The Packaging Industry and How We Can Consume Differently, Epilogue

Last updated on March 28, 2021.

Sea turtle under water
Photo by Jong Marshes on Unsplash

My thirteen-part packaging series was first inspired by a book.

This book.

The Future of Packaging book cover

I began this series over Christmas break 2019. My original goal was to write a well-researched pair of articles about the packaging industry, packaging waste, and what we can do as consumers to improve packaging. I had about 10 days off from work and I got up before my son every morning to research and write. I did not finish it over the break and kept working on it over the next couple of months. Finally, in March 2020 I published my first article in the series. Even at that point, it was only meant to be three parts. Then it became four articles, five articles, and so forth, with COVID-19 landing in the middle of all of that. There was so much to learn and explore that it just kept growing.

The Growth of a Series

The Future of Packaging introduced me to the complexities of the packaging industry. Upon further research, I began to wonder how I could make this much information accessible to as many people as possible. After it became thirteen parts, I put together the Quick Guide, a table of contents for easy reference.

I never intended this to be a thirteen-part series, but I kept finding topics that required depth and careful consideration. Packaging is something we encounter every single day, so I felt an urgency to stay focused on this subject. After I finished Part 13, the one about food packaging, I felt like I’d written a thorough and elaborate series. Still, I did not cover every aspect of packaging. I did not include the extreme packaging waste from take-out food, which has certainly increased since the onset of COVID-19. I declined to research cosmetics packaging and refillable cosmetics options. Last, I decided to not research pre-consumer waste, meaning waste materials created during the manufacturing process and before the product is ready for consumer use.

Receipt surrounded by supermarket products
Image by stevepb on Pixabay

My Goals

Of course, my goal is always that I want people to be eco-conscious. But what if we could normalize this consciousness? What if most of our daily decisions were environmentally conscious as the default? Maybe then we could call this mode of consumerism environmentally sub-conscious.  How tremendous would that be?

“If we accept sustainability as a core value within ourselves rather than something we should do to be considered a good person, then we are more likely to succeed in adjusting our habits.” -Beth Porter, author of Reduce, Reuse, and Reimagine

If my Packaging Industry series has helped even just a few people rethink their roles as consumers, changed how they judge packaging, and informed how they think about waste in general, then I feel like I’ve made a difference. That alone makes it worth the 8 months this took me to research, digest, and write this series. I certainly learned a great deal and changed some of my own behaviors.

Painted rock, "You make the world a better place"
Photo by Oakville News on Unsplash

But I’m not really done, there will always be more to write about. Packaging will continue because it’s necessary, but we need to create less packaging waste and better packaging that has a second life. We all have the power to consume differently, and we all vote with our spending. Just by reading this series, dear reader, you are making a difference. The information is in your mind and simply thinking about your own behaviors will have positive effects. You make the world a better place.

Thanks for taking this journey with me, and please subscribe. I’ll see you next time.

“If you want to eliminate waste in your life – and in the world – the answers will always come down to one simple thing: consume differently.” -Tom Szaky

 

Additional resources:

Website, Sustainable Packaging Coalition, accessed March 28, 2021.

Article, “Eat your food, and the package too,” by Elizabeth Royte, National Geographic Magazine, August 2019.

Article, “The cost of plastic packaging,” by Alexander H. Tullo, Chemical & Engineering News, October 17, 2016.

Website, Packaging of the World, accessed March 28, 2021.

Website, Packaging Digest, accessed March 28, 2021.

The Packaging Industry and How We Can Consume Differently, Part 13

Last updated on February 14, 2021.

Trash littered beach
Image by H. Hach from Pixabay

Welcome to this part of my Packaging series! If you read my last post, you learned about refillable options for personal care items. Today, we will look at food packaging.

I honestly cannot say enough about food packaging because there is so much encasing our foods. Sometimes this is to make packing and shipping easier. Other times, food is overpackaged to create a false sense of sanitation, as mentioned in my first post in this series. BASF, a chemical company in the business of making such packaging, argues that “good packaging can enhance the cleanness and freshness of food, while offering branding opportunities for food manufacturers.”1 This is a false notion, and I believe plastic packaging causes more health problems than not using packaging.

“The greatest threat to our planet is the belief that someone else will save it.” —Robert Swan, author and explorer

The Produce Section: Bagging

Produce in plastic bags
Photo by Karolina Grabowska from Pexels

The produce section is where I spend most of my time in the supermarket. When shopping produce, we are encouraged, even prompted, to bag the items. When I starting going plastic-free, I bought my own reusable produce bags and continually use them at all grocery stores and farmers’ markets. You can buy bags like these, or even make your own:

Cloth mesh produce bags
Cloth mesh bag
Mesh produce bags
Mesh bags made from polyester or plastic. These aren’t ideal but they are infinitely reusable. Photo by Amazon
Cloth produce bags
Organic cotton muslin cloth bags

In her book, plastic-free expert Beth Terry notes that most fruits and vegetables have their own packaging.2 Produce like bananas, lemons, onions, garlic, and a host of others, have natural peels removed before eating. These do not require extra packaging.

Plastic bags have always been marketed to us as more sanitary. So much so, that you, dear reader, most likely cringe at the idea of not bagging your fresh produce. The truth is, that’s debatable and it comes at the cost of polluting the environments we live in. I wash most of my fruits and vegetables before I eat them anyway, whether they were bagged or not. 

Man holding unbagged produce over shopping cart
Image by CYNICALifornia from Pixabay

The Produce Section: Overpackaged

Plastic wrapping on produce can be extreme, and I’ve seen it in every type of grocery store. Such packaging is wasteful because it is so unnecessary. Here are numerous examples of overpackaged produce:

Bulk Foods

Person filling jar from bulk bins at store
Photo by Polina Tankilevitch from Pexels

When I mention bulk purchasing, I do not mean the oversized packages of coffee, peanut butter, and toilet paper from Sam’s Club or Costco. I am referring to the bulk bins in grocery stores and other food product shops. You can fill your own containers, just have them weighed at customer service first so you are not charged for the weight of the container. You can buy foods like beans, flour, granola, candy, dried fruit, etc. from these bins. Use glass jars or reusable cloth bags and avoid packaging altogether. Also, avoid bulk foods sold in “convenient” pre-weighed plastic containers like the ones pictured below. They defeat the purpose.

Prepackaged bulk food items.
Photo by Kurt Cotoaga on Unsplash

There are companies nationwide that offer refillable food items, such as Whole Foods, Fresh Market, Sprouts of Colorado, Rainbow Grocery in California, and Sustainable Haus in New Jersey. You can find shops that sell bulk items by searching Zero Waste Home’s app3 or by searching Litterless.com.4

Jar filled with item from bulk bins at grocery store
My own jar that I filled at the grocery store. Photo by me

No bulk in your area?

If there are not bulk bins available in the stores where you live, you still have options. Always choose glass instead of plastic packaging, since glass is 100% recyclable and plastic is recycled at a rate of under 10%. If a Container Deposit system exists in your state, use it because it ensures a much higher recycling rate for all types of materials. Look for brands of dried pasta that do not feature a plastic window (and if you buy that, please separate the plastic from the cardboard and only recycle the latter). Reuse Ziploc bags from deli meats and cheese. Avoid individually wrapped snacks, as it’s cheaper and better for the environment to buy a larger package and separate the food into small metal containers or reusable snack bags.

Loop

Created by TerraCycle, Loop is a closed-loop model that partners with consumer brands to put products in specially-designed durable and reusable containers. This is a take-back program, or a container deposit program, which we learned about in Part 7 of my Packaging series. Here’s a two-minute video explaining the business model and one way we can solve the disposable problem:

For a while, this was only available in parts of the U.S., but now it is available nationwide. While I love this business model, it still encourages consumers to buy some of the same products without changing their habits much. As Tom Szaky mentioned in the video, “let them experience a throw-away mentality but be doing the right thing from an environmental point of view.” This does eliminate single-use disposable packages, but as a consumer culture, we need to rethink how we spend, how we buy, and what we purchase.

I have attempted to purchase items from Loop several times, but I find it expensive. I don’t mind the container deposits because I’ll get those back. But the products have an upcharge and unfortunately, I cannot fit these into my budget. This makes it inaccessible to many people who want to support the cause. The upcharge to buy products in reusable packaging should be absorbed by companies, not put on consumers.

“Reusing an object saves time, energy and resources and does away with the need for waste disposal or recycling.” -Loop

Convenience vs. Environment

Our desire for convenience, driven by marketing and busy lifestyles, is killing the environment with packaging alone. Many argue that consumers have to change the way they shop; others argue that companies must change the packaging for items consumers buy. I think both are right – companies and consumers must change. Chris Daly of PepsiCo. believes that the convenience of packaging will continue because it is less work for the consumer. “Because these habits will be slow to change, we must continue to focus on improving the packaging that consumers take home and planning better for what happens to it,” he wrote in The Future of Packaging. Additionally, stores have to implement expensive infrastructure including the bins, scales, and systems for quality control and shrinkage.

But others disagree. In a well-written article, Karine Vann wrote that the use of bulk sections in grocery stores are not maximized to their full potential.5 These sections need promotion, normalization, and stores should educate consumers on how to use them. I believe this is entirely possible! We must do all we can to eliminate packaging waste.

“To truly reduce waste, advocates believe bulk must be more than just an aisle in the store—it must become a deliberate system that starts at home and continues seamlessly into the supermarket.” -Karine Vann6

Solutions

For more ideas, refer to my page on “11 Ways to go Plastic-Free with Food.” There are some great tips on how to shop and avoid packaging on the internet and I’ve included some articles under Additional Resources below. Last, don’t underestimate the power of growing your own food in your backyard or on your balcony.

Salad bowl with vegetables from garden
Photo by Elias Morr on Unsplash

Remember, we can all make a difference in how we consume and how we generate waste. We’re all sharing this planet and its’ beautiful and valuable resources, and we have nothing to lose by working together to create change.

If you’d like to read my Packaging series in full, please see this quick guide highlighting the contents of each article. And if you’ve already read it, I thank you and please subscribe! I’ll see you in my next post.

“If you want to eliminate waste in your life – and in the world – the answers will always come down to one simple thing: consume differently.” -Tom Szaky

Additional resources:

Article, “How to Grocery Shop When You Can’t Bring Your Own Containers,” Treehugger.com, updated March 20, 2020. There are some great tips on how to shop and avoid packaging when you can’t bring your own containers.

Article, “Eat your food, and the package too,” by Elizabeth Royte, National Geographic Magazine, August 2019.

Article, “The cost of plastic packaging,” by Alexander H. Tullo, Chemical & Engineering News, October 17, 2016.

Article, “Grocery Stores May Soon Offer Your Favorite Brands in Reusable Containers,” Treehugger.com, updated February 21, 2020. This features information about Loop.

Video, “Closing The Loop: The End of Disposable Plastics,” Fortune Magazine, June 12, 2019.

This post does not contain any affiliate links nor did I get paid to promote any of the products in this post.

Footnotes:

The Packaging Industry and How We Can Consume Differently, Part 12

Last updated on February 20, 2021.

Brown glass dropper jar surrounded by pink petals
Photo by Karolina Grabowska from Pexels

In my last article, I wrote about several companies offering cleaning products with refill options. Today, we will look at refill options for personal care products.

The Refill Shoppe

This company sells refillable hair, body, and home products made with non-toxic, vegan, and biodegradable ingredients.1 They have a storefront in California but offer online ordering as well. They are a Certified B Corporation, meaning they use the power of business to solve social and environmental problems. Their products can be purchased and refilled in pouches that you return to the company with a prepaid envelope, and they sanitize and reuse the pouches rather than just recycling them. They even offer many customizable products with the same refill options. Next time I run out of conditioner or bubble bath, I plan to try them!

Plaine Products

Plaine Products aluminum shampoo bottle

This company was founded by two sisters who want to stop plastic pollution.2 Plaine Products sells shampoo, conditioner, lotion, hand wash, and body wash in aluminum containers. The first time you purchase, you receive a reusable pump. This is great, as you’re not getting a disposable new pump with every purchase. When you order a refill, you switch the pump to the new container. Rinse the empty bottle out and ship it back to Plaine Products at their cost. They will sanitize and reuse the bottles, creating a closed-loop system with minimal waste. Their products are vegan and cruelty-free, and they are also a Certified B Corporation. I plan to try their products in the near future! There’s an additional review under Additional Resources below.

Fillaree

I wrote about Fillaree in my article about refillable cleaners, but they also carry personal use products, so I’m mentioning them again here. They sell refillable liquid hand soap, shampoo, conditioner, and body wash. You can refill any of these at stores that carry their products, and the hand soap and body wash are available as mail subscriptions.3They plan to offer refills by mail on their other products soon as well. This is a growing company with an ideal business model. The customer buys the refill product, which provides 2-4 refills in the original container, and then ships the empty containers back to the company for refilling at the company’s cost. They sanitize and refill the containers and ship them again.

Fillaree hair products in aluminum bottles

by Humankind

Mouthwash tablets in glass cups

This company’s tagline is, “high-performing personal care products
that are kinder to your body and our planet.” They’ve created refills that use little or no plastic and they do not ship water, reducing emissions. They sell shampoo and conditioner bars, mouthwash tabs, deodorants in refillable containers, and cotton swabs without a plastic container. This company uses vegan ingredients, its products are cruelty-free, it is a carbon-neutral company, and most refill packaging is home compostable. I’ve tried their conditioner bar and cotton swabs, and while a bit expensive, the products so far are high quality.4

“Great personal care products don’t have to come at Earth’s expense.” -by Humankind

Bite

Bite Toothpaste Bits jar

“One billion toothpaste tubes are thrown out each year.”

Think about that for a second, one billion plastic tubes, tossed out annually! Most toothpaste tubes are not recyclable, either. The founder of Bite set out to solve this problem but was also concerned about the questionable ingredients found in common toothpaste and the fact that oral care products are tested on animals. She wanted to create a toothpaste that was healthy for our bodies, not tested on animals, and plastic-free. Bite toothpaste bits sell in refillable glass jars and have safer ingredients. The company offers a refill subscription plan, lists their ingredients on their website, and ships only in recyclable corrugated boxes and paper mailing envelopes. The refills come in 100% home compostable pouches.5 I’m very excited about this company, and I recently purchased Bite products which I’ll be reviewing in a future post. You can also read Beth Terry’s review of Bite, which I’ve linked under Additional Resources below.

The very week I wrote this, Bite released a plant-based dental floss in a refillable glass container, much like Dental Lace (see below). Refills ship in compostable pouches. Two weeks after that, Bite released a line of mouthwash tabs in reusable tins.

“Whether it’s mindlessly tossing out an empty toothpaste tube or glossing over the ingredients list, small daily actions can shape the future of our planet. By uncovering how we can be better to ourselves and to the earth, we are one step closer to a healthier and plastic-free world.”- Bite Toothpaste Bits

Dental Lace

Dental Lace glass container

Did you know that most dental floss is made of plastic, some of which contain dangerous PFCs (perfluorochemicals)? And sold in plastic containers? Well, there’s a better option that’s natural and compostable, and in refillable glass containers. Dental Lace was begun by a librarian, and we all know how awesome librarians are. The floss is made from silk and can be composted instead of put in the trash. The glass containers are decorative, refillable, and recyclable. The packaging is all home compostable.6 I have personally used this product for about 3 years now, and I love that I can floss and not create a ton of non-recyclable waste while doing so. Below is a video review from zero-waste platform Trash is For Tossers:

Solutions

“If you want to eliminate waste in your life – and in the world – the answers will always come down to one simple thing: consume differently.” -Tom Szaky

I’ve included this quote in many of my packaging series articles, as it succinctly summarizes what we need to do going forward. Consume differently. We must look for more sustainable, longer-lasting products. We must look for less packaging in our consumables and seek refillable options. If we demand better from companies and vote with our spending, we can make great changes.

This is not a comprehensive list of all the companies that offer refillable products but rather a list of resources. I have listed companies that I have either personally tried or researched.

We have one more topic to explore in this series: food packaging. So look for my next and final article in my Packaging series soon! By subscribing, you will receive it directly in your inbox! Thank you for reading!

 

This post does not contain any affiliate links nor did I get paid to promote any of the products in this post.

Additional Resources:

Article, “Shampoo Bars Eliminate the Need for Plastic Packaging,” Because Turtles Eat Plastic Bags website, October 2, 2019.

Review, “Why I Love Plastic-Free Bite Toothpaste Bits,” My Plastic Free Life website, March 21, 2019.

Article, “My Top 5 Zero Waste Shower Essentials,” Going Zero Waste website, May 19, 2017.

Footnotes:

The Packaging Industry and How We Can Consume Differently, Part 11

Last updated on February 28, 2021.

Water bottle refill center painted sign
Photo by Meritt Thomas on Unsplash

In my last article about the packaging industry, we explored companies with recycling built into their business models, have creative packaging, or use limited or no packaging. Today, we are going to look at refillable packaging.

Besides refilling bottles or jugs at a water refill station, other consumer refill options could make a significant impact on the amount of disposed of plastic and packaging. The idea is that you buy your products in containers that are either reusable or are returned to the company for sanitation and reuse or recycling. This eliminates disposable packaging and should be one of the major solutions to our packaging problems. I was encouraged to discover just how many companies offer refillable solutions!

Cleaning Products

Of the several types of refillable products on the market, I wanted to start with cleaners because they are the easiest to refill. Most cleaning products are made of about 90% water and almost all are sold in single-use disposable plastic bottles or pouches. Additionally, most major brand cleaners are full of harsh chemicals, toxic ingredients, and phthalates (“fragrance”). To make matters worse, in the United States companies are not required to list their ingredients on the label. So what can we do to get away from harmful products that are in disposable packaging? It turns out, there are lots of options!

I have not tried many of these products because I make my own Easy DIY Cleaner that I use for windows, counters, floors, and bathrooms. But I am still looking at options for liquid dish soap, laundry products, personal use items, and food items that have plastic-free packaging and non-toxic ingredients.

Supermarket aisle with cleaning productsSupermarket aisle with cleaning products. Photo by me

Fillaree

I discovered Fillaree earlier this year, and I love their business model.1 They sell liquid dish soap, cleaners, shampoo, conditioner, body wash, and other products. You buy your first bottle and when you run out, you can bring it back to the store to refill. Their products are sold in stores, many in North Carolina where they’re based out of but also one in Knoxville, Tennessee, and Atlanta, Georgia. If you don’t live near a store that sells their products, as I do not, they have a mail program for their dish soap, hand soap, and all-purpose cleaner. No packaging waste! Here’s a Fillaree chart showing how it works:

Fillaree mail in refillables chart

I’ve recently purchased their products and tried their mail-in program. The liquid dish soap comes in a glass pump bottle and the refill comes in a plastic jug that you mail back in a prepaid envelope for the company to reuse. This is an ideal system. I will fully review their products in a future post – but I can tell you that so far, it’s very easy to use.

Meliora Cleaning Products

Meliora banner plastic free packaging

Meliora Cleaning Products is a Certified B Corporation that makes non-toxic cleaners and detergents that are sold in plastic-free refillable packaging.2 Their All-Purpose Cleaner and the refill container can make 18 bottles. They sell powdered laundry detergent in a steel and cardboard container. You can buy refills in recyclable/compostable paper bags and not have plastic waste. I’m excited about this company! I tried their laundry detergent and oxygen cleaner and I like it so much that it is going to be my new regular laundry product brand.

Supernatural

Supernatural starter set with glass bottles and vials

This company uses all-natural essential oil blends for all of their cleaning products, with no chemicals.3 The customer mixes the solutions with water in reusable glass spray bottles. Supernatural’s products ship in glass vials and all items ship with only cardboard packaging. No plastic waste! “When I conceived Supernatural it was out of a desire to create something that’s never been made before: all-natural cleaning products that are sustainably sourced, with the lowest carbon footprint possible, that smell unbelievably amazing,” wrote the founder. They also sell aromatherapy products using essential oil blends.

Blueland

Blueland's products image

With a mission to stop plastic waste and pollution by selling cleaning products in reusable containers, Blueland sells reusable bottles and concentrated refills. Their products have no toxic ingredients, are vegan, and cruelty-free. They ship with all recyclable and/or compostable packaging.4

As I was writing this, Blueland announced that they are doing away with PVA in their laundry tabs! PVA is an acronym for polyvinyl alcohol, which is a petroleum-based plastic that dissolves in water but the plastic stays in the water system. It is commonly used as a wrapper for convenient pre-measured amounts of dishwasher and laundry detergent tabs. They are allegedly dissolvable and biodegradable, but recent studies confirm that all of the plastic does not break down. “PVA does not fully biodegrade in most wastewater treatment facilities. This can potentially result in an estimated 60-82% of intact, PVA particles released into our oceans, rivers and canals,” the company states. Blueland now sells naked laundry detergent tabs. This is a really big deal, and I’m even more excited about this company now!

ThreeMain

ThreeMain product line

This company’s mission is to eliminate plastic packaging in household cleaning products. Sold in aluminum containers and refillable, the company does not appear to use plastic packaging for shipping. They use limited ingredients and list all of them on their website. They are also a carbon-neutral company. The company does use plastic refill pouches but they will reclaim these to send to TerraCycle at their cost, where they will actually be recycled. They have a blog that covers healthy and sustainable living.5

Branch Basics

This company was founded by three women who experienced health problems, both personally and within their families, but discovered renewed health by removing toxins from their homes, food, and lives. They founded Branch Basics to get back to basic, clean living and to inspire others to do so. You select a bottle and buy “The Concentrate” which makes multiple types of cleaner – you use different amounts of water and concentrate in each type of cleaner. I really like that they have one cleaner for almost everything! It is a #1 plastic bottle, but it is significantly less plastic wasted since the product lasts so long. I am also excited about their Wellness Center resource page, which has articles about healthy living.6

Branch Basics The Concentrate diagram

“We believe choices like the food we put in our bodies, the paint we put on our walls, and the cleaners we use around our homes have power; the power to rob us of good health or to cultivate it.” -Branch Basics7

Replenish & CleanPath

Replenish bottle refill diagram

CleanPath, which is part of Replenish,8 are refillable bottle systems that offer concentrated cleaners and foaming hand soap, which saves time, resources, and money.9 The company’s mission is to eliminate waste from buying products in disposable plastic bottles. The founder designed a system where the consumer buys the plastic bottle once and refills it with a concentrated refill pod that attaches to the bottom of the bottle. Each pod can make 4-6 bottles of cleaner. By only shipping the concentrate and no water, it greatly reduces emissions and reduces plastic waste. However, I believe that the pods must be recycled at the end of their life, so this is still plastic waste although much less. Replenish and CleanPath claim to use less toxic ingredients and real essential oil bases for fragrance.

JAWS

JAWS (an acronym for Just Add Water™ System) wanted to reduce plastic waste and reduce emissions by shipping cleaning products without water. They founded their company on this principle: “Stop Shipping Water. It’s the Right Thing to Do.” The products are EPA Safer Choice certified but not necessarily all non-toxic. But they offer full ingredients lists on their website for each product.10 Like Replenish and CleanPath, the pods are not reusable which does still create plastic waste, albeit less plastic waste.

Grove Collaborative

As the name suggests, this collaborative company sells its own products but also sells products from other companies that manufacture like-minded products. They are a Certified B Company that sells household cleaners and personal use items that use safe, non-toxic ingredients but also offer some refillable products and containers. Grove uses a take-back program for their refill pouches, which customers return to them and they send them to TerraCycle for recycling. They have carbon neutral and plastic neutral practices, use ethical supply chains, and use sustainable materials for their own products. This company might be a good solution as a one-stop-shop, but it does seem to be subscription-based only.11
Grove laundry starter set

Truman’s

Trumans surface care starter kit

Inspired to create simple cleaning products, minimize the number of cleaners in the home, and reduce plastic waste, Truman’s created a system of refillable products. They ship them in fully recyclable cardboard packaging. While I respect any company that is trying to do something good, this company sells its pods in PVA, which I do not recommend using. Truman’s also includes upcycled polyester towels in their starter kits, and fibers from polyester (which is plastic) get into the water supply from washing machine drainage.12

Cleancult

Cleancult carton refill

Cleancult sells refills for its line of cleaning products, and its refills are shipped in 100% paper mailers.13 The company is very transparent in its ingredients and explains in detail what every ingredient does, which I really like! It is a carbon-neutral company too. However, Cleancult uses cartons for some refills. These are lined with a thin layer of plastic on the interior and exterior. If you read my article about cartons, you’ll recall that although they contain far less plastic than regular plastic bottles, cartons are not recyclable in many areas. Also, the company uses PVA for its dishwasher and laundry tabs. I do not recommend using any PVA, but I like that this company is taking steps in the right direction.

Common Good

Common Good dish soap glass bottle

Common Good began in an effort to develop products with non-toxic ingredients that were safe around children and pets, as well as reducing plastic waste.14 Its products are Leaping Bunny certified and their biodegradable cleaning formulas are refillable at nationwide refill stations (although there is not one in my area). When purchasing online, the refills come in plastic pouches. While these use 86% less plastic than traditional plastic bottles, Common Good does not take the pouches back. They must be taken to stores that accept plastic bags for recycling. It is not clear if these collection sites result in actual recycling, which I wrote about in a previous article, so these may end up in landfills.

Refillable Systems are on the Rise

Writing this post, I was so encouraged to learn that there are more refill shops than I knew about! I hope that you have discovered a few companies that you’d like to try out. We can all help end plastic packaging waste by using a refill system. I plan to try several of these products and once I do, I’ll be sure to review them! In my next post, I will cover refillable systems for personal use products. Thank you for reading!

“Plastic was meant to last forever, but most is only used once. 8 billion tons of plastic trash – that iced coffee you had last week, that toothbrush you used when you were 4 – are still on the planet.” -Blueland

This post does not contain any affiliate links nor did I get paid to promote any of the products in this post.

 

Footnotes: