If you're wanting to do your bit for the environment, you're probably using a Keep Cup, separating your recyclables, and committing to a few more meat-free meals. But have you considered the impact of your online shopping habit?
Entrepreneurs Kate Bezar and Rebecca Percasky were working for an e-commerce start-up, and were horrified by the amount of packaging that was going to waste thanks to online shopping orders. They decided to find a better alternative.
But in their search, they found some major issues with products most people see as recyclable. Firstly, they say paper might seem like the most sustainable packaging option, but it's one of the most polluting industries in the world.
They also say marketing something "degradable" can be green-washing, it doesn't necessarily mean it's sustainable. And often things that should be recycled, like white milk bottles, can't be sorted properly at the recycling plant.
Bezar and Percasky found out first hand how a poor recycling process can let down even those with the best intentions. Their first product was made primarily from limestone quarry waste. They thought they'd hit the jackpot with the bags, which were made with solar power, required no water and had no byproducts.
Percasky says that's until they went to see the recycling process. "Because it looks like paper it would be diverted into the paper stream, but it's heavy so it would sink to the bottom, be scooped off and probably end up in landfill".
But that didn't deter the pair. A couple of years of research later, and their company The Better Packaging Co has produced a home-compostable range that has sold 5 million units in 24 months.
To hear more about Percasky and Bezar's Better Packaging journey, listen to their episode of HP Business class here.