Why plastic isn't always the enemy – single use vs reuse (not all plastic is created equal)

Why plastic isn't always the enemy – single use vs reuse (not all plastic is created equal)

In recent years, the conversation around plastic waste has taken centre stage. With oceans rapidly filling with plastic debris and wildlife getting tangled up in needless plastic waste, this can be cause for concern. However, before you banish all plastic from your daily life entirely, it's important to note that not all plastic is created equal.

One of the biggest problems lies with single-use plastic, which is often used irresponsibly and disposed of with little regard for the planet. However, using plastic responsibly is key to improving the environment issue, especially if you consider using plastic that can be used again and again.

We take a look at the problem with plastic and how Bower has the perfect solution.

Understanding single-use plastic

Single-use plastic, as the name suggests, is designed for one-time use before it is thrown away or recycled. Items made from this material include straws, water bottles, shopping bags, food packaging, cutlery and many home and personal care products – all things we need and use every day.

However, the convenience of these items has led to their widespread use and, in turn, disposal. This all means a shocking surge in plastic waste.

The problem with single-use plastics is two-fold:

  1. It is used briefly but then persists in the environment for hundreds of years before decomposing.
  2. The recycling rates remain low due to economic and logistical challenges. This results in a large percentage of single-use plastics ending up in landfill or the natural environment.

The role of reusable plastics

Reusable plastic offers a more sustainable solution to the single-use-plastic problem. This durable and more eco-friendly type of plastic can be used many times, over an extended period. This includes for water bottles, shopping bags, food containers, cutlery, specific home cleaning and personal care products. 

Because reusable plastic replaces many single-use items over their lifespans, it reduces waste. Moreover, relative to its extended lifespan, this more eco-friendly plastic often takes less energy to produce than single-use plastic.

However, it's important to note that reusable plastic also needs to be used responsibly. It should be used as many times as possible before it is properly recycled at the end of its life.

Not all plastic is created equal

While reusable plastic is more sustainable compared to single-use plastic, it’s worth knowing that different types of plastics have different impacts on the environment based on their production, use and disposal.

For instance, the PET (polyethylene terephthalate) used in water bottles is highly recyclable, but often ends up in landfill due to low recycling rates. Meanwhile, HDPE (high-density polyethylene), used for reusable shopping bags, has a lower recycling rate but a longer lifespan.

Therefore, when choosing plastic products, it's essential to consider their entire life-cycle and choose the plastic with the least environmental impact.

Sustainable solutions for plastic waste

Here at Bower, we have worked hard to create the world's first reusable and traceable packaging - BowerPack™️ - made using innovative and pioneering technology. This reusable pouch is made to reuse and refill, and features a one-way valve in the spout so that once the pouch is empty, no contaminant can get back in.

Once you have used the product, all you have to do is screw the cap back on and return the pouch to us for quality control. We will then refill the pouch for the next customer.

Each BowerPack has a unique ID, which helps us track the reuse cycles. Also you – the customer – can scan the QR code to find out how many times the pack has been used, how much plastic waste has been saved and how much carbon has been saved too! 🌎

Our fabulous household cleaning refills (which include washing-up liquid, limescale remover and laundry products) and personal care refills (which include shampoo and conditioner, handwash, and body wash) all come delivered in BowerPack™️ ready for you to use, return, receive and reuse!

What’s more, it’s really simple to send the pouches back using the free pre-paid cardboard envelope that comes with your order.

We believe that our BowerPack™️ innovation marks a massive change in how we consume household products, all while delivering a great range of eco-friendly products and eliminating single-use plastic waste from your home. Join the reuse revolution now!

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