I chose convenience over sustainability
And these were my reasons(or excuses)
We moved to a new condo a few weeks ago.
And as our last condo was furnished, we did not have any furniture.
We thought we would buy used furniture or rent it.
But none of it happened.
Posted on some FB groups. Got nothing :(
Found some good used stuff on other groups.
But trust and COVID made it difficult to go ahead with them.
We also checked out some rental options.
What we liked was too expensive or was running out of stock(supply chain issues)
So we decided to purchase it.
And now we have this closet full of cardboard boxes.
If you know how we can reuse them somewhere, do drop in your ideas. Or just reply to this mail.
Packaging waste is a huge problem and here are three startups that are solving it in their own unique ways⬇️
Out of my control…As a consumer, when you put your brown boxes in the bin or out on the street, you assume they would get recycled. But that’s not how it works. It depends on a lot of factors- is the box clean, does it have any ink or tape on it, is there a recycling facility in the vicinity? So ultimately, a lot of these boxes end up in a landfill- where they take decades(or centuries) to degrade. When you get to know all this, you’re like…
For all things packaging…Circulate wants to solve this menace in the EU by digitalizing the packaging industry, which is still very traditional. They have built a B2B marketplace for sustainable packaging. It’s a one-stop shop for small and medium-sized enterprises(SMEs) for their packaging needs. It connects sellers across Europe that are making sustainable packaging with SMEs who want to switch to planet-friendly packaging.
It lists various sustainable packaging sellers from Europe.
Buyers can search, compare and select packaging products from these sellers.
Circulate makes it easier for buyers by rating different products on the sustainability scale.
They do the leg work…To score the products, Circulate looks through a lot of different factors- the renewable content used, the source of the product, the likelihood of reuse/recycling, type of energy used in the production of the material. Some of the social aspects like working conditions in the supply chain are also taken into account.
It’s not simple…Coffee cups and lids, takeout boxes, trays, bowls, cutlery- all of them are single-use plastic. That means they are manufactured in a few days, used for a few hours and stay on the planet for centuries. We keep hearing about bioplastic, a form of plastic that you can decompose. You get excited about that and then find out that it’s industrially compostable. Well, where do I find that industry to decompose it? Meanwhile, the manufacturers are like…
Simple and elegant…Hong Kong-based Sustainabl might just have the solution to all of these problems. The company manufactures home compostable takeaway cups and food containers. They are made from sugarcane “bagasse” pulp, a 100% natural byproduct of the sugarcane industry. Their first product was a natural grass drinking straw made from sustainably sourced lepironia grass (a type of bamboo grass) in SE Asia.
All of their products are zero taste, vegan and gluten-free.
They are carbon neutral or sometimes even carbon negative- bamboo grass converts around 25% more C02 to oxygen than most trees.
All of their raw materials are sustainably sourced.
They’ve thought of this too…Most of the inks used in the packaging industry contain petrochemicals and pigment that are harmful to human health and the planet. Sustainabl uses natural vegetable and water-based inks for custom printing- they are biodegradable and do not pollute our oceans.
As I was telling above… recycling is tough- it comes with a lot of ifs and buts and that’s why less than 10% of the plastic is recycled. The products today are not simple. They are a mix of different components. Recycling facilities are not equipped to separate these components and recycle all the parts. So it’s just easier to toss these products in the landfill.
After 2 years of research…Shellworks believes there’s a better way to package the products- one that does not have to go through the burden of recycling and instead merges with the environment at the end of its life. They have developed Vivomer, a vegan and compostable material, made from microbes. They take microbes that are readily available in marine and soil environments and use fermentation (like beer) to create Vivomer.
The material can then be moulded into different packaging materials.
They have started with reusable lipstick packaging, cream containers and droppers.
Businesses can buy these products from Shellworks or get other custom products made for themselves.
Just toss it…At the end of their life, the final customers can home or industrially compose them, if they have access to that. Through this, Vivomer can be turned back into rich fertilizer. Or they can simply put them in their household waste- where it would degrade a bit slower but would not harm the environment.
🙋Trivia of the week
A new study was done by Ethan Brown (of Stanford University and Impossible Foods) and Michael Eisen (of UC Berkeley) in the journal PLOS Climate.
It states that globally phasing out <this industry> over the next 15 years has the potential to stop greenhouse gases from increasing for the next three decades.
They further mention that this would buy us about 30 years in the quest to quit fossil fuels.
<This industry> also presents a host of ethical issues and could be a breeding ground for future pandemics.
Which industry are we talking about here?
📖 A book that I have been reading
I started reading The New Climate War this week.
I just started reading it so I don’t have a lot to say. But loved how it started with comparing climate change/fossil fuel problem to the tobacco industry and gun control’s problem- where big companies conveniently put the onus on individuals.
If you liked this edition, please do share it. That would mean a lot😊
Thanks for reading 🤷🏽♂️ Not My Problem! If you haven’t, you can subscribe for free to receive new posts and support my work.
Thanks and see you next week😄