We actively look at ways to improve our packaging but it is a very difficult balance of guaranteeing items are delivered together and in good condition, reducing plastic, reducing waste, reducing our impact on the environment and reducing fraudulent activity while retaining a sensible and commercially viable solution for us, our training centres and the end customers.
While, as an absolute minimum, we are compliant with RoHS (Restriction of Hazardous Substances Directive) and the EU Directives that have replaced it, our aim is to go much further and holistically rather than as just a tick box exercise. We strive to find the best and most practical environmentally friendly solution available within certain key constraints such as cost, durability, security etc. and we are regularly monitoring it as part of our policy of continuous improvement.
Over recent years we have increased the amount of recycled packaging we use to 90%; this is down to reusing cardboard packaging from goods we receive for packages we send out to customers.
We’ve been changing, tweaking and removing packaging on items since 2010 as a way to reduce our use of plastic and we’ve had significant success for high volume items such as the Powerboat Level 2 course pack. We have also reconstructed the make-up of our shorebased course packs (i.e. RYA Day Skipper, Coastal Skipper & Yachtmaster Offshore) which has hugely reduced the wastage and thereby the amount of plastic we use.
We either use a Biofilm or a Polycomp material which is essentially made of potato starch so is fully compostable and appears durable enough to be suitable for our needs. It can be disposed of on any compost heap, in a household garden waste bin, a household food waste bin, or you can use it to line your food waste bin. Both materials will degrade in normal household waste bin as well.
We have been using the Polycomp wrapping since the 2019 mid-year reprint of Shorebased course packs (namely DSAP core and assessment parts as well as YMAP core and assessment parts) and look to roll out to other items if successful.
We have also been using a corn starch based material (SH-133) which is very similar to the Polycomp material in the way that it is compostable since 2019.