The team at Gut Performance™ is a family-owned and operated business. We are committed to supporting the health and wellbeing of people around the world. Our lives as a family and business are focused on promoting overall health and wellbeing. Not only in our business but the choices we make in our every day lives. As a part of that commitment, we are naturally concerned about our environmental impact.
We believe a healthy environment is necessary to support and enable a healthy mind and body.
After some customer concerns about our packaging, we decided to do our research to find an environmentally safe packaging option. It turns out, using plastics is not such a bad choice when compared to some of the alternatives.
Our parameters for selecting the packaging needed to fulfil specific criteria:
- Ensure we complied with the Australian Standards for food packaging.
- Be economically viable to keep the cost of the product within reach of everybody.
- Be able to be shipped all over the world with relative ease.
- Have the least amount of environmental impact as possible at this point.
The Good & Bad
Yes, plastic is non-biodegradable but is fully recyclable. With excellent worldwide community awareness in the need to reuse, separate and recycle. It is impermeable to moisture. It meets the Australian Standards for food packaging. It is robust, lightweight and easy to transport long distances. This decreases the amount of energy used and greenhouse emissions produced, compared with other products (glass for instance).
There is no denying the environmental problems posed by single-use plastics. But this is often a distraction to the far more significant issue of climate change. Plastics are not necessarily all evil. It is usually in the way we dispose of them.
Glass is another product that could be considered a contender. It meets all the Australian Standards for food packaging, is reusable and recyclable. But it is heavy, brittle, and breakable, leading to poor portability. It is also costly to transport. This has two effects. It ends up in the hip pocket of the consumer. And, the environment suffers due to increased greenhouse emission.
Most modern-day tin cans are made of steel with a tin lining or plastic coating. This is done to stop the steel from corroding. Tin can react with foods, so needs an extra coating to reduce the likelihood of corrosion. It also ensures it is up to the Australian Standards for packaging of food. Tin is durable and tamper-proof if the top is welded. But, it is heavier than other products. This leads to increased transportation costs and transport-related emissions.
It is recyclable but not biodegradable. Although Australia’s metals recovery and recycling rates are high (National Waste Report 2018), it has been shown that aluminium and tin cans combined only account for two percent of the overall metals recovery. So, it is more likely that these cans end up in landfills, which is problematic due to not being biodegradable.
Paper and Paperboard
Paper can be produced into packaging that has excellent strength to weight characteristics. But it has a reduced barrier to light, which can affect the contents of food. Paper is low weight, therefore low cost in transport emissions. However, it is moisture sensitive and loses strength with increasing humidity. Most food product paper packaging is composite with plastic linings. This proves difficult and expensive in the separation process when the product is disposed. It leads to the whole product ending up in landfill, non-biodegradable and wasted. There is also the tree to think about that it came from. How sustainable is the source?
At Gut Performance™, we have decided to stay with the current recyclable plastic containers at this point.
This is for consumer safety, affordability, and doing as best we can in decreasing greenhouse gas emissions.
But, we will always remain open to researching new and improved packaging solutions that enter the market. It is the responsibility of all of us to do the right thing. Reduce, Reuse and Recycle. When we do this collectively, significant change can happen.