I have that satisfied feeling of one whom has solved a niggling eco-conundrum.
You know that downer when you finish a container?
You have just managed to extract the last grams of product. You have cut it open with scissors and scooped what couldn’t be squeezed, and there it sits, in your hand… an abomination.
There remains a lump of petroleum, processed at great heat and expense into colourful plastic, designed to temp you, like a bee to a flower, to buzz over in the supermarket and part with your cash.
But we are not bees, and this is no flower. This colourful plastic is a toxic burden. Even if it is recycled a few times at great energetic expense it will most likely end up clogging up a life process somewhere before breaking down into billion toxic bum-outs.
Perhaps our purchase will end up floating in a distant ocean and then fed to a starving albatross chick by its well-meaning mother? Perhaps the dioxins will show up in previously pristine arctic ecosystems?
I don’t want to be no Ancient Mariner and I don’t want to keep buying plastic. Enough! I want the brands I use to innovate new ways for me to access product without wrapping it in ecological harm.
This seems is a challenge most brands fiddle with, but do not fix.
I work in a busy, professional part of town. Everyday, I see well-groomed, highly professional captains of industry march purposefully out for their lunch. Amazingly, many of them trot into Pret-A-Manger and trot out gayly swinging sick little bags at their sides.
These bags are made of paper (yes, a chopped down tree) and contain a medley of paper napkins, a coffee cup / can / bottle, plastic lids and cutlery and a plastic sandwich box. It is a significant weight of material that these goons intend to toss casually into the bin 20 minutes later.
Pret markets it self as “Fresh and Natural”. I invite the marketeers to contemplate the vast waste stream pumped diurnally from Pret stores into nature. Its as fresh and natural as the River Styx.
Marks and Spencer’s take sustainability so seriously they have a Plan A (“because there is no Plan B”). Great work! But how come their packaging looks exactly like Tescos or Lidl or Iceland? When are the so-called “superior” supermarkets going to give us superior packaging? Better yet – reusable tupperware that can be refilled in-store.
Thank God for Lush – one of the few brands making truly sustainable products we can use everyday.
I just tried their shampoo bar for the first time. It comes in a neat reusable tin – a perfect handy size for stashing precious items.
Unscrewing the lid revealed something that looks like a cake of soap coated in 100s and 1000s. It smells of cinnamon. Because they contain no water, they are highly concentrated. One bar could give 100 washes – a significant plastic dodge.
I wanted this to work but I was braced for a disappointing, low-suds experience.
No need to worry. Rubbing the bar on my hair it immediately frothed-up satisfactorily. Once done it goes back in the tin – great for travel or the gym.
Stepping outside I feel good. Running my hand through my hair – that feels good too – soft and bouncy. But wait, thats not it. I feel great because I have one less albatross hanging around my neck.
Nice work Lush!