Why is plastic sustainable?

Why is plastic sustainable?


In the previous century, we collectively hailed plastic as fantastic. In recent years, however, we've come to realize better as the oceans turn out to be filled with plastic waste. Yet, plastic is also sustainable. Let us explain.

What is plastic?

From toothbrushes to garden tables - anyone who takes a glance around will be amazed at everything made of plastic. Plastic is an artificially manufactured polymer that can be molded into various forms. This was discovered in the 1950s, leading to a massive production of plastic. Even the first Barbie doll and the first Lego brick date back to that time. We understand the enthusiasm of the previous century. Because plastic is versatile, lightweight, and cheap to produce. Without plastic, there would be no toys, rain gear, phones, cars, or artificial hips. Additionally, plastic packaging prevents (food) waste, ensures the long shelf life of products, is hygienic, reusable, and can be recycled time and time again under certain conditions.

Good protection

We want our soapies to be well-protected during transport, but also in the shower or on the counter. And for that, we consciously choose plastic bottles - made from 100% recycled plastic, that is. Plastic provides a good barrier against external influences, so the delightful scent and other positive qualities of our products are well preserved in the bottle. Moreover, the hard plastic ensures that the bottle can withstand impacts and does not leak or fall apart. This way, we prevent a lot of waste - both during transport and at home. So if you accidentally drop your favorite soapie in the shower, no worries!

Less emissions, less freight traffic

Plastic packaging is lightweight and takes up little space - which is beneficial for freight traffic and emissions. Additionally, we package our products as compactly as possible. This allows many more soapies to fit in a truck.

Not all plastic is fantastic

Despite all the advantages of plastic, it has one major disadvantage: it doesn't degrade! When plastic starts to wander, it gets an eternal life on land or - and this is usually the case - in the sea. In 1997, Charles Moore discovered the plastic soup in the North Pacific Ocean. We now know that all major oceans of the world are filled with plastic waste, whether fragmented into microplastics or not. Cleaning this up is a daunting task, and as long as the influx of more plastic waste does not decrease, it's like mopping with the tap open. But we have a solution for that!

100% recycled plastic

All bottles of Marcel's Green Soap are made from 100% recycled plastic. Recycling plastic is a good way to prevent more plastic from drifting towards the sea. And there is plenty of plastic on our planet. New plastic is really not necessary! We collect household plastic waste and process it into 'new' plastic bottles, without giving them a flashy color. The light gray color of our bottles is the color of recycled plastic, and we don't do anything about it! So whether you like that color or not, it's sustainable anyway. And - good to know - recycled plastic can also be reused.

Pssst... curious how our bottles made from 100% recycled plastic are made? Discover it here.

Reusable and refillable

Because (recycled) plastic is robust and lasts a long time, you can easily reuse it. Just like our soapies! For many of our products, we have refills - packaged in recyclable plastic - with which you can refill the bottles. This saves you money and freight traffic, and prevents the pile of (plastic) waste from getting even bigger.

 Fun fact: with our refills, we reduced plastic usage by more than 33.5 thousand kilograms in 2023, as the refills are significantly lighter than the bottles. And we haven't even mentioned the reduced emissions due to the impact of more compact and lighter packaging material... so keep refilling those bottles!


Microplastic-free

Microplastics are anything but fantastic. Microplastics are formed by the breakdown of plastic and the wearing of clothing and tires. It has been found that microplastics are present everywhere: on land, in the sea, and in the air. Unfortunately, microplastics are still deliberately added to products, for example, to improve their structure or properties. Of course, we don't participate in that. All our products are therefore naturally 100% microplastic-free.

Easily recyclable

Not only are our bottles made of 100% recycled plastic, they are also easily recyclable. Sounds logical, you might say. Yet not all packaging is easily recyclable. In fact, two-thirds of the plastic packaging in supermarkets is not recyclable (source: NOS). This is why Marcel's Green Soap ensures that packaging is 100% recyclable:

Mono-material
The majority of our packaging is made from mono-material. This means it consists of only one type of plastic. When a package consists of multiple materials or types of plastic, it is not recyclable and still ends up in the incinerator. We naturally want to prevent this. That's why we do everything behind the scenes to get all our products into mono-material. We're well on our way, but for some of our refill bags, we haven't achieved this yet. The available mono-material bags do not currently meet quality requirements - and we don't want to compromise on quality for a more sustainable choice. Then the products won't be purchased, and we'll still miss our goal!

Washable labels
We like to keep it clean, even when it comes to recycling our packaging. Our labels are therefore easily washable so that the plastic does not become contaminated and can therefore be recycled effortlessly. You don't have to remove the label yourself, the waste management company does

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