share. learn. thrive!
Thanks for your candid feedback. Our decision to use plastic instead of glass for our oil packaging was not taken lightly. As much as we would have like to have used glass, we believe it would not have been the most environmentally friendly option. Let’s face it, we are a global community now and packaging and transportation of products is inevitable. Packaging has a job to do and if a more eco-friendly solution fails to do the job then it may actually be more costly to the environment in the long run because the product may have to be returned/remade/reshipped etc. For example, we were really excited about the plant cellulose based packaging materials originally, but after extensive testing, we found they couldn’t do the job - yet. And, like the biodiesel fiasco, they may actually be less eco-friendly than fully recyclable plastic options (we have a fundamental problem with food being used for fuel/packaging).
In the case of our oil bottles, our PET plastic option is much more environmentally friendly than glass. If we used glass, we would have had to purchase them from afar, have them shipped (empty of course), sterilize them prior to use, use more care and packaging to ensure breakage is minimized, suffer the breakage that inevitably occurs anyways, deal with the consequences of such, etc. Further, the cost of recycling glass is much higher than PET plastic. So, instead, we sourced a Canadian supplier (very close to the source of the majority of our oils ) who blew their own bottles from PET resin in house, eliminating shipping empty bottles altogether, eliminated packaging sterilization, eliminated breakage, significantly reduced source materials, allowed for full curbside recycling, and cost much less to make and ship. We think plastic in general gets a bad rap because it is the most visible, and we too hate seeing the plastic shopping bags and garbage littered around. However, it is too complex an argument to just say all plastic is bad. There are many factors that come into play.
So to recap, specifically why did we choose plastic and not glass packaging? The key enemies of freshness and shelf stability are heat, light and oxygen. When stored properly at ambient temperatures, PET plastic (#1) is just as inert as glass. When it comes to light, PET is actually superior to glass as it is black and completely opaque, not amber like glass, which still allows light to penetrate (this is why companies using glass often add a paperboard box, to keep light out). For oxygen, it is not an issue because we nitrogen flush prior to sealing to eliminate any oxygen in the bottle prior to shipping. Plus PET will not break during shipping, requires less packaging, is fully recyclable and is much less expensive. That means more $ can go into ingredients, rather than excessive packaging.
Hope this helps!
The reason I brought up the history of my business is to provide a platform that I understand the global impact of distribution. I agree that the use of plastics have problems with use over a period of time especially when they are exposed to heat that promotes the release of various chemicals at high temperatures... I also know of the islands of plastic that are floating in the pacific.
We use oil and from the bi product of this use brings to us many of the plastics we use today.
I deal with the use of plastics every day, I simply would have to shut down my business not to use it.
Lets look at what Apple is achieving with their IMac compared to other electronic devices devices. What they have achieved with removing toxic chemicals from their glass display is unmatched. So we all should dump the use of our current computers and move to Apple? http://www.apple.com/imac/the-new-imac/
I am just looking at what Charles has said and it is very important that we all look at the bottom line of what is causing largest impact for the actual use of the selected plastic they use. Many consumer goods have some sort of plastic involved and when oil which will happen within our lifespan easily will the big boys be forced to use plastic from Hemp ?
If we have to use plastic it is important not to let it be exposed to dishwasher temps for this is when most chemicals are released. There is an excellent documentary by National geographic about plastics narrated by Edward Norton.
-the entire series is good for all to watch... and gets right into everything being discussed here...
It is good that we are all aware and this awareness should move forward to find the best solutions everyday.. and it's important we all work to do our part to walk closer to the Earth. This is my goal
I am here at the Vega community because what is politically correct is important to me keeps me isolated at time as most just want to stick their heads in the sand and wait for someone else to find the solutions..