As you know, for more than a year we have been working to improve our impact to move towards zero waste logistics. We test new things, we try to progress day by day and what is great is to see that our whole team is very involved in this project. And when our efforts bear fruit, we like to share our progress with you. That's good, today we have a first victory to celebrate. In October, we sent our first zero waste pallet to our partners La Fourche . Wow! You want to know more ? We explain to you in detail, the steps that allowed us to transform this pretty test.
Our first zero waste palette
Before our first zero-waste pallet was in the starting blocks, it took a year of work and reflection on the part of our two budding logisticians, Sonia and Thomas (alias Thompé) who worked on the project of a waste-free supply chain . Our goal ? Stop making waste for the packaging and delivery of our packages and offer responsible alternatives to our transport methods. Does a supply chain speak to you? Nothing really complicated, it's just the chain that binds us with our suppliers, our distributors and our customers. It starts with the bottling of our organic wines until they reach our customers. Behind this objective are our commitments, our B Corp label and our status as a company with a mission, which encourage us to do good through good . Each member of the team proposes solutions to improve our approach and reduce our footprint on the environment and in terms of our logistics, Sonia and Thompé racked their brains to help us move forward on the path to zero waste .
So concretely, zero waste , what does it mean? A zero waste pallet is: zero cardboard, zero tape, zero ink on the boxes, zero plastic film and zero capsules, with only returnable bottles to deliver our good organic wines . And yes, did you know that a pallet of bottles is on average 125 bleached boxes, 100 meters of tape, 750 labels and caps and 35 meters of plastic film? All this, for single use and therefore directly transformed into waste after use. It's too much, we agree. Well, we wanted to change that.
A few weeks ago, we sent our first zero waste pallet to our partner La Fourche . Our pallet contains only clean, returnable and reusable elements with a lifespan of 10 years. We put the returnable bottles in returnable and reusable lockers too, we stacked them on a wooden pallet and we put a large plastic cap to cover it all and we tied it all up with straps to tie our palette. The reusable lockers replace our single-use boxes and the cover replaces plastic film and tape. Nothing is thrown away, everything is recovered . Awesome, isn't it?
There are "only" natural cork stoppers left from sustainably managed FSC forests . These are recyclable and can be used in many ways , such as making DIY decorations for a wedding, for example . There are also the labels of our bottles which are made of recycled paper and peel off easily during washing. It gives us great pride to see our zero waste goal begin to materialize with this palette.
The steps to get to our zero waste palette
To arrive at our palette, we wet the jersey and we went about it in several stages.
The first step was first of all to deposit our bottles so that our distributors and our partner points of sale who practice the deposit, allow customers to bring their bottles back to the store after tasting. The bottles are then stored and sent to a washing center where, once clean, they are put back into circulation.
The second step was to remove cardboard from our pallet and find a sustainable and environmentally friendly alternative. So we had the idea of reusable lockers , the lockers are first used to deliver our full bottles to our partners and to bring them back to us once empty, the circle is complete and it is a good example of circular economy. We had to find the right partners to make this initiative possible. For our palette, My bottle is called come back who lent us their racks to be able to deliver our full bottles to La Fourche . Once the bottles have been returned empty by our customers, the racks come back to us, in Lyon, and we take care of sending them with the bottles to the washing centre. We had to create a new logistics flow between our partners, us and the washing center.
The third and final step was to find a sustainable alternative to plastic wrap and tape to cover the pallets. We thought about it and thought that a headdress was the perfect solution. For this, we redesigned the packaging, the organization of our palettes and the number of bottles because the caps can only be placed on a perfectly flat surface. We also had to find the right partners who could bring them back to us with the racks and the bottles. There you go, our palette was ready to hit the track, on the way to zero waste .
Advances in our Zero Waste Logistics
We are proud to see how far we have come, we also know that we still have a long way to go to reach zero waste. We have all the cards in hand to strengthen this logistics loop between our partners and the washing centers throughout France. Our dream would be that in the future, we manage to democratize the principle of deposit to as many people as possible and to develop the zero waste approach instead of single use so that in the long term, each of our distributors and partner outlets use reusable racks and caps to deliver and collect our bottles.
We don't stop there and we have already implemented many other initiatives to develop our zero waste supply chain . On the side of our bottler, we deliver our labels in bulk and on recyclable glassines so as not to throw away plastic unnecessarily. On our side, we receive our bottles in bulk in wooden crates and stainless steel paloxes to limit our use of pallets, cardboard and plastic. This is how we managed to drastically reduce (by almost 50%) our waste in our warehouse.
In terms of our materials, we have also optimized our labels and boxes. We added micro-perforations invisible to the naked eye on our labels and we affix them with a water-soluble glue to facilitate the washing of our bottles. The boxes that we continue to use for our deliveries are lighter and have less cutting waste. For our boxes of 6 bottles, we use cardboard that is more respectful of the environment , FSC-certified (a label that guarantees sustainable management of forests) and black plant-based and recycled ink.
You understood, it's a whole system to put in place and as we don't change a winning team, we will roll up our sleeves to go as far as possible in our project. And for that, we trust and we congratulate all our partners who support us in our initiative. And you too, who read us and buy our wines in store or online, when you bring your bottles back to the point of sale, you participate in developing the deposit and zero waste, so we say thank you!
Do not hesitate to write to us to give us your opinion on our initiative and to make suggestions to us at firstname.lastname@example.org . We will be delighted to read your beautiful ideas.