Certified plastic negative - What does it mean and how do we do it?
In very basic terms we remove twice as much plastic from the environment as we produce.
You buy a bar with a wrapper on it, we remove and reuse the equivalent of two ocean bound wrappers from the environment. Simple.
Well, it's not simple, it's pretty clever actually - and after over two years of looking is the best solution we've found to the wrapper problem. By MILES. (And yes, the small amount of plastic that the boxes are wrapped in, we account for that, generously, as well!)
We do this by working with rePurpose Global. They are the world’s first Plastic Credit Platform. rePurpose helps companies take impactful environmental action by financing the removal of ocean-bound plastic. This helps further embed sustainability into our journey. Speaking to them was something of an instant meeting of minds.
We had both been looking at the issue for some time. We both recognised that plastic is not inherently evil - but plastic in the wrong place is not a good thing. We also both recognised that while there are some non plastic solutions starting to emerge, the overall environmental impact of these cellulose based solutions is, for now, far higher than a plastic wrapper. And we also both knew that the sort of plastic that is used in a wrapper, a laminate polypropylene, is currently one of the least cost effective to recycle.
The rePurpose solution also acknowledges the reality of globalisation and the way the west, as a wide sweeping generalisation, deals with huge amount of its waste and recycling. We ship it off shore and make it someone else's problem.
In many of the countries our waste and recycling ends up, Malayasia, India, Swathes of Africa, a huge informal waste and recycling industry is what ultimately sorts our rubbish and recycling into that which gets recycled, and that which doesn't.
What we are doing through rePurpose, is increasing the amount paid for collecting plastic that is otherwise too low value to be collected, and would therefore be ignored by this informal plastic sorting army. This plastic is then used, in myraid ways, from road building, to construction to shoe making.
The end of the road for the most degraded of these plastics is a cement factory, where it replaces coal as a fuel. It is far more overall environmentally friendly than coal. (Less sulphur and nitrogen dioxides, etc).
Every piece of plastic we help them recover would otherwise not be reused. They call this '100% additionality'. We are currently supporting the work of Waste Ventures, in Hyderabad, India, to achieve our plastic negativity.
We're delighted to be doing this work, and are finally truly proud of what each bar you buy does in terms of having a positive impact on the environment.
We will keep updating this page and blog as we delve deeper into the plastic recycling world and some of the exciting tech that is being developed to make use of low grade plastics.