This month is #PlasticFreeJuly and we thought it was the perfect opportunity to share our plastic neutral story…
The environment has always been at the heart of everything we do and earlier this year we took the next step in our sustainability journey and became plastic neutral! Don’t worry if you don’t know exactly what this means, read on and we’ll explain.
Becoming plastic neutral is a lot like becoming carbon neutral which is more commonly understood (and something we have also achieved, read more here) but the general idea is that we now fund the removal of the same amount of plastic from the environment as we use in our packaging, meaning Farrington’s Mellow Yellow is certified as plastic neutral.
The first step in becoming plastic neutral was to measure our plastic footprint. We looked at our products and how they are sent out and started listing all the plastic used at each stage. As our bottles are glass with a metal cap, there isn’t a huge amount of plastic on the product itself, but, for example, the label is plastic, as is the little pourer inside our cap. We also had to look at the way we send out our products. When sending large quantities of our glass bottles to supermarkets, we have to wrap each pallet in plastic wrap to stop breakages which would lead to food waste, so this plastic had to be counted.
Once we had a list of all the plastic used, we worked out how much each item weighed and how much of it we use in a year, and this created our yearly plastic footprint. With this figure, we had a really accurate representation of the amount of plastic that we, as a company, are putting into the environment each year. This is our plastic footprint.
Once we had our plastic footprint, we got in touch with rePurpose Global. rePurpose Global are a global community of conscious consumers and business that are committed to taking action against climate change.
rePurpose partnered us with a recycling project in India so that we could directly fund the removal of the equivalent weight of plastic as our plastic footprint.
rePurpose work with vetted recycling projects tackling the waste crisis in India. A lot of the plastic they are removing from the environment is typically low-value plastic, which recyclers don’t often want to collect as it doesn’t bring them as much money. However, this plastic (such as crisps and chocolate wrappers) is incredibly polluting, especially when it reaches our oceans. rePurpose enables the ethical collection and recycling of this plastic, paying the waste workers a fair wage and giving them proper employment opportunities.
We are tackling a global issue, a lot of the UK’s waste is unfortunately exported to developing countries where it is sent to landfill or ends up in our oceans, so working with rePurpose is helping to finance crucial recycling infrastructure and improving wages and working conditions of waste pickers in India.
The next step is to gradually reduce our plastic footprint year on year. We are deeply committed to sustainability, so are searching for the most environmentally friendly options for our packaging. We know that sometimes removing plastic and replacing it with other materials isn’t always ultimately the best option for the planet. For example, plastic bags have the lowest carbon footprint of shopping bags, as long as they are reused many times, whereas a paper bag requires more energy to produce and isn’t as reusable. So when we look at reducing our plastic footprint, it is incredibly important to us that all environmental aspects are considered and the best option is chosen. We are working hard to find the best solutions, so make sure to keep reading our blog posts for more updates!
If you would like to work out your own plastic footprint, rePurpose have a simple calculator for you here and even have options for individuals to offset their personal footprints and become plastic neutral.