Quantcast We #QuitSingleUse - United By Blue

Pledge to #QuitSingleUse for 24 hours.
FIND OUT HOW

0

Your Cart is Empty

United By Blue started with a mission to prove that a for-profit company could do serious, dirty conservation work. Through 10 years of waterway cleanups, we’ve become intimately aware of the damage caused by single use plastics—we’ve picked them up together by the thousands from garbage-strewn beaches and riverbanks.


If you’ve been following us for any length of time, you know we’re all about living sustainably to stop pollution at its source: we sell organic clothing, applaud zero-wasters, and share our best leave-no-trace tips. But here’s the thing: when we looked closely at our own supply chain, we realized we're part of the problem. We’ve chosen to do certain things the way they’ve always been done, because real change in a big industry looks a lot like hard work. The truth is, we depend on single-use plastics. Every single day.




Featured Products


POLY BAGS


What are Poly Bags?
“Poly bag” is an industry term that typically represents any type of thin, clear plastic bag which are used to protect an individual product.

Why are Poly Bags used? Poly bags are used to protect products from damage during transit. Currently, we use individual poly bags for most apparel and accessory items in our line. We also use master cartons poly bags for small items such as bandanas, gloves, socks, enamel pins/patches, and hats.

Single Use Plastic Type: Low-Density Polyethylene, or LDPE, is commonly represented with recycling symbol #4. LDPE is typically a thin, film-like plastic made from ethylene through a thermoforming process. LDPE is most commonly associated with plastic shopping bags. LDPE items are one of the most challenging to recycle in traditional recycling streams.

United By Blue 2019 Usage: 431,920 bags

Potential Alternatives: Apparel items will still need to be packaged in order for us to keep them folded in transit and protected from the elements. Some of the alternatives we will explore include rolling the apparel and tying with string, wrapping in tissue, or using a paper band.

Target Quit Date : February 2020


SWIFT TAGS


What are Swift Tags?
Swift tags are small, plastic tags used to affix hangtags to items or bind them together.  

Why are Swift Tags used? Swift tags were developed to help expedite the tagging procedure for garments through the use of a label gun that has a fine point which can puncture the fabric without damaging it and then insert a plastic tag. We currently use swift tags to pair gloves and add hang tags to select hats and beanies in our line.

Single Use Plastic Type: Polypropylene, or PP, is commonly represented with recycling symbol #5. Similar in many ways to polyethylene, PP is also a thermoplastic, but it is typically harder and more heat resistant. PP is translucent and commonly seen in tupperware. PP is recyclable in some municipalities, items like swift tags are commonly discarded in trash cans by consumers.

United By Blue 2019 Usage: 5,134 tags

Potential Alternatives: Items like gloves and socks will still need to be remain in pairs, and all hats, beanies, and gloves will still need hang tags affixed to them in order to display UPC and price details. Some of the alternatives we will explore include string, twine, and metal clips/pins to adjoin pairs.

Target Quit Date : February 2020

 


BUBBLE WRAP SLEEVES


What are Bubble Wrap Sleeves?
Bubble wrap sleeves are made from standard bubble wrap that is manipulated by our manufacturers to wrap snugly around an item.

Why are Bubble Wrap Sleeves used? Currently, we use bubble wrap sleeves to protect our stainless steel drinkware during transit. The sleeves assure that the bottles and finish don’t get scratched, dented, or dinged on their way from the manufacturer over to our customers.  

Single Use Plastic Type: Low-Density Polyethylene, or LDPE, is commonly represented with recycling symbol #4. LDPE is typically a thin, film-like plastic made from ethylene through a thermoforming process. LDPE is most commonly associated with plastic shopping bags. LDPE items are one of the most challenging to recycle in traditional recycling streams.

United By Blue 2019 Usage: 15,642 bags

Potential Alternatives: We will test several methods of packaging and transportation for our drinkware, but we believe there is opportunity to utilize shredded cardboard or sturdy wood pulp cartons to keep the products safe.

Target Quit Date : May 2020


TRIM BAGS


What are Trim Bags? Trim bags are small, clear plastic bags used in the industry to ship hang tags and other labels to our manufacturers.

Why are Trim Bags used? Trim bags are used primarily for the organization of the small tags and labels they often contain. A single season of product could have dozens of different hang tags, buttons, labels, and other trims that need to be shipped from one manufacturer to another. Historically, these small plastic trim bags have been the most effective way to keep things organized with our suppliers.

Single Use Plastic Type: Low-Density Polyethylene, or LDPE, is commonly represented with recycling symbol #4. LDPE is typically a thin, film-like plastic made from ethylene through a thermoforming process. LDPE is most commonly associated with plastic shopping bags. LDPE items are one of the most challenging to recycle in traditional recycling streams.

United By Blue 2019 Usage: 3,324 bags

Potential Alternatives:Organization during our development and production process are key to success or a new product. Although small in size, these trims will still need to be grouped together, so we will be exploring reusable canvas bags, recycled paper envelopes and cardboard boxes to better transport them without single use plastic.

Target Quit Date: November 2019


FABRIC ROLL PACKAGING


What is Fabric Roll Packaging?
These are the large, clear plastic bags used to wrap rolls fabric and insulation.

Why is Fabric Roll Packaging used? We use this plastic packing to protect our bulk rolls of fabric and insulation from getting damaged in transportation and storage. Natural fiber insulations like our bison insulation are particularly susceptible to damage from clothing moths, a species of fungus moth which eat wool(or bison in our case), lay eggs, and multiple rapidly. If a roll of insulation or fabric were to be compromised as a result of water or moth damage it often becomes useless.

Single Use Plastic Type: Low-Density Polyethylene, or LDPE, is commonly represented with recycling symbol #4. LDPE is typically a thin, film-like plastic made from ethylene through a thermoforming process. LDPE is most commonly associated with plastic shopping bags. LDPE items are one of the most challenging to recycle in traditional recycling streams.

United By Blue 2019 Usage: 6,526 bags

Potential Alternatives: As we have grown and develop more unique natural fabrics and insulations we will need to continue to protect these rolls of raw material. Some of the potential alternatives will be reusable plastic wraps or cartons that will preserve and protect the rolls but have a much longer useful life.

Target Quit Date : TBD


BINDER SLEEVES & OFFICE PLASTIC


What are Binder Sleeves?
Binder sleeves are traditional clear plastic sleeves used in offices.

Why are Binder Sleeves used?   We currently rely on plastic binder sleeves and other small single use plastics in our offices for the organization of our upcoming product line, fabric swatches, print ideas, and more.

Single Use Plastic Type: Low-Density Polyethylene, or LDPE, is commonly represented with recycling symbol #4. LDPE is typically a thin, film-like plastic made from ethylene through a thermoforming process. LDPE is most commonly associated with plastic shopping bags. LDPE items are one of the most challenging to recycle in traditional recycling streams.

United By Blue 2019 Usage: 255 sleeves

Potential Alternatives: Our product team is going to explore opportunities to eliminate these small, single use plastics from their workflow without the need for a replacement.

Target Quit Date : February 2020


PLASTIC SHRINK WRAP


What is Plastic Shrink Wrap?
Shrink wrap is commonly used in packaging of palletized shipments to keep boxes together during transit.

Why is Plastic Shrink Wrap used?   Currently we use shrink wrap for palletized shipment from all of our manufacturers into our warehouse every season. We also rely on shrink wrap for shipments to our wholesale customers and moving our trade show supplies.

Single Use Plastic Type: Low-Density Polyethylene, or LDPE, is commonly represented with recycling symbol #4. LDPE is typically a thin, film-like plastic made from ethylene through a thermoforming process. LDPE is most commonly associated with plastic shopping bags. LDPE items are one of the most challenging to recycle in traditional recycling streams.

United By Blue 2019 Usage: 149,248 feet

Potential Alternatives: We have already began early testing with wooden crates, cardboard pallet boxes, and plastic gaylords which help contain shipments without the need for shrink wrap. However, even these options have their drawbacks, such as single use plastic tie down straps or plastic packing tape

Target Quit Date : TBD


PLASTIC TAPE


What is Plastic Tape?
Any clear or translucent packaging tape used for shipments is made with plastic.

Why is Plastic Tape used? Plastic tape is on of the most basic packing supplies in a modern warehouse because of its cost, convenience, strength, and durability. We currently use plastic packing tape for our shipments from manufacturers into our warehouse and in our shipments to our customers.

Single Use Plastic Type: Most tape is some form of Polyethylene. Your standard “scotch tape” is Low-Density Polyethylene, or LDPE, while heavy duty packaging tape is typically made from High-Density Polyethylene, or HDPE. Polyethylene, is the most used plastic in the world. While some Polyethylene items can be recycled, they are usually downcycled. Other Polyethylene products, such as plastic tape, cannot be recycled and end up in our landfills.

United By Blue 2019 Usage: 216,400 feet

Potential Alternatives: In order to eliminate plastic tape from our supply chain we will explore several type of reinforced paper tape products which have water activated adhesives as an alternative to our current plastic options.

Target Quit Date : November 2019


Cleanups Road Crew Member Form

Please wait 5 seconds for form to load