Everyday we see a new idea about how we can make plastic a packaging material we can rely on with a clean conscience once again. Feeling optimistic, we took a hard look at whether there’re any new ‘sustainable plastic’ options worth considering, and found that although there’s been some great improvements in the plastic space since we launched, there’s still a little more marketing magic than sustainable science in the mix.
There are four R's in waste management; refuse, reduce, reuse, recycle. They're ordered like that for the simple reason that they are the best steps to take.
We still love glass, and a dispenser/ refill system as an alternative to plastic bottles and we’re sticking with it. Here’s why.
Glass is a natural material.
It's made primarily from sand. If it is not recycled, when it eventually breaks down it will not be confused with plankton and ingested by animals, it will return back into sand via 'selective abrasion'.
More than 40% of glass is recycled.
Glass is an ideal material for a circular economy system, because you can reprocess it without any degradation. An infinite number of times.
This is not true for plastic. Each time you process it you either need to add virgin plastic and chemicals to it to make it strong and pretty or accept it as a quality suitable for a lesser use. Plastic can be recycled 2-3 times before its quality is too degraded for anything other than end of life use. It part of the reason why only 10% of plastic is recycled globally.
Plastic, including recycled and bio plastic doesn't ever degrade into a natural form.
Regardless of the type of plastic you choose, when it breaks down it'll turn into microplastics which are suffocating our natural supply chain and leaching into our food supply (the only exception to this rule is compostable plastics).
We firmly believe plastic should be avoided, reused and at the very end, recycled or perhaps more accurately, downcycled.
For every 10 tonnes of plastic produced, only one tonne can be recovered for recycling. We really hope to see this statistic improve because we’ve been warned of the devastating impact if it doesn’t.
For us though, refuse, reduce, reuse are the R’s we’re focussed on. Anything else is just a bit too much of a gamble with our precious planet.