I'm so glad that more people are becoming aware of the environmental catastrophe being caused by plastic waste. I see people using paper or metal straws and companies are coming up with new solutions for packaging that help reduce the abundance of plastics in our landfills and oceans.
Here at Newport's Naturals, we've been focused on reducing plastic waste in a variety of ways. From our unique packaging to our production equipment, we strive to be an example of how even small businesses can make a difference. Even in our early days we elected to use paper, glass and metal containers over cheaper plastic options. This came at an increased operational cost and growth at first was slow, but there was no way we were going to sacrifice our planet just to bring our prices down.
One packaging solution we use here at Newport's Naturals is called Biolefin. Biolefin is a biodegradable polyolefin shrink wrap that breaks down completely through a process called oxo-biodegradation. This causes the breakdown of the material on a molecular level (it doesn't just break up into micro-particles) after about 3 years. Yes, it's more expensive than standard polyolefin, but it's worth the additional cost to know that it won't persist in the environment.
Another unique packaging item that gets a lot of attention is our paper tubes. I usually need to explain to new customers what the products are, because they've never seen Deodorant or Lip Balm in a paper tube. Paperboard is just that: paper. From a production standpoint it is much more labor intensive to use paper tubes as each tube needs to be individually hand filled. It took some time to get used to working with the tubes, but I absolutely love them and feel good about the products we are creating with them.
Our commitment to reducing plastic waste extends into our manufacturing process as well. We have always opted for reusable glass measuring tools over plastic disposable ones and we even carefully select some of our suppliers based on their shipping practices. Our customers never get to see this aspect of our business, but we do it anyway. It's about more than optics, it's an honest commitment to do more, and do better, even if nobody is watching.
Simply by using bar soap or bar shampoo, you are reducing your plastic consumption. This year the Handcrafted Soap & Cosmetics Guild launched their campaign to help raise awareness about plastic waste. As a member of the HSCG, I stepped up to sign the Reduce Plastic Waste Pledge immediately. There is always more we can do as businesses and as individuals. If you want to learn more about the HSCG or their Reduce Plastic Waste Pledge please visit https://www.reduce-plastic-waste.com/. Maybe sign the Pledge while you are there!
What are some ways you are reducing plastic waste? We are always looking for new ways to further our commitment to our planet, so please share your ideas with us.