It’s no secret that every big company has jumped on the “green-recycled-sustainable-earthsaving” bandwagon, some with good intentions and even better results, but others mostly just interested in “green-washing” the all-too-easily green-washed consumer public.
Take Marcal Small Steps (above) for example: “100% Premium Recycled Paper Products blah blah blah” is all over their plastic packaging. It’s all just a big load of focus-group-studied hoo-ha. Butch and I like to buy our tp in bulk: We recently bought a 24-pack claiming to be “eco-friendly, recycled, dolphin-safe, etc” and, I swear, when I opened up the the large pack at home, I discovered that every 4-pack contained within had its very own plastic packaging. It was so ridiculous and unnecessary that I literally laughed out loud.
In a perfect world I wouldn’t buy toilet paper at all, but would instead wipe with a large oak leaf that I would then wash with rainwater and dry in the sun on my clothesline woven from my own hair. However, since I haven’t reached that point yet, I try my hardest to buy products with the least amount of packaging as possible. But, boy, they don’t make it easy! It’s simple enough to bring your own bags (including produce bags) to the grocery store, but if you need to buy a AA battery, no one is going to sell you a “loosie.” Big business’ bigger (than being green) concern with being ripped off means that consumer-unfriendly blister packaging tends to rule the roost.
I love the idea of a “circular economy,” proposed by green material science company Ecovative Design. Why can’t packaging consist of less foreign and more natural materials? Although Ecovative’s methods involve “the parts of plants that cannot be used for food or feed,” the plant-based packaging industry brings with it concerns of the use of viable farmland (one of the major problems with ethanol). However, it’s a step in the right direction to consider alternatives, because what we’re doing now is not benefiting the planet in the long-run!