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Reducing Waste

Our Environmental Responsibility

We take our commitment to environmental responsibility very seriously.

Of course, that commitment manifests itself in a number of ways. Responsible harvesting practices, fundraising for fishery conservation, and education & advocacy efforts are part of our responsibility to care for the pristine habitats that produce our seafood bounty. Renewable energy use, carbon offsets, and a barge-to-truck supply chain (rather than flying) comprise a few of our efforts to curb our carbon footprint. Oh, and our home delivery plays in there too. We’re also nurturing a company-wide effort to go completely carbon-neutral.

But even though we are a small company with deeply-rooted environmental stewardship values, we can’t undersell the impacts of our packaging. The fact of the matter is the regulations on seafood, and the nature of a premium, frozen product, in particular, necessitate a thorough amount of it! We’ve made tremendous progress in making our packaging as low-impact as possible.

Our Packaging

Cardboard and Paper Recycling

We use the highest post-consumer waste content available to us for our cardboard packaging and paper, which are 100% recyclable and SFI certified.

Recycling Guide
Shipping Box Insulation

We use plant-based, compostable, biodegradeable, burn-safe, even dissolveable shipping insulation, which has a #4 recyclable plastic liner.

Insulation Guide
Non-Toxic Ink

The inks printed on our packaging and printables are non-toxic, making our cardboard boxes at-home compostable. They also make great planters, mulch, or toys for cats!

Composting + Upcycling
Plastic Disposal

The quality-seal surrounding the fish is BPA, BHA, and PFAS free, but not recyclable. We are actively looking for compostable or recyclable alternatives. Currently, we have yet to find one on the market.

Disposal Guide
Dry Ice Safety

It is possible that there will be dry-ice leftover in your shipping box or delivery tote. Do not handle the dry ice with your bare hands. It is cold enough to freeze skin on contact.

Dry-Ice Safety
Reusable Tote Bags

Our insulated tote-bags are reusable. Just make sure to return them between deliveries or at the end of the season! Questions? We've got answers!

Packaging FAQ

The Ultimate Guide to Disposing, Recycling, Upcycling, and Composting Our Packaging

Cardboard Boxes and Paper

Cardboard Disposal Guide Cardboard Disposal Guide

Our CSF and shipping cardboard boxes are made from the highest post-consumer recycled content available to us, and all virgin fibers in the boxes are 100% Sustainable Forestry Initiative Certified by our supplier and by their supplier. According to our supplier, the fibers in cardboard can only be recycled seven times. So although they include as much recycled fiber in their cardboard as possible, additional virgin fiber inputs are needed.

We only print on 100% post-consumer waste, sustainably-sourced paper for our newsletters, recipes cards, and print ephemera.

Box and Paper Disposal: Our cardboard boxes and paper are recyclable amongst your paper recycling. We also have a number of suggested ways to repurpose our boxes below, including composting, “upcycling,” and more (spoiler, they’re fun)!

Shipping Box Insulation

Insulation Disposal Guide Insulation Disposal Guide
GreenCellFoam GreenCellFoam

Our shipping boxes are insulated with a plant-based, non-toxic, biodegradable foam surrounded by a plastic liner made by GreenCellFoam.

Insulation Disposal: One way you can dispose of this plant-based insulation responsibly? Dissolve it in your sink! Watch to see how:

We haven’t tested it ourselves, but GreenCell also claims their insulation makes for a great grill starter and is safe to burn. Of course, just be sure to remove the #4 recyclable plastic liner first. Once you remove the liner, it’s also at-home compostable.

Composting Our Boxes and Insulation

Compost Guide Compost Guide

A great way to dispose of our cardboard, and the insulation in our shipping boxes, is to compost them!

For the shipping-box insulation, at-home composting is easy. The insulation inside the liner will break down quickly in an at-home compost heap.

However, composting cardboard is a bit more of a chore. One way to easily compost our cardboard is to use it as mulch in your home-garden (if you have one), or as a planter for seedling plants. Otherwise, you can use them as “dry” or “carbon” inputs in your at-home compost heap by shredding the cardboard. Of course, we recognize that this might not be a possibility for everyone…

Enter WasteNot compost. If you are a Chicago-based CSF member looking to start composting but just don’t have the yard space or time to do it, this zero-emissions compost pick-up service might be a great option for you! They've even given our members the code Sitka2020, which waives your sign-up fee!

WasteNot

Learn more about composting and the WasteNot Chicago compost subscription service on their website.

Don’t live in Chicago but interested in composting? Feel free to search around for a composting option near you and let us know if you find one!

Upcycling Our Packaging

Upcycling Guide Upcycling Guide

Our members have found all sorts of fun, creative ways to repurpose our packaging! We’ve heard that they make great building blocks for a cardboard fort, a pretend spaceship, a cozy hiding spot for a cat, or even a fun shreddable chew toy for your dog (clean-up not included with the purchase of a seafood share)!

Upcycling Fun

A big "thank you" to Chris Sykes and Rachael Martin for the photos seen above! Send us your up-cycling pictures and we'll repurpose them for this blog.

As a more practical repurposing, we’ve seen our members turn them into spice organizers, storage organizers, and gift wrappings.

What’s fun or creative way that you have repurposed your CSF or shipping boxes? Send your photos to salmonsupport@sitkasalmonshares.com and we’ll add them to this page!

Plastic Disposal

Plastic Disposal Guide Plastic Disposal Guide

Whether we like it or not, the reality of modern seafood production is such that plastic is everything but inevitable. As packaging technology develops or as regulations are revised, we hope this will change.

The vacuum-sealed packages surrounding the fish are essential from a regulatory standpoint, and they’re also essential from a quality standpoint. Creating a tight seal around the fish is paramount if we are going to home-deliver it to you--and preserve it in our freezers--in a way that honors the delicate, premium quality of wild seafood. The plastics used in this quality-seal are BPA, BHA, and PFAS free. But we’re saddened to say that the only available packaging options that serve this purpose have to be thrown out, although we are actively looking for compostable or recyclable alternatives. Currently, we have yet to find one on the market. If you know of one, please let us know!

Plastic Disposal: To dispose of the vacuum-sealed fish packaging, please throw them away in your trash disposal. A quick rinse of the bag will prevent any fishy smells from developing.

Dry-Ice Safety

Dry-Ice Safety Guide Dry-Ice Safety Guide

It is possible that there will be dry-ice leftover in your shipping box or delivery tote. Do not handle the dry ice with your bare hands. It is cold enough to freeze skin on contact.

For your safety, please let the dry-ice evaporate completely in a well-ventilated area before disposing of the dry-ice bag. This information is also printed on our boxes and on the dry-ice bags.

Packaging and Disposal FAQ

Can I return my boxes to you?
Per seafood regulations, we cannot reuse your fish boxes. We will recycle them, however, we have limited space in our delivery vehicles. If it possible for you, ask that you simply recycle, compost, or re-purpose them yourself.

What's the best way to make sure the plastic vacuum-sealed fish packaging doesn't stink up my trash?
Once you remove the fish from the bag, rinse out the plastic before throwing it away.

Can I ship your shipping boxes and insulation back to you?
We don't currently have that set-up, no (sorry).

Why is there so much insulation and packaging for your shipped shares?
Shipping frozen fish across the country is a logistical feat. We need a generous portion of dry-ice along with efficient insulation in order for UPS to deliver our fish frozen solid to your door. We’ve done the research, and we’re confident that the way we do it has the smallest packaging footprint possible. Still, we revisit this every year and are always looking for ways to reduce our waste!

Still have questions? Email us at salmonsupport@sitkasalmonshares.com and we'll be happy to answer them.

Thank you for taking the time to responsibly dispose of our packaging. Our mission and vision for a better seafood system wouldn't be possible without your help! Of course, if you haven't yet, you can also support our fishermen and our mission by enrolling in our community supported fishery (CSF). Feel free to follow the link below to view our share options.