Plastic is one the most significant environmental issues the world is facing today.
Since the beginning of plastic production, it is estimated that at least 8.3 billion tons of plastic have been produced globally. Of this, at least 6.3 billion tons of plastic waste has been created and almost 80% have been put to landfill or into the natural environment, such as the oceans.
Australians now produce about 50 million tons of plastic waste each year, averaging over 2 tons per person. This is particularly concerning as curb side recycling (people at home) is only at 10% and industrial recycling is at only 11%. This is despite the fact both HDPE and PET plastics (two most common plastics) are both 100% recyclable.
It can take anything between 20 – 100 years for a plastic bag to break up, up to 1,000 for an HDPE bottle (like our packaging), and up to 1,000 for a pet bottle. These products will never properly biodegrade, only break up or degrade into small into smaller pieces but never properly disappear. They break up into polymers and toxic chemicals that linger in our environment.
Acknowledging this issue and the importance to both to us and our consumers, we have made the decision to move all our Vital packaging to rPet; plastic made from 100% recycled plastic products. By the end of 2020, we pledge to have all Vital products transitioned to packaging made completely from already recycled plastics.
WHAT IS RPET?
rPET is recycled PET (polyethylene terephthalate) plastic. Fairly new to Australia, and particularly in the health industry, the plastic is made by repurposing used recycled
plastic products into new plastic.
To make rPET, the original PET containers are returned via a recycling program to a facility that sorts, cleans, and transforms the plastic into rPET flakes or pellets. The flakes/pellets are then repurposed to make rPet products, including our Vital jars.
Converting postconsumer PET into a valuable resource helps the environment because rPET has a lower carbon footprint than virgin PET. Most importantly, it ensures previous plastic products are reused avoiding landfill, as well as avoiding the introduction of new plastics into our environment.
We are extremely proud to be making this packaging evolution to ecofriendly tubs. As a business, we believe we must always minimise our ecological footprint and strive for sustainable packaging. This will continue to be at the forefront of all our decisions. As a leading health company making this change, we hope others will follow.