In 2003, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) estimated that the United States produced more than 236 million tons of municipal solid waste — 35.2 percent of it was paper material, 11.3 percent was plastic, 8 percent was metal and 5.3 percent was glass. Although nearly 30 percent of the total was recycled or composted, the overwhelming majority of waste was sent to landfills. For many packages today, the cycle remains cradle to grave. The package is manufactured with virgin materials, fulfills its purpose and ends up in a landfill. But according to a growing number of constituents in industry today, that does not have to be.
The Sustainable Packaging Coalition, a project undertaken by not-for-profit organization GreenBlue, Charlottesville, VA, offers this vision statement: “The Sustainable Packaging Coalition envisions a world where all packaging is sourced responsibly, designed to be effective and safe throughout its life cycle, meets market criteria and cost, is made entirely using renewable energy and once used, is recycled efficiently to provide a valuable resource for subsequent generations. In summary: a true cradle to cradle system for all packaging.”
Is this a lofty goal? Is it decades away? Not necessarily. A number of beauty brands & spa brands, like Scandle Body Candles, whether voluntarily or on account of regulations, are adopting packaging policies promoting good environmental stewardship.