My bi-weekly shipments of coffee from Lancaster PA's Passenger usually come in a plain cardboard box. You know, the brown kind that you can fold up and put in the recycling bin.
But my most recent shipment came in an oddly sturdy black box that was made of this corrugated plastic-y cardboard material. (OK, I just did some research, and found that the material is corrugated polypropylene sheets.)
Once open, the box introduced itself as Boox, a reusable box company. If I sent back the box to Boox, they'd reuse the box and I'd get a discount code from Passenger.
I like trying new things so I took them up on it. I flattened the box and slapped the prepaid shipping label on the front. Then I went to the blue USPS drop box near my apartment and crammed it in past the little steel anti-theft teeth they started putting in those blue boxes recently. It barely made it in, so who knows if I damaged it beyond reusable-ness. Hopefully it's on its way to California.
Which brings me to the true sustainability of this. On the Boox site, they say:
Boox reduces your environmental impact by 75% compared to single-use packaging. It's science, people! 👩🔬
Consumers (esp. Millennials) are choosing brands based on environmental impact. Boox helps your brand meet its goals and stand out from the crowd.
Which sure, but I can't tell if this take into account the environmental impact of me shipping the box back to them from Brooklyn to California. Maybe that's not a big environmental hit, but it seems kind of silly to be sending a fairly small box all that way.
- This interview with Boox founder
- Article in the wapo about this
- Other posts about coffee on this blog.
Image taken from their site.