Packaging and Sustainability; Are they mutually exclusive?
You may have noticed something different about the packaging at Akilah's Essentials. Nearly everything is either in aluminum or paper. Why is that? We know that excessive single use packaging is a significant factor in the current pollution crisis. That's why at Akilah's Essentials we incorporate sustainability into our packaging by mostly working with aluminum. Here's why.
Compared to plastic or glass, aluminum is the superior material. Although plastic can be recycled it has its limits. To increase the life span of plastic, new plastic must be added during the recycling process. After being melted and combined several times it looses its durability and can no longer be used leaving you with a mushy plastic waste.
Fun fact, nearly all plastic packaging has labeling to tell you its status. This labeling is in the form of numbered triangles embedded into the bottom of the package. 1's and 2's are the purest forms of plastic and are accepted at nearly all recycling plants. Anything 3 - 7 is usually not accepted and is often thrown to landfills instead.
Glass has received praise for being recyclable and quite beautiful. However, it is incredibly difficult to recycle glass. Glass has a very long life span and is much more difficult for landfills to compact. There is also little demand for recycled glass because it is so heavy making it more expensive to ship for both manufacturers and retailers.
That leaves us with aluminum. Aluminum is readily available, lightweight, and durable. Unlike glass, aluminum is incredibly easy to recycle and unlike plastic aluminum can be recycled an infinite amount of times without losing or requiring additional material. Aluminum is also lightweight which reduces shipping costs for both us and you!
You can easily make more sustainable choices by choosing aluminum when you shop! Purchase canned goods and drinks instead of plastic and glass. Reach out to your favorite brands asking them to incorporate more aluminum into their packaging materials. You can also make more conscious choices to reuse the plastic and glass you do purchase. Reuse those to-go containers as tubberware and reuse those glass bottles as flower vases.
We want to be clear. We do not mean to vilify plastic and glass. These are incredible materials that have advanced the modern world. We also do not want to place all the blame on consumers. However, both consumers and producers can make better choices and champion sustainable materials. Our societies excessive consumption of and inability to reuse packaging is creating a waste management crisis. Our ability to reduce, reuse, and recycle our packaging materials today will determine tomorrows future.