Earth Day always has a melancholy mood to it. Whilst we want to celebrate the beauty that is our planet, there are pressing issues we must tackle before we can do that. We are all too aware that the world is struggling under the weight of plastic pollution, greenhouse gasses, over-extraction of materials and the destruction of wildlife.
As a result, Earth Day can cause a lot of eco-anxiety around your own actions and this is why we wanted to reiterate today that we are not another zero-waste cleaning brand. Truth be told, we are not massive fans of the term "zero-waste" which implies an all-or-nothing mentality. We believe that consuming and producing anything can never be totally waste-free. Instead, our goal as a business is to do everything that we can to be low-waste, whilst still delivering a great product that is fantastic and convenient for you. We have chosen our product packaging based on various criteria of low transportation footprint, high recyclability, and longevity in our circular design so that our bottles are designed to be refilled and reused hundreds of times without breakage.
We use cardboard to deliver your e-commerce orders because it is the lightest and most recyclable packaging option out there. But there is currently a shortage of cardboard boxes in the world. The increase in at-home shopping has skyrocketed the demand for packaging and although 84% of cardboard is being recycled in the UK, we are consuming faster than we can produce. Not to mention, most e-commerce packaging is treated as single-use. Amazon alone is a major contributor to the cardboard shortage in the UK. The cardboard industry also puts a great strain on the world.
Cardboard comes from cutting down trees and then if it does get recycled, paper can only be recycled up to seven times. Eventually, it is either burned or left in the landfill, both of which release carbon dioxide and methane, a greenhouse gas 84 times more powerful than CO2 when it comes to warming the earth’s core. This is exactly why we don’t claim to be zero-waste. But, here is what we are doing to reduce our impact:
We use unbranded boxes
The small size reduces our carbon footprint. We intentionally use unbranded boxes for delivering our products to your home. The lack of branding makes reusing and recycling the box much easier. Nicely branded boxes surely do make for an exciting unboxing experience, but that excitement is short-lived while the damage to the planet is much more long lasting. We know our gorgeous cleaners will excite you enough, so we will spare the planet the extra burden of heavy branded cardboard boxes that pretty much end up in the bin in seconds.
Boxes that have printed branding are harder to recycle because the dyes seep into the structure of the paper. We also learnt that a lot of boxes are printed with inks that are not certified vegan, even though the product ingredients might be vegan. Our boxes are recycled and Forest Stewardship Council (FSc) certified, meaning they are responsibly sourced. We also use paper tape to seal our boxes, instead of plastic tape, so our boxes remain easy to recycle, without having to remove the tape.
We do not send booklets or promotional leaflets
Have you ever received a package from a brand and it is filled with glossy coupons and catalogs? Those plastic and foil covered pieces and more paper just create extra waste and are most often not recyclable. How about the dreaded tiny little sample tubes or mixed material sachets? They look harmless because of their size but they are non recyclable and pollute the planet forever.
Our instruction card is as tiny as possible
We do send an instruction card to make sure you make the most of your Spruce, but it is intentionally a tiny little one. We have seen brands send entire booklets of instructions. This goes back to our product design. We believe that although we are introducing a new form factor into the market, the process should be as simple as mixing sugar in your coffee. Now do you require an instruction manual or a booklet to show you how that’s done? We think not.
Hence our tiny little cute card, that is easy to store, if you want to refer back to ingredients or instructions at a later point.
Our bottles are infinitely refillable and recyclable.
Every product and packaging decision we have made is to stop further damage to the planet and people. Hence our choice of aluminium bottles as opposed to glass, bioplastics or recycled plastics. More than 75% aluminium worldwide is recycled and it is one of the most and easily recyclable materials as it doesn’t deteriorate or change its properties through the recycling process. Not to mention, it is lightweight and long lasting.
Our refill packs are plastic-free
Our refill packs are as tiny as they get and are plastic-free. They are also certified home and industrial compostable. This is important. If packaging is just industrial compostable, but not one that naturally biodegrades without industrial compostable facilities, it is usually not the most eco-friendly. The reason being there just aren’t enough industrial composting facilities available. Also, compostable packaging and bioplastics do not go in the normal plastic recycling bin, as they pollute the plastic recycling process. Our refill packaging will turn into fertile biomass in a matter of weeks.
Our cleaning products are made with non-toxic ingredients
We believe the health of the planet and that of people are not two separate issues. This is why we have chosen ingredients that are safe for humans and safe for the environment.
Small changes we all make will accumulate to create a big difference in improving the health of the planet. We don't claim to be zero-waste, but we're the lowest waste and ethical cleaning brand you will find in the market.
Want to read more about why we prefer not to spread eco-anxiety and not call ourselves zero waste? Readthis blog post.
Happy Earth Day, let’s look after Mother Earth together.