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It used to be common-place for builders’ merchants to offer a refundable deposit scheme on their bulk bags, but, as time has gone on most merchants and suppliers of landscape and garden supplies have switched to cheaper, single-trip dumpy bags that, owing to being a weaker material often hold less product.
As these bags can only be legally used once for safety reasons, the weaker, smaller bulk bag usually ends up dumped behind a garden shed or thrown in the bin where it makes its way to landfill.
Adding insult to injury, because the single-trip bags are weaker they support less product forcing the customer to order more bags to get the full amount of product required incurring extra delivery costs and ultimately more pollution. Quite often customers don’t even realise that the bags are smaller as some merchants now sell by the ‘bulk bag’ instead of by clearly marked weight or volume.
One company retaining the traditional larger one tonne bulk bags is long established family business Dandy’s Topsoil and Landscape Supplies in Chester.
Owner of the family business established in 1826, Adam Dandy, said "You may have heard that at http://www.DandysTopsoil.co.uk we have recently made a pledge to become the first landscape supplies company in the UK to move away from plastic packaging.
“As part of this plastic free initiative we will not only be replacing our small plastic handy bagged products with biodegradable hessian sacks, we will also be significantly reducing the number of larger bulk bags we use at Dandy’s.
We plan to switch to a stronger 'multi-trip' bag which will still hold a full tonne or cubic metre which we have seen others in the industry shy away from, most importantly though we will be able to re-use them time and again!
We will invite Dandy’s customers to drop off their used bags in when passing, or send them back to us through the post for a 50p per bag deposit, or we’ll double their deposit to make it up to £1.00 which we’ll donate to registered charity SHARE’s Buy A Brick campaign which aims to crowdfund a house for people who are homeless and sleeping rough in the City of Chester.
Mr Dandy went on to say “We will reuse these new multi-trip bulk bags up to five times with each use being clearly marked on the bag for safety. On the sixth trip, or sooner if showing signs of damage, the bag will be recycled by Dandy’s.
“We will also be offering a new deposit scheme on our wooden pallets to all of our customers. Currently we deliver small sacks of gravel, bark, topsoil and compost stacked on four-way wooden pallets, if a customer drops those back into us when passing Dandy’s on Sealand Road, we’ll either give them back £1 or, again, we’ll double it to £2 and donate it to SHARE in our customer’s name to purchase two bricks in the SHARE Buy a Brick scheme.
“If for any reason a customer is unable to return a pallets or bulk bags to us, we’ll send out an email guide sharing hints, tips and step-by-step guides for turning them into attractive low cost garden furniture and allotment additions.
“We see this scheme as a step in the right direction to eliminating unnecessary waste and pollution whilst ensuring that our customers continue to get the most for their money by getting the full one tonne or cubic metre of product they rightly expect when purchasing a dumpy bag, and now there is no need to worry about what to do with bulky packaging once our customer’s have used their quality landscaping and gardening supplies.”
Follow Dandy’s on Facebook to stay up to date on their progress with eliminating non-recyclable packaging.