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Packaging and the environment

One of our Facebook followers has recently raised some very interesting points about the packaging we use – with particular regard to Soda Crystals and Liquid Soap Flakes. Soda Crystals and the old ‘dry’ soap flakes used to be supplied in a cardboard box.

Soda Crystals are actually a ‘wet’ product and the reason why they can go hard if they reach over 32oC. The water content would seep out of a cardboard box. Even when they were supplied in a cardboard box, they had a plastic bag inside. Some customers complained that a box wasn’t ideal for pouring the crystals, particularly if they’d started to clump together. The new packaging is therefore more practical and uses less materials and energy in its production.

The soap in Liquid Soap Flakes is different to the dry version; it’s not simply dissolved flakes. There is actually less energy used in its production and although we have to use a plastic bottle, it’s PET so is widely recyclable. The market dictated a move in the product formulation from flakes to liquid because the former was not suitable for use in automatic washing machines. They are also suitable for vegetarians and vegans.

Bicarbonate of Soda, Citric Acid and Borax Substitute ARE all suitable for packaging in cardboard boxes.

In summary, you sometimes have to look at the OVERALL environmental impact and we always look at ways of minimising our carbon footprint wherever practical, as well as being an ethical supplier. For example, we don’t use palm oil in our Liquid Soap Flakes. We always welcome any comments from customers, so do please get in touch: leave feedback in the Comments section below or on Facebook or Twitter.

4 thoughts on “Packaging and the environment

  1. Can the plastic packaging used for soda crystals be recycled? I cannot find any indication on the packaging to show what type of plastic it is made from.
    Many thanks

    1. The plastic bag is a laminate and although in theory it can be recycled, we’re not aware of any local authorities that do so.

  2. Why is the laminate packaging, which no council can recycle as you say above, not being replaced by a plastic that can be recycled easily and widely? What is the point of using a practically not recyclable packaging?

    1. Without using a laminate, the bag would not stand up. Because retailers want people to see the front of the bag, so they know what they are buying at a glance, this dictates the packaging. Even if it were in a box, the crystals would have to be in a bag inside as it’s a wet product. We realise it’s not an ideal solution, but we have to try to strike a balance between ideals and pragmatism. It does look like progress is being made in recycling laminated plastic so it might be worth contacting your Local Authority to see if they have plans to follow Cambridge’s lead.

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