Thursday, July 15, 2010

Reusable Bags

OK, it's time to toot my own horn on something.

Of all the things that we do well at MaxDelivery, the one that I am happiest about is the MaxReusable Bag Program.

Let me set the stage on this:

We had been in business for a few years and were doing well, but I was looking at thousands and thousands of plastic bags going out the door each week. These plastic bags were killing my green instincts - given the alternatives, they were the best choice for being eco-friendly (i.e. when you compare plastic bags to paper or (far worse) cardboard, plastic actually is better for the earth) - or, said another way, they are the least damaging to the environment. But, the plastic still was not in line with our eco-friendly goals and environmentally friendly service.

I wanted to do some kind of reusable bag, but exactly how do I ask you to bring your own bag when I am delivering it?  And, how do I encourage you to actually reuse the bag so I don't shift from one kind of bag to another with the same amount of waste?

Enter the MaxReusable Bag Program
The program concept is simple -
* We give you an option at checkout to choose to get your delivery in a MaxReusable bag instead of plastic bags.
* We take a small $1.50 deposit per bag on your "MaxDelivery" account for the bag so we can encourage them to be returned.
* With your next delivery, give the empty bags back to the delivery person and we fully refund the $1.50 charge.
* We reuse the bags for other customers and, as a result, have cut our plastic usage dramatically.

It surely seems simple, but, from what we can tell, we are one of the only places that has a similar program for delivery of products.  And, yes, it does make our operations a little more complex and is more costly for us, but given the benefits in terms of reduced waste, it is one of the programs over which I am most proud.

So, the next time you are walking down the street and see the piled cardboard boxes, shake your head sadly and think about how it could be done so much better if that company really made a commitment to the earth.  And, then go order MaxDelivery!!

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