the verdant lab sustainable paper bags

Our Thoughts on Plastic & Paper

Packaging option flatlay

Do you believe that paper is more "eco-friendly" than plastic? Before we dive into our thoughts, we would like to emphasise that there is not right or wrong answer, as it all depends on your perspective of "saving the earth".

For our solid products, we avoid plastics completely. Paper can be recycled, composted and will decompose faster than plastics will. We have local recycling companies that accept paper, but not plastic, which has to be incinerated.

We can go one step further by choosing paper that is Forest Stewardship Council (FSC) certified Recycled or Mix, which means less virgin materials are used to produce the products. Unless you are creating archival material (such as artwork) or using paper for sanitary measures (Food and Beverages industries), recycled paper can be a good choice for packaging.

Paper bag with FSC Certification

However, there are drawbacks to choosing paper over plastic.

Producing a paper bag results in a carbon footprint bigger than that of a single-use plastic bag. This is because water and energy is required to grow the trees to be made into virgin wood pulp.

Paper can only be recycled up to 7 times, if it even survives being contaminated by the contents we put in the bags. It is not waterproof, not stain-proof and definitely not tear-proof. To be recycled, the fibres will be cut shorter and shorter to be made into paper products of lower strength and uses.

Plastic is an ideal container for liquids and gels/creams, acting as a lightweight and strong barrier against moisture and air. It keeps its contents clean and protects it from damage better than paper can.

No matter which side you are on, the best way to minimise our impact on the environment is to actually reuse rather than recycle. This prevents unncessary waste from being generated. 

For our liquid products, we are working to get more partners to house our products in refilleries, allowing the same plastic or glass container to be reused. We also offer refill packs for our body wash, shampoo, hand sanitiser etc. that reduces the amount of plastic packaging used.

We believe that everybody is on their own journey to sustainability. Let us all do our part, no matter how small our individual actions may seem.

Back to blog