Over the last year or so the word “sustainability,” has been taken to mean almost solely something we do to help the plight of our planet, when really, the root of the word is to simply endure something for a long time - to sustain it, to keep it going; and this can be relatable to anything. Whether we’re going to be pedantic about this or not is neither here nor there because the concept of sustainability, in the environmental sense, is here to stay. And rightly so.
Last year we posted about our efforts to be more conscious in our business model - only stainless steel cutlery in our stores and if you were taking away you got the hard-to-eat-with-but-better-for-the-planet wooden cutlery. Plastic straws were gone, along with the ones that claimed “I am not a plastic straw;” a contentious point given that compostable forms of plastic, are not easily compostable and often just end up contaminating actual recycling, or going straight to landfill.
Obviously, the main area to be improved for us was our plastic juice bottles. Having gone back and forth a few times wondering whether the energy needed to recycle a heavier glass bottle was, as some reports have said, a more costly spend of the planet’s resources than the manufacture and recycling of a new plastic one, for the time being we stuck with plastic. Moreover, our range of lemonades and functional boosters have been developed to have a longer shelf life than our green juices and cleanse juices, and the process by which you extend a juice’s shelf life cannot be undertaken using a glass bottle. It involves submitting the bottle to a vast amount of pressure (not heat, so you don’t need to worry about the nutrients in your juice disappearing), which obviously you simply can’t do in glass.
Well, after some thought and a bit more research we’ve decided to transition to a more sustainable option for our juices in store. You may have already noticed that our soups are now sold in glass jars. Personally, we think they look super smart too! Glass was the best option for our soups as we can easily heat the soup up for you in the glass jar; health wise, it’s much better to put anything hot in glass as it’s a 100% non-porous material it means that nothing leaches into the soup when it heats up.
For our juices we’re still weighing up our options and this is where we’ve got to so far: it’s either going to be glass, pulp or PLA. The drawback of pulp is that the bottles would be opaque meaning our customers wouldn’t be able to see the vibrant colours of the juice shine through which is a big factor in choosing which juice you’d like to drink. Glass would, visually, be a great option but the shelf life of a glass bottle isn’t infinite either - especially when they’ve been drunk by people wearing lipstick. You’d be surprised, but it’s pretty hard to get off!
We are also looking at PLA for our range of lemonades and boosters that need a longer shelf life. PLA stands for Polylactic Acid and it is, in essence, a bio-plastic. Standard plastics are made from non-renewable resources, usually petroleum, which is why they are so damaging and costly to the environment. Recently, the UK has opened its doors to chap shale gas from the USA too, which is making fracking plastic cheaper and cheaper and driving demand higher and higher - specifically at the point in history where we should be decreasing our consumption and not increasing it. PLA is derived from fully renewable sources like corn starch and sugar cane, which, although not perfect is a much better option than virgin plastic.
So essentially, we wanted to update you with where we’re at in our efforts and let you know that the research continues into which option is the best way to go. We are happy that we’ve already implemented a more planet-friendly option for our soups and will continue to roll this approach out to the rest of our offering soon!
Founder @ CPRESS