Sustainability is a complex subject which is hard to get to grips with. It’s not so much a matter of whether a product is sustainable or not, but whether it is more sustainable than other options. The more consumers that opt for sustainable products, the more companies will want to compete in this market, and standards will rise.
Here is a list of things that make a product more sustainable and less damaging to the planet. It will be hard to find a company that is doing all of these things, but if they are doing one, two or more, then they deserve credit and support:-
- recycled materials / can it be re-cycled?
The ‘Cradle to Cradle’ concept, explained by author William McDonough, encourages not only using recycled materials, but to make products that are able to be re-cycled again at the end of their use. This will create a circular economy where resources can be used again and again, as opposed to the current linear economy where resources are used then discarded, causing them to deplete.
The textiles industry is successfully developing fabrics made from fruit peel, fishing nets, plastic bottles and coffee fibre, to name just a few.
IKEA have developed bioplastic bags ISTAD, that are now made mostly of a renewable material from the sugarcane industry, which they say is expected to save about 75,000 barrels of oil yearly, will significantly reduce CO2 emissions, and contribute to a transformation of the plastic industry.