We like to look at environmental issues and we also like to look at the positives that are happening in the world. Plastics are something we as a company need to improve on. Its our achilles heel to be 100% honest, specifically our packaging. Balancing all things vegan, sustainable and organic is not easy. Enough about us let's look at some other people and the solutions they have found.
Triceratops eating crisps not from a plastic bag!
Why is plastic bad?
This is a great question. Plastics are everywhere from Everest to the mariana trench (one of the deepest parts of the ocean), specific micro plastics (under 5mm). They are also now found inside us too, recent studies have shown them in lungs and even in in the placentas of unborn babies.
How much do we know about the effects of plastics on us? Again this is a hard question to answer and how to isolate the direct effects with the many environmental factors we come into contact with each day. For a great and well balanced article I would recommend reading To Waste or Not to Waste and It’s on our plates and in our poo, but are microplastics a health risk?.
Microfibres - What are some of the problems / solutions?
Most clothing is made up of plastics (ours are organic cotton and some like the hoodies have 15% recycled plastic). When washed these clothes release microfibers. Its estimated 86% of microplastics in the ocean come from these fibres. Two companies have come up with great solutions that trap these micro fibres. You can get a washing machine with an inbuilt filter such as this by Grundig or you could retro fit them with a Gulp.
Gulp an attachment to your washing machine to stop
microplastic pollution from your laundry.
Packaging - What are some of the problems / solutions?
When It comes to replacing plastics there are many possible solutions out there but like many things related to sustainability, there is not one simple solution yet. Many alternatives to plastic require industrial strength facilities to biodegrade. Others require specific conditions to degrade. There are lots of differences in the wording around composting, biodegradable etc. To be brutally honest its very hard for the average consumer to know what to use. If you look at the many different terms out there for bio degradable plastic you can see what we mean. If you then add to that the source material itself needs to be grown sustainably too its tough.
We love natural solutions, how about a spray on protective packaging?
Apeel adds a layer of tasteless, odorless,
Or maybe you are looking for an entirely edible capsule made from seaweed?
Notpla is a revolutionary material made from seaweed and plants.
It biodegrades in weeks, naturally.
They are not the only company out there with seaweed based solutions. Why is seaweed solution great? It does not need to take up land grown for crops. It does not need to wipe out large areas of forest to grow it. It acts as an amazing carbon sink which helps prevent ocean acidification. If you want to read how Indonesia is tackling its plastic problems try this article.
If this has interested you why not take a look at the UN's Clean seas project.
If you want to know more about our efforts please read our sustainability pages.