Recycled content in bottles and labels
Savons Prolav is Canada’s first household environment-friendly cleaning product manufacturer to market soaps and detergents bottled in containers made from 25% post-consumer recycled content. These bottles cost more than bottles made from new materials, but Savons Prolav believes the savings to the environment are worth the price. This tangible green act alone will cut Savons Prolav’s environmental impact in 2010 by 40 tons of plastic.
Also, the labels on the bottles are all made from FSC-certified paper containing 30% post-consumer recycled fibre.
Why not go all the way and use packaging that is 100% made from recycled materials?
The physical properties of bottles vary according to the percentage of recycled resin. Whereas bottles made from 25% recycled content are currently passing all engineering testing, there are some uncertainties with bottles containing higher percentages of recycled materials.
As for labels, the issue is again physical properties. For example, printing quality and accuracy on high recycled content labels is slightly lower than the standards required for barcode printing.
In both cases, technological advancements will likely help ease and altogether eliminate recycled content limitations, leading to improvements in the short to medium term.
Selecting low impact containers
During the container design selection process, we consider numerous environmental impact reducing factors. E.g. we use bottles that are essentially square-shaped because we can fit more of them on a shipping pallet. This translates into dozens less transportation trucks having to trek thousands of kilometres over the course of a year, and preventing tons of greenhouse gases from being emitted.
We select the plastic used to manufacture our bottles based on its ability to produce the thinnest possible containers, thus reducing the quantity of plastic required. Consequently, whenever PET (polyethylene terephthalate) plastic meets our compression and impact resistance requirements, we choose it over HDPE (high density polyethylene) plastic as it enables us to manufacture very thin containers requiring less commodity materials. All Bio-Vert bottles under 1 litre use PET plastic.
Finally, although colourful bottles can often prove more attractive, Savons Prolav plastic bottles do not contain any dye. This decision reflects our desire to reduce the use of inessential materials. Currently, only the Bio-Vert laundry product bottles are still coloured, containing a low percentage of dye, but they too will be dye-free shortly.