The Big Natural-Products-Wrapped-In-Plastic Junction Dysfunction
by Dan Maher
You know, I marvel at all of the big beautiful containers of natural products now readily available! It appears there has been nothing short of an evolution in consumer consciousness. From eco-friendly hand creams to shampoos, natural body care products and cosmetics are as good as or better than their synthetic counterparts, and instead of the harmful chemical cocktails found in the latter, they contain high-quality organic oils and raw plant materials.
Natural products are, in other words, the ‘real’ deal.
Yet, one can’t help notice that the majority of these wonderful all-natural products are wrapped in plastic, shipped around the world in boxes and containers stuffed with even more plastic, and almost all of this fossil-fueled material is non-recyclable or, at least, not recycled!
This, to my mind, is a major disconnect in the new consumer ecology.
So, because Sustainable Exchange is about doing all it can to facilitate change for the better in the bigger retail world, our store is completely opting out of the plastic parade. The few remaining single-serving products wrapped in plastic containers on our shelves will be the last we bring in, and anything bought in bulk will either have to be packaged in waxed cardboard, metal drums, or at minimum, #1 or #2 plastic buckets that come from organizations that operate container take-back and recycle programs, or they will be given to those that do.
Going forward, Sustainable Exchange will endeavor to only work with zero waste suppliers that think through their offerings from raw materials to shipping and invoicing. We will grow our refill station to offer more bulk household liquids and body products, and continually expand on our plastic and cruelty-free offerings. This includes everything from our herbal formulations, mushroom elixirs, textiles, gifts, down to the (really tasty!) plant-based breath mints we sell.
Peace (and plastic) out.