Whilst we continue to battle with the dilemma of how to move away from one of Solar Solves most famous Unique Selling Points, one of our customers recently came up with a very novel way of recycling the wooden packing case that his order for SOLASAFE sunscreens had been dispatched in.
Our dilemma stems from a USP that has been embedded in our culture and customer care philosophy since 1988, when we quickly realised that if we were going to get Solar Solve’s fairly heavy, superior products, to its discerning customers on the other side of the world, in perfect condition, there were going to have to be safely and securely packed into wooden packing cases.
Not only have these containers been fit-for-purpose and served us extremely well over the intervening 32 years, and continue to do so; we regularly receive complimentary comments from customers about how beautifully they are packed. On occasion they have even been referred to as works of art, which is nice to hear.
Unfortunately, to make their health and safety compliance easier to achieve, some carriers are now discouraging wooden packing cases with a combination of size reductions and financial penalties. Combine this with Solar Solve’s desire to become more carbon neutral and the pressure is on, from some quarters, for us to totally move across from wood to cardboard, as our packaging material of the future.
For many years, we have been using cardboard packaging for smaller blinds and screens that are not so heavy and we know it works well. We are currently investigating the possibilities of expanding its use to blinds and screens of all dimensions. However, at this time, we are not confident about being able to use cardboard to send the biggest products we make, to anywhere.
We are still working on it and whilst we continue having to use wood, we know that some innovative and resourceful customers have found ways to recycle the wood from the empty packing cases. Mentioned in my opening paragraph is one ingenious use for recycling packing case wood, that Stephen Mundy, of Gosport based T&S Contract Interiors came up with, to build a guinea pig hutch. We were delighted to hear about his imaginative idea and receive the included photo. Thanks a bunch Steve, it’s brilliant.
Another excellent use of empty packing case wood is made by one of Solar Solves longest trading partners and biggest customer by far, who are located in Busan, South Korea. They are manufacturers of heavy marine equipment, some of which needs to be stacked with wooden laths in between each item. Packing case timber is ideal for that and the plywood is similarly utilised. I am sure there will be many more customers recycling the wood from their empty Solar Solve packing cases and we would like to hear from them.
John Lightfoot MBE, Solar Solve Chairman