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How We’re Cutting the Packaging in Our Boxes (But Not the Quality!)

Learn about our latest efforts to minimize extra materials.

There’s a lot of thought that goes into every Misfits Market box, from our curated selection of high-quality, sustainably sourced groceries to how our team carefully packs your items. Whenever possible, we use eco-friendly packaging made from recycled, recyclable, and/or compostable materials, and we always aim to use only the packaging we truly need to maintain food safety and quality.

But eliminating packaging entirely isn’t so straightforward. Cut too much and you risk poorer quality boxes, which could result in more food waste—the very opposite of our mission. There are still a lot of innovative ways to minimize it, though. Produce can be shipped short distances at room temperature and requires little to no packaging. And for orders that are delivered by third-party carriers, we’ve developed our own algorithm that can tell us exactly how much packaging is needed to keep items fresh based on the weather a box will encounter in transit and at its destination. Pretty cool, right? 

After a lot of careful planning and testing, we’re excited to share another big packaging win. Through a change in our delivery process, we can now cut the packaging that we use for customers in select zip codes by more than half. We recently welcomed Imperfect Foods into the Misfits Market family and many of our customers will be moving from third-party delivery services to our in-house delivery fleet (you’ll recognize them by their Imperfect Foods branding!). An average Misfits box delivered with our own vans will receive one less layer of insulation, one less gel pack, one less gel pack partition, and often one less berry sleeve than the packaging needed to deliver by a third party. These reductions eliminate more than 63% of the weight of packaging per box that we deliver

How can we do this? Our own vans spend less time on the road delivering your orders than our third-party partners, thanks to our highly efficient last-mile routing. Less time on the road means we can cut the amount of insulation needed to keep your order safe and fresh.

Achieving the right balance of packaging is important because when we reduce our packaging materials, we reduce the greenhouse gasses that are required to make those materials. All packaging materials, including cardboard, paper, and plastics (PET, LDPE, etc.), have different emissions factors, meaning their production emits and requires unique amounts of greenhouse gasses to create a pound of the material. With our packaging reductions, we reduce the greenhouse gasses that would otherwise be produced by the manufacturing of that packaging by 51%

We’re committed to tracking our packaging use and emissions as part of our larger focus on creating more sustainable operations. In the case of both packaging and last mile emissions, we measured the respective greenhouse gas reductions in partnership with Watershed, an independent third-party climate platform. Both Imperfect Foods and Misfits Market have worked with Watershed to measure carbon emissions in compliance with the Greenhouse Gas Protocol and to build a strategy to reduce our environmental impact.

Got questions about our packaging or our other efforts to build a more sustainable grocery company? Drop us a line through our contact form. We’d love to hear your thoughts.

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Comments (2)

Hi, Dianna. We’re so sorry to hear that you are going through this! We have many customers who love Misfits Market because they enjoy the convenience of delivery and they may not otherwise have easy access to certified organic, non-GMO produce from local grocery stores or farmers’ markets in their immediate area.

People who are staying home, cannot or don’t drive, the elderly, and people who otherwise could not easily afford certified organic produce for their families love the fact that they can get Misfits’ produce delivered right to their door at prices cheaper than the grocery store for the same items.

And in many cases, our food is fresher than what you might find at the grocery store because it comes straight from farms! For more information about our company and our boxes, please feel free to visit our FAQs on our website here: Thank you for stopping by!

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