The Need for Sustainable Packaging
Plastic packaging is quite literally everywhere you look. When you walk into a store to buy your groceries or your toiletries - it feels as if plastic is inescapable. This dependence on petroleum based plastic packaging has created some of our planet’s most pervasive problems. To quantify, we produce about 400 million tonnes of plastic waste every year and 36% of this waste comes from packaging specifically. Each year, 8 million tons of this plastic waste leaks into the ocean, contaminating marine habitats.
When you think about the concept of single use plastic packaging - the whole concept is mind boggling. Tons of resources, energy, and fossil fuels go into the creation of plastic packaging materials that are used for just days, maybe months or years. These materials are then promptly discarded and then treated as waste. The largest proportion of a piece of plastic’s lifecycle is often in the landfill (or the surrounding environment) where there is no value created - only damage. Plastic waste can persist in the environment for hundreds of years causing it to accumulate, disrupt natural ecosystems, and shed toxic microparticles.
Certain types of plastics are extremely toxic to both people and the planet. Many common chemicals used in plastics have been linked to serious health problems such as hormone-related cancers, infertility and neurodevelopment disorders like ADHD and autism. Plastics also kill millions of animals each year; it's estimated that at around 700 species, including endangered ones, are known to have been affected by plastics and that nearly every species of seabird ingests plastics. Animals in virtually every type of ecosystem are at risk of ingesting plastic or being tangled in it.
It’s become clear that we must reevaluate our relationship with plastics. This will require creative & innovative thinking and plastic-free design to create more sustainable products for compassionate consumers like you.
Debunking Sustainable Packaging MythsFortunately, many organizations, brands, individuals, legislators, and scientists have created momentum around a plastic-free future. Many sustainable brands have united behind the UN’s Sustainable Development Goal 12 (SDG 12) that encourages more responsible production and consumption through better and more “efficient management of our shared natural resources, and the way we dispose of toxic waste and pollutants.” This includes the development of more sustainable and responsible packaging materials. However, there is a lot of mixed information about what “sustainable” or “circular” packaging means. We’re here to help you navigate the different materials on the market so that you can make the most compassionate, sustainable, and informed choices when shopping for eco-friendly products.
Many “sustainable brands” are touting various solutions to the plastic packaging problem with various forms of “eco friendly packaging” ranging from bioplastics, to compostable materials, to glass packaging, or reusable technologies. While there are many promising solutions on the market today, we want to shed light on a few ‘sustainable packaging’ truths:
- Manufacturing in plastic is the easy and cheap solution, hence the difficulty in changing the market.
- Sustainable alternatives to plastic are often more expensive. However, these alternatives could become cheaper to make and (and thus buy) if we all begin to shift our purchasing power towards them. More production equals lower costs due to economies of scale.
- It is not enough to “recycle” plastic considering that the vast majority of plastic waste (almost 70%) ends up in landfills, while around 17% is combusted, and 3% ends up in the ocean every year.
- It is best not to buy plastic products all together so that the brands receive a market signal that consumers no longer want plastic products and packaging.
- Glass is not a sustainable solution; glass generates more greenhouse gas emissions than plastic when shipped and takes over 1 million years to decompose.
The True Sustainable SolutionAt Terraseed, we think the most “sustainable” packaging is the kind that is made from earth and can be returned to earth. That’s why we use materials that are completely plastic-free, made from natural fibers and materials, and can decompose back into the soil at end-of-life. The packaging for our Multivitamin for Vegans is made up of many components, each chosen with intention and made from low-impact materials:
- Our bottles are made from compostable cellulose so that it can be buried and returned to earth when you are finished!
- Our refill pouches are compostable, recyclable, and biodegradable.
- Our mailers are made from recyclable FSC paper and contain algae ink instead of oil-based ink and our shipping label is certified compostable.
- We use a natural bentonite clay desiccant to absorb moisture inside our pill container. The clay is packaged in a Forest Stewardship Council (FSC) paper packet, rather than plastic-based packets.
- We send messages to our customers on seed paper, which sprouts flowers when planted.
We are deeply committed to a future without plastic. We choose to invest in every single ingredient and component of our products because we believe that purpose and profit can coincide to create a sustainable business model and a sustainable future.
This new packaging is absolutely brilliant!! I have been a fan of this company and the founders since the beginning, and now they have set the bar even higher with a superior product in sustainable, compostable packaging with an even smaller impact on the planet. Being able to refill my sweet pill bottle each month, instead of composting it, is a true gamechanger! Congratulations on leading the supplement industry into a better future!! I hope other companies will follow your example.