Brown paper packages tied up with string

… or secured with paper parcel tape… these are two of my favourite things.

OK, I know it was only the string that appeared in the song, but I was truly delighted when two parcels arrived through the post yesterday that were wrapped without plastic tape.

IMGP6705

Spot the plastic… oh, there isn’t any

The first was from the All Natural Soap Company – I’ve mentioned them before, because they work very diligently to avoid the use of plastic and to produce their soap ethically; for example, they don’t use any palm oil. They use cardboard boxes for posting things out and seal them using paper parcel tape. The individual bars of soap come wrapped in paper or in cardboard boxes and they use biodegradable packing peanuts (made of corn starch, I think) to stop everything rattling about – I always put these in the compost, where they disappear as soon as they get wet. I’m always happy to be able to support businesses who make so much effort. It’s also worth remembering that soap/shampoo bars are much better than liquid soap/shampoo or shower gel because soap does not require water to be transported unnecessarily with it.

The second parcel was sent by my friend Lizzie and she had created a beautiful string-wrapped package. Not only was there no plastic tape, but the brown paper and string can be entirely reused for sending something to someone else. And inside was some rather special fabric, some ribbon and a crochet dishcloth (for Mr Snail to use whilst he continues to seek out the perfect eco-washing up brush). I’ve already got an idea what I’m going to do with the fabric… I just need to find the time.

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25 Comments

  1. Ann Pole

     /  April 24, 2019

    Love the snail fabric. 🙂

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  2. I once tried sending such a package from France and the martinet at La Poste told me it wasn’t allowed because string can get caught up in the sorting machines. Maybe the sorting machines are more fussy over here 🙄

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  3. I can remember my mother emerging from the butcher’s shop with parcels much like that. Inside, the meat was expertly wrapped in a layer of white waxed paper to avoid leakage, and then done up in brown paper and string. And I also remember when brown paper tape was the thing; I had a dispenser with a sponge square in it you dampened, and pulled the paper tape across it to activate the glue. Much nicer to use than that plastic stuff that tangles as soon as you look at it, quite apart from the recycling/biodegradable aspect.

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  4. Am going to check out the natural soap link. TQ 👍

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    • They are a great company. They are in the UK, but I’m sure there must be equally good folks in Australia. So many small companies are working amazingly hard with their environmental credentials – something that the big multi-nationals would do well to emulate.

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  5. I was a Guide in my not-so-mispent-youth, and learnt how to tie a parcel with brown paper and string. There was a particular knot to tie that allowed you to regulate the tension. I am sure we were encouraged to use recycled paper and string, collected as part of our Thrift Badge.

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    • It took me a while to undo all the knots, but I now have a perfectly re-useable piece of string… I’ll have to try and find the knot to regulate tension… I learned to tie knots for sailing, never anything as useful as parcel-wrapping!

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  6. Oh getting mail is wonderful, by those are even better:)

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  7. I must check out that tape. I mail a fair number of books.

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  8. I too am surprised the post office are happy with string. So much better not to use tape and also so much easier to recycle bits of paper without tape all over them – either to use again or to put them in the recycling if to small.

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  9. Unfortunately, I don’t think the US post office would even accept a string-wrapped package.

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  10. How nice that someone has been able to mail something with paper and string. I can wrap gifts to hand over like that but not for the mail. Things have a bad habit of disappearing if they can get into the package easily. Love the fabric. We go to the farmers markets and craft fairs to get our bar soaps here. So many are going back to the old way of doing things and it’s nice to buy direct.

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  1. Snail's pace | The Snail of Happiness

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