Improving the sustainability of packaging
From 2008 onwards we started reviewing our packaging methods. We were given free, useful, advice along the way by wrap (http://www.wrap.org.uk).
The most important thing is getting the stove or flue pipe there unharmed - if we can improve this then waste is really reduced because if there is damage then we usually have to send out a replacement and there is an extra delivery too.
A lot of the changes which could be made also result in some savings, for example using recycled pallets where we can instead of new ones. For bulk fill will have a corrugating machine which means we can use the cardboard packaging on incoming deliveries for bulk fill. We do in rare cases use bubble wrap, and so we use a biodegradeable version.
For a year or so we trialed paper parcel tape. It tends to not be quite as strong as plastic parcel tape. Eventually we found a type of tape that was both easy to use, and quite strong, for most items where the tape is not under great strain it seems ideal. We are now using this tape by default and have also had a custom Fragile tape printed up for us.
We trialed biodegradeable shrink wrap - but it was not strong enough for our needs so we still do this using plastic shrink wrap, but will continue to try alternatives as they appear on the market.