Workwear and safety specialist Arco has reduced its carbon emissions and plastic use by adopting a more “circular” approach to the packaging used for sending out its products.

It has introduced new mailing bags made from 80% recycled polythene, which in turn is widely recyclable in the UK. This has secured a 35% reduction in the amount of plastic used across its operations.

The bags’ production has also been relocated from China to Europe, resulting in an estimated carbon emission saving of 38%.

Hull-based Arco, which uses around 400,000 mailing bags per year, came up with the solution in collaboration with its packaging supplier, Hazel 4D, based in Leeds.

It fits in with Arco’s sustainability strategy, A Safe Tomorrow, which includes a commitment to reduce packaging waste in its own operations and throughout its supply chain.

As part of its wider efforts to minimise climate change impacts and optimise efficiency, the company is analysing how it can apply more circular thinking within its products and, in turn, how this supports customers’ sustainability aims.

Arco has also changed to a new way of filling the voids in packaging, which protects products in transit, to make it more sustainable. The new alternative provides a further 13% reduction in plastic usage and carbon emissions and results in 17% less waste.

Jim Harbidge, head of sustainability, said: “The introduction of these changes is a small but important step that we have taken in support of our sustainability aims and is part of a planned approach to ensure we are carbon net-zero by 2045.

“We would like to thank our packaging supplier, Hazel 4D, for their advice and support in identifying and implementing these changes.

“As a responsible choice of safety partner, we are committed to taking action to reduce climate-related impacts and are focused on wider sustainability opportunities that we can bring forward, including how we support our local communities.”