The recycling symbol - 3 folded arrows in a triangular loop - is one of the most recognizable visuals ever.
People of all ages and backgrounds know exactly what it stands for. Recycling, as a brand, is hugely successful. It means we know, like, and trust it.
But as with most of life, there are“gotchas”, some spots that beg a closer look.
For example, less than 9% of plastics actually get recycled. So even if you put that bottle in the right bin and even if it’s a valid plastic type, the chances it will see a second life are very slim.
It’s sobering. 9 of your 10 plastic recyclables will end up in a landfill or ocean instead.
We have zero beef with recycling. We’re believers and supporters.
At the same time, we strive to be intentional about everything we do at COMMONS. It wouldn’t be enough to put our products in plastic bottles, even recycled ones. It wouldn’t make things better or even neutralize the problem.
And while glass and aluminum packaging are options, each has catches. The weight and volume of rigid materials use more space and fuel than flexible materials. New aluminum production - necessary as demand grows - is also pretty bad for the planet.
To sum it up, it’s complicated to be an environmentally responsible brand. There’s pros and cons everywhere.
But it’s also not a black-and-white thing. New technology, research, and trends will always redefine sustainability and environmental ethics.
It’s a journey, not a destination.
We decided on two things:
1. Commitment counts. There’s no perfect decision, but consistency and the right intentions - to do good by our planet - are a must.
2. Impact over sacred cows. We’ll learn, grow, and change to make sure we’re doing the best we can do for that moment in time.
We’re using flexible pouches, which are a 50% net improvement over plastic bottles when it comes to landfill, manufacturing, and shipping impacts.
There’s always a way to get better at this, and we’re up for that challenge.