At Nourish Soaps soaps I only use pure, natural ingredients in my soaps and creams and my packaging has always been biodegradable, meaning it is made out of paper, not plastic.
Well, that’s lovely!
However, when I looked a bit deeper I found that not all paper is that friendly.
Well, let’s look at the lovely packaging – that beautiful soap is enclosed with paper card and has some cheerful printing and a sticker, surely that will all break down quickly and the planet will be a healthier place for it?
It seems things are a little more complex than that..
Looking at a bigger picture, into how paper is sourced and made, what makes the inks, and that little plastic sticker, I realized it was more than just being able to say ‘biodegradable’ – if I was going to ‘talk the talk’ I needed to ‘walk the walk’! Hence my commitment to ensure eco friendly packaging for all Nourish Soaps products!
Doing my bit...
When you shop for natural products, it is always irritating if the item is packaged in plastic. To me that sort of defeats the purpose of being ‘eco-friendly’
I am so excited to share with you that all Nourish Soaps are packaged in a paper board that is FSC accredited. The Forest Stewardship Council (FSC) is a global organisation that has a set of standards which its members must comply with. It sets certain standards as to which types of wood are acceptable or not. Wood that is falls under these criteria will not be considered under the FSC banner:
- Wood harvested in violation of traditional and human rights
- Illegally harvested wood
- Wood harvested in forests in which high conservation values are threatened by management activities
- Wood harvested in forests being converted to plantations or non-forest use
- Wood from forests in which genetically-modified trees are planted
Forestry South Africa has long been a member of the FSC, with some of the biggest forestry and paper companies as its members (eg Mondi; SAPPI; MTO).
FSC forest management certification confirms that the forest is being managed in a way that preserves biological diversity and benefits the lives of local people and workers while ensuring it sustains economic viability. Pretty awesome hey?
Then there's the ink!
And what about the small print? It seems counter-productive to have this FSC paper and then to print on it using a petrochemical-based ink.
Cheaper, sure, and who would notice? It just didn’t sit right with me.
Small changes make a big difference in the long run. Printing with solvent inks results in evaporation. If the carrier of the ink is petroleum-based, it can result in emissions such as volatile organic compounds (VOCs). These compounds are released into the air during the printing process and when the printing machinery is cleaned or handled. Volatile organic compounds are known to pose dangers to our health, and they aren’t solely found in petroleum-based inks. They are also in everyday household products too, such as cleaning products, air freshers and sometimes, furniture!
At Nourish Soaps all the printing on packaging is done using eco-friendly vegetable-based inks. Oils used in vegetable-based inks are soy, linseed (flax), canola, and safflower. Soybean and linseed oil are the two most prominent. Each type of oil comes with its own advantages; for example, soybean oil is relatively clear so it can provide more vivid colors than petroleum-based oils. Vegetable-based inks often employ a blend of oils to maximize quality and minimize drying times.
And finally, the product information sticker on the box is made from paper, not a piece of plastic.
I know that you, my loyal Nourish Soap client, appreciate natural and pure products and you care about your health, your family’s well-being, and the environment. Needless to say, I am proud to be able to contribute in a small way to your lifestyle and the sustainability of the planet. Onwards and upwards!!