Happy (belated) 50th earth day anniversary! With shops and malls closed globally, consumers have been driven online. E-commerce has doubled in the past 2 months, and as packages pile up at our doorsteps, it seems timely to consider the environmental impact of this system.
This week's theme is packaging. The interaction between packaging, distribution and the environment is extremely complicated. Consider that a plastic water bottle takes 40% less fuel to transport than a glass bottle, and more than 10x less energy to form a glass bottle. Properly recycled in a circular economy, plastic can be used extremely efficiently (although currently less than 10% of plastic produced is recycled). The companies featured consider the holistic impact of packaging on the environment.
Since 2018 Lumi has provided an easy way for businesses to use eco-friendly packaging. They offer a variety of creative environmental options across the entirety of the packaging supply chain, including:
- Design that reduces the number of components
- Inks made from soy oil instead of petroleum
- Weight and volume reduction techniques
- Local production
- Recyclable and compostable options
Even more awesome is their recent /packaging initiative. Launched last week, /packaging is a movement that gives businesses a place to explain their packaging philosophy, material choices, certifications, disposal instructions, progress to date, and how they hope to improve in the future.
Lots of brands use recycled or recyclable packaging, but Anato has taken it one step further by avoiding single-use plastics entirely. Their line of skincare products is packaged in zero-waste biodegradable paper and cork. According to their "Chief Alchemist", the packaging took over a year to develop!
Mycelia and other fungi like mushrooms could play a massive role in the circular economy. They grow extremely quickly, accelerate decomposition and are being used by Ecovative in a variety of new applications. Ecovative has a 35,000 sq. foot facility in Green Island, NY where they test the limits of mycelial technology. They have commercialized three products.
- Atlast™ is a vegan ingredient that possesses meat-like qualities. It can be used in meat alternative products.
- MycoFlex™ is a mushroom-based textile. The flexible internal structure makes it a good leather alternative.
- MycoComposite™ uses mushroom roots and other agricultural byproducts like wood chips to form a biodegradable and compostable packaging.
Regrained, a company we featured several weeks ago, previously used biodegradable packaging but was forced to switch to conventional plastic when they found their bars going stale after a few weeks. BOSS Food's packaging manufacturer TIPA has finally solved this problem with their proprietary biodegradable blend. It's certified as safe for home and industrial composting! Today you can buy plant-based energy bars from BOSS in a variety of flavours and trust that they will stay fresh.