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Reduce, Reuse, Recycle

By: Sara Mason
Posted: September 3, 2009, from the September 2009 issue of GCI Magazine.

page 5 of 6

Another way to re-purpose packaging is to plant it. Brands such as Pangea Organic and Pure & Natural use molded pulp and recycled paper with embedded seed to create new life with the planted boxes. Pangea Organics collaborated with UFP Technologies to create the 100% compostable, biodegradable and plantable product packaging for the brand’s bar soaps. It is manufactured with zero waste and created from 100% postconsumer newsprint—without glues and dyes. Seeds for medicinal herbs found within the products will grow, following packaging directions.

Continued Innovation

Suppliers are hard at work toward solutions and innovative ways to improve their packaging and processes. And as companies get involved to meet the growing demands, competitive forces will reduce the sometimes prohibitive costs.

“Manufacturers and suppliers have become more aware of environmental changes, and are taking steps to work with their customers to improve impact down the supply chain,” says Lush’s Apfelbaum. “New initiatives have been well-received, and have resulted in virgin plastic, crude oil, fresh water and virgin paper savings.”

Continued innovation that improves the quality of biodegradable or recyclable materials will not go unnoticed. Marketers such as Aveda are excited about suppliers who are developing new materials that can be easily recycled from bio-plastics, for example.

Aveda strives to lead by example, educating business partners on environmental packaging and manufacturing, and inspiring local action to reduce, reuse and recycle for global benefit. “A major challenge is the lack of worldwide environmental solutions, and the absence of global standards or laws for recycling and reuse,” said Aveda’s Maune. “REACH legislation in Europe has brought some harmonization among European states in terms of waste reduction, reuse and recycling, though wider-reaching global standards are still far-off.”