November 05, 2019

Sustainable Living: Plastic-Free Packaging For the Win

Rai Cornell

Earth's future looks brighter when people and companies make sustainable living a priority. Everyday, there are new ways to shrink your ecological footprint – like swapping out old school products for more modern, eco-conscious variations.

Reel Paper Sustainable Living: Plastic-Free Packaging For the Win

According to Plastic Ethics, "By 2050, oceans are expected to contain more plastics than fish." Imagine living in a world where Nemo can't find his dad because of all of the plastic bottles, straws, and bags. Someone, please pass the tissues.

If more companies used plastic alternatives for their packaging, there would be less plastic in our oceans and no tragic ending for all the Nemos of the world.

Take a look at the companies revolutionizing traditional packaging and see what products around your home you can upgrade with minimal cost.

Sustainable Materials for Packaging

Wasteful plastic packaging can be found in just about every household space. Think about your kitchen. From coffee creamer containers to your favorite food seasoning, plastic is everywhere, which can really put a damper on your sustainable living efforts.

Dig through your bathroom cabinets, drawers, and shower shelves and chances are you'll find the mother lode of plastic containers. Shampoo bottles, deodorant sticks, flossers – the plastic found in the average Joe's bathroom is mind-boggling.

While plastic is popular among manufacturers because it's cheap, there are increasingly more sustainable materials available to package household goods. Turning to these alternatives can have a massively positive impact on the environment.

Glass

Some companies use glass to package their products. According to the Glass Packaging Institute, "Glass is 100% recyclable and can be recycled endlessly without any loss in quality or purity."

In addition to feeling luxurious, glass bottles can be reused again and again without the risk of harmful bacteria build-up that's common in porous plastic products.

Silicone

Another earth-friendly material to use instead of plastic is silicone. According to EarthHero, "While normal plastics break down into dangerous micro-plastic pieces that can be ingested by wildlife and ocean life, silicone doesn’t break down much at all." How is this a good thing, you ask?

Well, when the micro-plastics are ingested by animals such as fish, it can be harmful to them and detrimental to the ecosystem they're living in. Since silicone doesn't break down into micro particles, they are harder for animals to consume accidentally.

Bamboo

According to The Conservation Institute, "Bamboo grows incredibly quickly, which is one reason it is often used to make sustainable, eco-friendly products."

Unlike the trees that traditional paper products are made out of that take 10-20 years to grow, bamboo's quick growth and versatility make it ideal for sustainable packaging.

Making Sustainable Living Easier

Luckily, many companies are making it easier to reduce the use of plastics in everyday life. By using sustainable materials or 100% recycled and recyclable materials, companies are shrinking their ecological footprint while helping you foster a sustainable living.

Reel Paper Sustainable Living: Plastic-Free Packaging For the Win

Plastic-Free Pampering

There are plenty of plastic alternatives when it comes to product packaging, but Lush is raising the bar when it comes to their shower soaps.

Lush has created shampoo and body wash products that are in complete jelly form. No squeeze tube, no slippery bar of soap – just a bouncy soap jelly.

With Lush shower jellies, you simply pinch off a small amount of the product and work it between your hands like traditional soap. It produces the same sudsy feeling you get with your favorite shampoos and body washes, but also gives you that warm, satisfying feeling of helping the earth.

The shower jellies come in 100% recycled plastic packaging, so Lush encourages customers to return the package to a store location so that it can be reused again and again.

Lush has even partnered with Ocean Legacy Foundation to incorporate recovered ocean plastic in their 100% post-consumer plastic pots, creating an innovative and more sustainable packaging solution.

Accessorize Sustainably

If you like to keep up with the latest tech and gadgets, you'll probably burn through a few phone cases a year and they're most likely made out of plastic. You can now eliminate the need for a plastic phone case in a fashionable, sustainable way.

Pela is a company that makes unique phone cases and accessories out of what they call "Flaxstic." Their Flaxstic is "100% compostable and free of lead, cadmium, BPA, and phthalates."

While this still relies on users doing the right thing with the waste when they're finished, compostable mobile products are a huge step forward in sustainable living. Since Pela phone cases are made out of a material that is completely compostable, it's a win-win for their environment and your tech style.

Clean House, Clean Environment

Blueland has revolutionized the way housekeeping is done. The company replaces traditional household cleaners with a durable plastic-free spray bottle and a cleaning tablet.

Here's how it works:

You take the dissolving cleaning tablet and drop it into your reusable spray bottle, shake it up, and get to cleaning. Their products completely eliminate the need for plastic packaging and, whenever you need a refill, simply order another cleaning tablet and use the same bottle.

According to Blueland, "Starting with cleaning products – items traditionally sold in disposable plastic bottles, we can eliminate over 100 billion single-use plastic bottles in the US alone because our cleaners live in 100% reusable bottles."

Revolutionary? We think so.

From cleaning your house to ridding your home of plastic clutter that fills your shower shelves, companies like Lush, Pela , and Blueland are working to make sustainable living not just achievable, but easier than using earth-harming plastics.

These aren't the only companies that have nixed plastic. Companies are re-inventing everyday products and their packaging to prioritize sustainability. Here at Reel Paper, we think that's a smart option.

We've made toilet paper softer and sustainable by using 100% bamboo. It's better for your bum and for the environment. Plus, all of our packaging is plastic-free and completely biodegradable.

Do you have a favorite brand that's leading the eco-friendly movement? Tell us about them in the comments below so we can show our support for our anti-plastic business buddies.

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