We are thrilled to announce that Elemental Recycled Products now offers toilet paper with limited packaging and no plastic wrap! We’re inspired by everyone who is trying to create zero waste and eliminate plastic from their lives and we want to support this movement in any way we can.
When we started Elemental, our focus was on promoting recycling and the use of recycled products. We initially decided to wrap our product in plastic wrap for a few reasons:
- Plastic wrap is the industry standard in toilet paper. We knew we were asking many people to take a leap by trying a toilet paper made from recycled paper so we thought it may be too much of a leap to also ask them to give up plastic wrap.
- It wasn’t clear to us that there was a better option available. The other common packaging for toilet paper is rolls individually wrapped in paper. However, this approach creates significantly more packaging and thus more waste.
- Retailers generally require toilet paper to be wrapped in plastic. The vast majority of toilet paper today is bought in stores, so if we want to promote recycling to as many people as possible, we needed a product that allowed us to approach physical stores. (Note – this is an ongoing effort today).
- Lastly, our plastic wrap is made from MDPE (medium density polyethylene) so is recyclable by almost all recycling centers. Therefore, it is still consistent with a zero waste lifestyle.
Once we launched, the number one piece of feedback we received was that people loved our product and loved our mission, but could not support us because of our plastic wrap. There was a movement in July called “Plastic Free July” that encouraged people to try giving up plastic and many people made the leap. We were inspired too.
The reasons for giving up plastic are clear and important. Plastic waste finds its way to the ocean and is accumulating there rapidly. This accumulation is killing ocean life and may be contributing to climate change. Plastic is also very slow to decompose, so anything that is not recycled will stay in the environment for up to a thousand years or more. Lastly, plastic is made from oil, a nonrenewable resource whose extraction releases significant carbon into the atmosphere.
So, we spent the summer working on a way to ship toilet paper with as little packaging as possible. We’ve found a way to ship our toilet paper directly in shipping boxes so that the only packaging required is the shipping box itself. We’re really excited about this important step forward for a new company.
We’ll continue to offer our product in traditional packaging as well for people who are not ready to go packaging free, but we’ll be monitoring feedback and will continue to adjust our approach to maximize the positive impact we can have on our customers and the world as a whole.
We thank everyone who sent comments and supported us getting to this announcement. We’re thrilled to share this news with you today and continue to appreciate your thoughts and feedback as we continue to grow Elemental.