So after attending this year's Packaging Innovations & Luxury Packaging 2019 event, (or BOX FEST as my husband calls it) it was genuinely inspiring to see so many companies and brands trying to work out how to transition to the most eco-friendly solutions. It gave me faith that consumers really are voting with their money and big brands are listening and trying their hardest to fix things.
One of the things discussed was whether bio-plastics / compostable alternatives really are really better than their plastic counterparts. After listening to some very well informed opinions on both sides of the argument I'm still confident we're on the right path - using biodegradable and compostable bags derived from corn starch coming from an annually renewable crop just seems more forward thinking than using fossil fuel derived oil based plastics which are non renewable. Yes, the percent that is correctly processed can depend a lot on local authorities facilities and households knowing how to separate correctly, but when compared to the whole process of plastic creation, shipping and the almost certain landfill ending, I think bio-plastics and compostables still win out.
I also believe in supporting new technologies which in turn lead to more sustainable infastructures. There was talk of whitemarking materials which would be separated mechanically at recycling point so they 100% go into the right 'bit'. These changes can't come soon enough but we are hopeful for the time they are here.
And to do your bit until then, remember to check the labels for instructions when you are recycling, whether its a bio-plastic punnet of strawberries or some of our paper shadow puppets wrapped in compostable film!
We make our toys in small batches - it is a total pain to do this both financially and in terms of labour! But at the core of what we do I really do believe in sustainability and providing the best option and for this we need to stay flexible and constantly reassess the situation.