Reducing packaging, and plastic in particular, is a real upward battle. Plastic is just so very useful! Then there are so many articles and opinions on the relative costs of plastic versus the alternatives, in particular paper and glass. With some suggesting that actually the costs to the environment balances out, whilst plastic is of course much better for the small producer, especially when the consumer is not willing to pay a premium for the glass.
We have had a look at it all and considered our options. Our thoughts are as follows: (i) as our supply chains are short (95% from Bali), the argument about transport costs for glass is not as relevant; (ii) we are encouraging producers to move to recycled paper from more sustainable sources; (iii) we can collect bottles and return them to producers, thus reducing their production costs; (iv) modern consumers support the move to sustainable packaging and blogs such as these will encourage an acceptance of price premiums, and (v) requiring all small producers to use glass will cut many of them out of the market, so it’s better to pursue this goal in dialogue.
In the meantime, this is what we are committed to ourselves.
- We use organic, plastic-free packaging for fresh vegetables and produce and either brown paper bags or reusable jars for bulk items such as nuts, seeds, grains, herbs and spices.
- We use an urban composter for all of our organic waste.
- We have a Return Me campaign for glass jars and bottles. You can return all of the ones marked with a 1K sticker to our depot or to one of our stores in Pererenan or Bumbak. We will reimburse you for the bottles and return them to the producers.
In the meantime, a shout out to the many producers who have waste reduction at the heart of their business model. Ibu Bumi is a good example, check out their expanding range of natural home care products. And of course, let’s support a dialogue on this objective and hold us to account. We are always open for ideas!