Cornwall’s Packshare company has launched its new EU-funded website, with a goal to help hundreds of businesses all over the country share and reuse mail order packaging.

The Falmouth-based firm was set up in 2018, in a bid to encourage companies to become more environmentally sustainable.

Packshare is free to use and runs entirely on donations. The system uses a database of businesses, searchable by location and identifies what packaging they can use.

Co-founder Roo Pescod said: “We’ve got huge ambitions for Packshare. I’ve said from the start that we want to be bigger than Twitter in five years. Really there’s no reason that every small business in the UK shouldn’t sign up.”

The business was able to extend its reach beyond Cornwall and across the UK after receiving the ‘Tevi’ grant from the University of Exeter.

Tevi is an EU-funded initiative that provides small and medium-sized enterprises across Cornwall with expert consultation, opportunities for recognition, and grant funding.

The grant has funded improvements including the addition of a members map, integrated business profiles and a more user-friendly set up on their website.

Packshare co-founder, Louisa Street, was originally inspired to create the website when packing deliveries for a Falmouth business led her to seek out ways to keep packaging in circulation.

Roo said: “Just about every business either buys in or throws away packaging, and we’ve found that those businesses can be next door to each other. One business throws away bubble wrap, and next door buys it in.

“We’re seeing it again and again and it makes much more sense to share. It’s good for the environment, it’s good for small businesses, and it’s good for local communities to be working together.”

Covid-19 circumstances have led to what the business described as an ‘awful time’ for Packshare.

Despite this, the team is still eager to help businesses plan a cheaper and more sustainable future once the crisis is over, and hope that their vastly improved website will help them achieve 500 sign-ups by the end of 2020.