Natural resources are finite, yet globally we're consuming 75% more resources than the Earth can sustain. And we're not only consuming past the planet's limits. Many of our processes pollute and damage the ability of ecosystems to generate these resources in the first place.
Plastic packaging is one example: Over 8 million tonnes of plastic enters our oceans every year. At these rates, there will be more plastic than fish in our oceans by 2050!
Part of the problem is our current 'linear' economy, which encourages us to 'create, use, dispose' most of our products. Natural systems aren't wasteful like this. In nature, waste products are reused and recycled over and over in circular systems. So, for example, when a tree dies, fungi and micro-organisms break down the tree into nutrients that return to the soil, fuelling the growth of new life. The waste from one product is the fuel for another.
A circular economy approach mirrors nature by reusing and recycling products considered 'waste' to create something new. As a result, a circular economy reduces resource use, plastic pollution and waste, and could help reduce greenhouse gas emissions by over a third.
We're working hard to make Cooper & Gracie packaging as sustainable as possible. For example, our containers are made from easily recyclable plastics. We've also rolled out natural and recyclable inks on all of our packaging labels. And we're working hard to optimise how we package our products to utilise space and reduce our carbon footprint.
All the materials used to distribute our products are recyclable too. But we still have work to do to improve the environmental sustainability of our packaging even further. For example, finding recyclable options for the pump-action components in our spray bottles is challenging, and we're exploring options for increasing the reusability of our packaging. We're continuously seeking to improve and reduce the packaging on our products, doing our part to support a more circular economy.
Being socially responsible is at the heart of what we do. And we're keen to share what we're doing so you can do your bit too. Our Sustainability Series goes into more detail on some of our activities as a sustainable, socially responsible business. To find out more, explore our blog.
Check back for more in our Sustainability Series, where we'll continue to share some of the exciting work going on behind the scenes at Cooper & Gracie.
Written in collaboration with GB Sustainability