Bedding is a great fit to apply our cradle-to-grave practices. There's an opportunity -and a challenge- when plastics and other synthetic materials come into our work environment. A bit this month about how we navigate this on a daily basis:
What do you do when you're 100% committed to never ever throwing any trash, scrap or packaging into the landfills? It's absolutely just not an option at Holy Lamb Organics. Yes, we're a bit obsessed, in a good way!
"Today Americans discard about 33.6 million tons of plastic each year, but only 6.5 percent of it is recycled and 7.7 percent is combusted in waste-to-energy facilities, which create electricity or heat from garbage."
This is actually from an article published in 2012, via Columbia University. This post goes on to share that "The remaining 28.8 million tons of annual plastic waste ends up in landfills where it may take up to 1,000 years to decompose, and potentially leak pollutants into the soil and water."
We know we don't have to contribute to these numbers, so here's a bit of the plan we've developed ...and a little about what we have in the works too.
Just sturdy clean boxes for shipping
If you've purchased from us before (Thank You!) you might've noticed an absence of plastic wrap inside the order you received. We believe in good, sturdy, clean boxes. We inspect each order not only for the quality of the product, but also the shipping container - to get our handmade products to you safely.
Many customers do have multiple chemical sensitivities. So we offer the option of tucking your toppers, pillows and other purchases inside a Bio Bag, which is made from corn and is compostable. Simply send an email with your order number letting us know this preference.
See more about our Plastic-Free Packaging Policy.
What about plastics that get sent to us?
We're pretty serious about the Zero-Waste policy. Absolutely nothing from our facility goes to a landfill. Ever. 15 years and counting. So we've done some digging on how to best recycle and up-cycle the plastics that arrive at our doors.
For instance, our batting deliveries
Case in point, our American Premium Eco-Wool™ batting is delivered in long cylindrical plastic bags. We've developed a few upcycling and recycling procedures around this, but have found a gem of a partner in waste reduction.
- Recycle: All of our wool bags are sent back to the mill to be reused. When the life of this LDPE bag is expired it's recycled!
For LDPE Recycling:
We recycle all of our "thin" film plastics at a place in Tacoma called Full Container Recovery. It's useful to know because Olympia, and many other cities in Washington, no longer accepts this thin plastic in curbside recycling bins. We bring our stockpiled thin plastics to Full Container for recycling. And we're grateful for this service.
We ship our material samples to you in Tyvek
We reuse these bags until the end of their life cycle. When they are no longer useful, we collect this material, a flashspun polyethelyne synthetic, and seal it up in a box received from another vendor and ship it to CFS Recycling at the address below.
For Tyvek recycling:
337 A Industrial Drive
Petersburg VA 23803
It's a bit of a game
There's a delicious sense of pride and satisfaction in recycling and re-homing materials. It can feel like a puzzle to research and then find the right service. Then, it's a win every time we connect and redistribute those resources to their best purposes.
And there's more to come
We are developing with our mill new & reusable packaging to ship the wool to our facility. The idea is, to eliminate the need for the plastic wrapping altogether.
This is a special collaboration with one of our partners and we're hoping to share more soon!
Make it your own
Our practices are not proprietary. All are welcome.
So join us, or make your own game of developing your personal Plastic-Free or Zero-Waste plan.
It feels good, and it's definitely FTW, or "for the win."