Sustainable Packaging: Thinking about the outside, as well as the inside

Photo: Flickr/pouch_designs

More and more, consumers are starting to understand the importance of not only what they buy, but also how it’s packaged. An eco-friendly cleanser doesn’t really help the environment much if the empty container is not recyclable. And I am often shocked by how many layers of paper and plastic I have to get through to reach a jar of moisturizer. I’m not the only one.  The New York Times reported recently that 40 percent of women surveyed said that eco-friendly packaging was part of their decision when shopping for makeup.

These considerations were certainly in my mind when we started selling Sirona Springs handmade soap. In our first year, we packaged our soap in cardboard boxes made from 70% post-consumer recycled paper, along with printed labels. These were fine, but I always wished that the soap bar was more visible.  Truth be told, soap color and design is what inspires me. But a more visible bar meant some kind of plastic and I wasn’t comfortable being the conduit for more plastic ending up in a landfill. Then I found a solution!

New Soap Packaging
This month we are introducing our new packaging featuring a shrink wrap made from Biolefin, an oxo-biodegradable plastic. This means that in the presence of oxygen and sunlight or heat, the plastic breaks down and changes into products that are then able to be decomposed by natural soil microorganisms like bacteria, fungi and algae. Because of these characteristics, this plastic will break down even in a landfill (where enough heat builds up) or if accidentally introduced into the environment as litter (due to the action of the sunlight with oxygen). And if you have recycling in your community, it can be tossed into those bins, too!

This plastic wrap has allowed us to also discontinue using adhesive labels. Now our label is printed on plain paper, which is also recyclable. And since the plastic wrap is perforated, you can still sniff the scent. Finally, the smaller footprint of each individual bar means that we can pack more bars into each mailing container, making shipping more efficient, too.

It all adds up to a soap bar that is clearly visible, gentle to your skin and kind to the environment. A winner all around!

Find out more about the different ways that other companies are making their packaging more environmentally friendly.

On Sale Now!
In order to make room for our newly packaged bars, we’re having a sale on the ones we have left that are packaged in our recyclable cardboard boxes. Selected varieties are 20% off until they are gone. A great reason to stock up on some of our most popular bars!


4 thoughts on “Sustainable Packaging: Thinking about the outside, as well as the inside

    • Thanks! I definitely took my time in considering it, because it is a bit of an investment. I purchased a complete shrink wrapping system from National Shrinkwrap. So far, it’s been great. I love the versatility of having shrink wrap: I can make a batch of oddly-sized bars occasionally and not have to worry about whether they will fit in boxes.

  1. hi,
    your soaps are very pretty and i want to learn soap making just for a hobby.can you suggest me where i can learn.and where i can buy the ingredients.

    thank you,

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