No to bioplastics

We are concerned about bioplastics – we prefer production of recycled plastic packaging. We have saved more than five tons of new plastic within less than a year.

Environmental matters and sustainable development are very important to us in Manufaktura. One of the areas we pay considerable attention to is packaging. In general, we save it, we prefer paper packaging which is produced in Bohemia and, moreover, part of our assortment (bath salt) can be sold and packed in customers´ own containers.

We were intensively and for a long time dealing with the issue of how to approach the use of plastic packaging necessary for packing shower gels, shampoos and other liquid products. We realize that our planet is flooded with plastic and this situation is deteriorating year after year. We did not want to avert our eyes from that reality, so we were considering several options.

Initially, we became enthusiastic about the idea of allowing our customers to buy chosen liquid products by bottling them in their own containers. However, this variant encountered difficulties in the form of fine and mild composition of our products which would need to be preserved significantly much more in order to meet sanitary measures and microbiological stability. After long discussions with our development and production department responsible for quality of our products we decided to abandon this decision for the time being (with the exception of the mentioned bath salt, which allows this solution).

Another option that we were at first captivated by were attractively sounding bioplastics. This solution seemed to be the obvious choice. Unfortunately, just until thorough examination of this issue and finding out that bioplastics were not a win for the environment, rather the contrary. Why? There are several reasons. The vast majority of bioplastics do not decompose naturally as promised. It is a misconception that garbage can be dumped anywhere in nature and it will decompose. The remaining issue is where bioplastics should be properly disposed of. With regard to the outstanding way of proper disposal of bioplastics in terms of waste we have reached the view that the products made from them interfere with the recycling chain of common plastics because as a standard they are thrown in containers intended for plastic waste, which is wrong. Bioplastics have different properties and they interfere with the recycling chain (they degrade quality of recycled material, which can be reused). With respect to the food crisis in a large part of the planet, another equally important fact is that bioplastics are made from agricultural products – corn starch, cellulose, sugarcane. It is a scary thought that raw materials needed for production of bioplastics occupy and destroy huge natural lands. (Growing palms for the purpose of palm oil production, consumption of which is dramatically increasing, e.g. due to the use of biofuels, is a tricky topic now.)

The ideal solution for this issue that we assessed positively is production of our containers with added recycled PET. We have been producing our containers from PET material since the beginning. This is prime quality plastic that can be best recycled (up to fifty times). Since the spring 2018 the vast majority of our containers have been produced with the proportion of 25 % of recycled PET. We have saved more than five tons of new plastic within less than a year.

We are excited about this finding and encouraged to go on in further stages of this project. In collaboration with our supplier of plastic packaging we are working hard to be able to maximise the content of recycled material in our packaging in order to save more plastic.

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