From the invention of paper cups to Kleenex, hygiene has had a long love affair with disposability. But in this age of choking sea turtles and overflowing landfills, environmental considerations have turned the relationship between clean and green into something of a bad romance.
But 10 years ago, roommates Adam Lowry and Eric Ryan founded method, a cleaning products company that has continually innovated sustainable practices. You are probably already acquainted with their super concentrated laundry detergent, which uses 36% less plastic than the average detergent bottle. Awesome news: method has recently redesigned the packaging for their detergent refill pouch, making it easier than ever to reuse the compact pump.
The company has also continued to increase their use of the shrink-wrapped labels that first appeared on the detergent bottle. Shrink-wrapping enables graphic flexibility while keeping the plastic eminently recyclable. Method "Product Czar" Don Frey told us that coloring the plastic bottle itself would mean downcycling when it reached a recycling facility: it would become a lower grade plastic bench instead of being reconverted into a higher use plastic bottle. But if the graphic treatment is shrink-wrapped rather than integrated into the form, the bottle's plastic can be recycled at a higher grade and the materials used longer.
shrink-wrap = longer circulation of materials = less use of new materials + less plastic in landfills = WIN
Using the shrink-wrap tactic also means that method can visually differentiate clear liquid soaps without resorting to the use of artificial dyes.
But in spite of all this awesomeness, method isn't getting lazy or relying on greenwashing, either. On their website, co-founder Adam Lowry writes:
At method, we want to be a sustainable business, but we recognize that no business is sustainable yet. That's why we've geared our company to be the best at getting better. Our sustainability philosophy starts with our mission to Inspire a Happy, Healthy Home Revolution, and centers around using innovation to create positive change. But mere sustainability is not our goal. We want to go much farther than that. We want to become restorative and enriching in everything we do so that the bigger we get, the more good we create. We are striving for sustainable abundance.
Amen. Lookout for method's new packaging for their toilet bowl cleaner set to come out this Spring!