Reducing Paper Waste – turning a challenge into an opportunity

Reducing Paper Waste – turning a challenge into an opportunity

Do you remember the excitement of tuckshop day? Scouring the menu to see what you’d be enjoying for lunch that day instead of your boring old vegemite sandwich. Carefully writing your order on a brown paper bag and counting out your money?  Well, the ‘brown paper bag’ ordering system has undergone some changes in recent years, which is probably not a bad thing – paper and liquid are not great friends! These changes have come from two forces: Stickybeaks reusable lunch bags, and the rise and rise of online ordering.

Reusable Lunch Bags

With an ever-louder mantra of “reduce, re-use and re-cycle” echoing around us, Stickybeaks founders Kyra, Tina, Fiona and Kristy invented and patented a simple, affordable reusable lunch bag that could clearly display the lunch order of the day.

Students send in their tuckshop order in their reusable lunch bag, purpose designed with a clear window for name and class label and a separate zipper pocket for money. The beauty of this initiative is that it reduces the paper bag waste in a school, but also teaches children a valuable lesson about active steps in resisting a ‘disposable’ culture.

Over 800 schools in Australia are now home to their lunch bags, with that number on the rise. As well as being available to purchase individually, these reusable lunch bags are available as a fundraiser. Typically, order forms will be sent home, orders collated and a wholesale bulk order placed with Stickybeaks. The profit of up to 77% is retained by the school.

Many schools will then keep the bags in stock in their uniform shop, with some even adding them to their book list.

Online ordering

Online ordering systems such as Flexischools and Our Online Canteen have changed the face of school lunches and canteens. The convenience is a godsend for many parents who are simply carrying less cash around than they did before.

When we asked Kyra about the rise of online ordering and the impact on the Stickybeaks reusable lunch bags, she assured us that the two systems form the perfect marriage.

‘They actually support each other really well’ – many of our sales are now to schools that use an online tuckshop ordering system. We find that schools are still passionate about wanting to cut out the waste from paper bags!’
‘Students simply drop their bag into the tuckshop or to their class basket in the morning – which are then paired with their (online) order. Instead of the sticky label being applied to a paper bag, they are slipped (unpeeled) into the order pocket.

 Combining online ordering and reusable lunch bags

A simple way of making the most of combining online ordering with the Stickybeaks reusable lunch bag fundraiser is to add the lunch bags to the menu, allowing grown-ups to order and pay for a lunch bag at a time which is convenient, while it is front-of-mind for them.

Feedback from canteen managers

Stickybeaks lunch wallets are gaining a following amongst canteen managers like Tracy from Star of the Sea Primary School. She says “I love, love, love Stickybeaks lunch wallets. Our school started using them several years ago as we started to cut back on paper waste at school. Not long after the introduction of the lunch wallets, we began using an online ordering system. The two work wonderfully together – our environmental footprint is getting healthier and healthier.

And also for canteen manager Jennie from Belgrave Heights Christian School who says “Using the Stickybeaks Lunch Wallets are not only more environmentally friendly but they pay for themselves in a short amount of time. Around half of our online customers use the Stickybeaks Lunch Wallets. Parents can purchase a bag straight from the menu and we will pop it in their lunch order basket with their child’s order. Once the bag is sent home, it is given a quick wipe and put back in the school bag for reuse the next canteen day.

 Fundraising with Stickybeaks

Stickybeaks are known for their reusable lunch bag system but they also have additional ‘add-on’ products including a growing stationery range. This fundraiser is suitable to be run by the P&C, the Canteen itself, or perhaps your ‘Green Team’ will take the lead.

There are no minimum order quantities but Stickybeaks do offer incentives for larger orders. Stickybeaks is perfect for Kindergarten Orientation and back-to school-packs.

For schools, they will send a sample lunch bag (one per school and sent to the school address) – just get in touch with them to request it (and let them know the Fundraising Directory found you!)


Originally published 6 March, 2018

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