Okay its not the most riveting topic but I think it is a rather important one.
It has also been a topic much discussed in the public forum as of late.
I am sure most of you would have noticed in 2018, the single use plastics problem was brought to the forefront of the public’s attention mainly thanks to David Attenborough’s Blue Planet series. This in turn has shifted many consumers’ buying behaviour and widened the conscious consumer further into the mainstream.
A welcome shift indeed.
Now I am sure that most of you reading this would categorise yourselves as a conscious consumer prior to this regardless of whether you had heard Attenborough’s plight. The chances are, that you are already consciously aware of how you make your buying decisions and wish to be more environmentally kind. You care about what is in the food you eat and the products you use.
Not only that – but you most likely give consideration to what those products are housed in. After all, there is little point in having a product made up of carefully sourced, non-toxic ingredients if it is going to be contained in a throw-away single use piece of plastic.
To me, the package a product comes in is almost as important as the product itself. I still see so many cosmetics on the shelves in shops in plastic containers and whilst I know that some plastics can be recycled (although there seems to be much ambiguity around what can and can’t be recycled!) I often ask myself, why use plastic when the same product could be housed in a reusable glass jar or tin?
I made the decision when starting The Ilex Wood, that I would avoid plastic packaging wherever feasibly possible. Glass amber jars with metal lids for the creams and aluminium tins for the salves. Not only are these materials far easier to recycle than plastic, they are attractive, and I hope that my customers will use their empty jars again.
The labels I use for the products are made from recycled paper. Paper of course being very easy to recycle, bio degradable and from a natural and sustainable source.
But it is not just the products itself that use recyclable materials. Mailing out the products requires further packaging. Items are wrapped and packaged in card and paper-based protection.
Going plastic free is not easy. Plastic is a hugely convenient material which of course has its benefits in certain scenarios but if you don’t have to use it – then don’t!
It will be a long old slog to live completely plastic free, but I strive to keep going. I hope plastic recycling rates improve and that more of us make the conscious decision to cut back on it. In the meantime, The Ilex Wood will commit to plastic-free packaging and hope that more will join us.