbread® declares war on plastic

Harrison Ward with his paper-based packaging

Historic Lake District food manufacturer replaces 95 % plastic wrapping with biodegradable paper

GRASMERE® Gingerbread has phased out 95 % of its plastic bubble wrap on mail order deliveries.

“It was a deliberate and conscious decision to bring this side of our business into line with our practice of being as environmentally responsible as we possibly can,” said Joanne Hunter, co-owner.

Grasmere Gingerbread® produces very little rubbish and even sells excess crumbs from its baking process to raise money for conservation projects in Cumbria.

However, growing national and international awareness about the detrimental impact of plastic on the environment made it seek a less damaging alternative to bubble wrap.

“Bubble wrap is a very efficient way of protecting orders,” explained Joanne.

“But after seeing heart-breaking images of birds, whales and sea turtles drowned in plastic I felt we had to phase it out. We consciously don’t use plastic in any other part of our operation.”

Harrison Ward, Mail Order Manager, has now replaced bubble wrap with a 100 % recyclable and biodegradable paper-based packaging called Geami which has a padded honeycomb structure.

It is sourced from woodlands certified by the Forest Stewardship Council (FSC).

“It means that when customers receive a package both the cardboard box and wrapping can be either re-used by them or sent off for recycling,” he explained.

“I am currently sourcing a paper-based tape for sealing parcels instead of normal sticky tape and I’m trying to find an even stronger biodegradable wrapping for the 5 % of particularly delicate items that we send out.”

Some eco-conscious customers have even asked about the famous parchment paper used to hand-wrap Grasmere Gingerbread®.

“Like Geami, this is sourced from forests endorsed by the FSC and it is 100 % recyclable,” said Harrison.

Grasmere Gingerbread® is an active campaigner and fund-raiser for conservation charities in the region.

Bags of Grasmere Gingerbread® crumbs are sold with £1 going towards the conservation charity Nurture Lakeland.

Chocolate Dippers – chocolate lollipops in bags of crumbs – also raise money for Cumbria Wildlife Trust with 20p from every sale going to the charity that manages over 40 nature reserves in the county.

Thousands of pounds have been raised this way.

“We can’t change the world but we can pro-actively make procurement choices that help to keep our operation as sustainable as possible and our corner of the planet healthy,” added Joanne.