Plastic and Sustainability

 

(Image source: https://dolphinplastics.com.au/)

Creating a sustainable future is something we think about a lot – it’s difficult not to. From the core values, we hold as vegans, to the more noticeable changes, like the volatile weather changes that we experience around the world.

 

The war on plastic is one of the hottest topics today, and for a good reason. Sir David Attenborough has almost single-handedly brought awareness to the careless use of disposable plastics. Our meals are still packed in plastic pots, though we hope you’ll reuse them, for a few reasons:

 

1) First and foremost, it’s the only way (so far) of making our food accessible. Our meals are 350g and priced at £3 to £4, and while we understand that’s a lot to pay, it’s the cost of our ingredients and our production. We don’t use any additives or preservatives, and our production facility is BRC-accredited, meaning that safety and quality are the highest priorities. From every production, we send some for lab testing, and our entire supply chain, from the sourcing of the ingredients to the cooking, to the delivery to you, is carefully planned so that there’s not a second that our products aren’t handled with care and attention.

 

Those things come at a cost, and our meals don’t benefit from any of the massive subsidies available to meat and dairy products. All that is to say, we want our high-quality meals to be accessible to all, and if we used anything but plastic pots, we would have to charge more than we would like.

 

2) All of our packaging is recyclable, from these plastic pots to the paper sleeves around them. If you order on our online store, the boxes, filling pellets, and ice packs can either be reused (who doesn’t love a cool box??) or recycled.

 

3) Our plastic is BPA-free and phthalate-free. The supplier of our pots has and continues to invest heavily in bio-degradable solutions. However, the technology does not yet exist for a bio-degradable plastic that can stand up to heating in a microwave.

 

4) Finally, we have sustainability in our hearts as a company and personally. That’s why we never use palm oil, even in ingredients like vegetable stock, and why we choose rapeseed oil over cheaper alternatives like margarine.

 

We also want to draw your attention to some other ways you can help with the environment. While single-use plastics are clearly an issue, almost 50% of all plastic found in the oceans comes from disposed of fishing nets. The most significant way you can help the oceans, and marine life is actually to stop eating them and to campaign for more responsible fishing practices by fisheries. That’s not to say that switching to a paper straw isn’t helpful, but it’s essential to understand what the biggest driver of the plastic problem is.

 

Next, while we tend to think of glass packaging as being more sustainable than plastic, there’s a reason to believe this might not always be the case. There is a global scarcity of sand due to its increasing value, and sand mafias are a constant disruptive force in more miserable, more corruption-prone countries. Hundreds of people are murdered every year in disputes between these mafias, not to mention the environmental damage that depleting sand can cause higher risks for flooding, storms, and tsunamis.

 

Finally, meat and dairy production are set to contribute about 80% of the allowable greenhouse budget by 2050 if the trend continues. While it seems like we live in an era where everyone appreciates the importance of halting climate change, most of us live in a little bubble, and the vast majority of the world simply isn’t aware of the massive impact of the meat and dairy industries.

 

By encouraging your friends and family to eat just one less meal a week, a month, or even a year with meat or dairy products, you’re making a huge impact. At Plantifull, we’re not about perfection, just about making an effort. Please let us know if you have someone you’d like to encourage to try switching to some plant-based options, and we’d be happy to send a discount code to try some of our meals and snacks.

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