Producer Responsibility

Environmental stewardship is a cornerstone of our business. Simply Ingredients believes that as a producer of products, we are responsible for the life cycle of everything we sell. Our design process, packaging choices and education reflect this commitment. Everything we use in our packaging is intended to be reused, recycled or properly disposed of. We provide the knowledge to safely handle and dispose of ingredients. Learn more about the choices we make as a company below.

Producer responsibility is dynamic and constantly evolving as technologies develop and come into the market. We look forward to growing and improving the way we do business as opportunities arise.

Why we chose aluminum packaging

Most of our ingredients are packaged into aluminum bottles with aluminum closures. Aluminum has a negative reputation for requiring more energy to produce than plastics. While this is true, most plastics have an immediate end of life after they're used and don't get recycled. This doesn't fit our reuse-recycle model.

Aluminum can be recycled an infinite number of times and is the most recycled consumer waste material in the United States. This is because aluminum has a high intrinsic value - the aluminum itself is worth money, leading to a high recovery rate in recycling streams.

After you finish using our ingredients packaged in aluminum bottles and the bottles are empty, you can clean and sanitize the packaging to reuse. When you're done reusing it or it cannot be reused any longer, remove the label (which is important!) and toss the bottle and lid separately into your recycling bin.

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Aluminum is one of the most recycled - and most recyclable - materials on the market today. Nearly 75% of all aluminum produced in the U.S. is still in use today. 

Aluminum.org
The life cycle of plastic is usually linear

While plastic typically requires lower energy to initially produce than aluminum, thereby emitting less greenhouse gases in the production process, it mostly ends up in landfills or the environment when the user is done with it. A majority of consumer product plastic cannot be recycled because the infrastructure or technology to properly recycle is not available. This is where producer responsibility plays an important role.

In our packaging design process, we decided reusability and recyclability were important to us. The reality is, while most plastic packaging is made of recyclable material, it does not get recycled.

Just because something says recyclable, doesn't mean it gets recycled.

The most recycled plastic types in the United States are #1 and #2. Plastics #3-7 have little to no recyclability because they have negligible value. In many cases, these plastics cannot be broken down and reused, so there is no demand to buy them. Because they have negligible intrinsic value, there is no economic driver to recycle the plastic. Therefore, the plastic is discarded.

Additionally, the way a #1 or #2 bottle is decorated can determine its recycling fate. If the bottle has a resin color that is not desirable by companies who purchased recycled resin (ex. black), the bottle will not get recycled. If there is a soft-touch overspray or metallic stamping on the plastic, it could contaminate the production of the recycled resin and will get discarded.

Additionally, closures like pumps, airless containers, and caps are not recyclable because of their plastic type or they contain multiple types of plastic. If the closure is still attached to the bottle or tube, the whole thing will be discarded. It's important to always remove the lid.

If the packaging is not washed out or becomes contaminated by other products in your recycling bin, the likelihood of recycling diminishes.

Pouches, bags, and other items made from plastic films are not recyclable, which is why we chose not to use them.

Glass bottles

While plastic did not fit into our design process for our primary packaging, its use is completely unavoidable.

We were unable to source 1 oz. aluminum containers, and certain ingredients should not be stored in aluminum. We chose to use frosted amber glass bottles with phenolic caps for our small items to keep these ingredients in optimum storage conditions, safe from UV light and air.

Phenolic caps are made from a special thermoset, BPA-free plastic. They're ideal for storing essential oils and aggressive products like AHAs or other acids. These caps are lined with an HDPE-pulp and vinyl liner to help prevent moisture absorption in the ingredient.

Glass has a low recyclability rate, but we love that it's not single-use. You can reuse our glass bottles infinitely with proper care, cleaning and sterilization.

Paper tubes

Our solid products like Organic Shea Butter and Creamy Coconut Surfactant come in a wide-mouthed paper tube. We like that it's not plastic and has a wax lining to protect the product from saturating the paper. Reusing our paper tube is a chance to get creative - use it as a pencil cup or compost container at the kitchen sink for dinner scraps.

Shipping materials

Ever opened a package to pull out copious amounts of bubble wrap or air pouches? Or even worse, shipping popcorn? We hate that! These packing materials, if they don't get saved and reused, do not get recycled in waste streams. When we were considering our packaging design, we wanted to make sure our ingredients were stored in sturdy containers that don't need a lot of cushioning. And what cushioning we do use, we knew needed to be more eco-conscious than bubble wrap. Meet our reusable, biodegradable, compostable, fully recyclable and SFI-certified cushion.

Our small orders are mailed in padded, paper mailers. Recovered newspaper is matted into a layer of cushioning and then sandwiched between two solid layers of recycled kraft paper. This mailer is made of recycled materials, is biodegradable, and fully recyclable. No more guilt of throwing a plastic mailer into the trash.

Our larger orders are shipped in cardboard boxes from SFI-certified sourcing. Sometimes cardboard boxes feel flimsy after a first-shipping and they just go in the recycling bin. Our shipper is so sturdy, we're confident you'll want to reuse it for your next package. Bonus - no annoying plastic tape to remove. We use water-activated tape made from 50% recycled paper and is 100% recyclable.

Shipping labels are a tough one - they usually come on silicone-coated liners that traditionally aren't recyclable - the shipper just tosses them into the trash. The liners on our shipping labels do not have this lining and are considered 100% recyclable in curbside recycling. It's OK to recycle the shipping labels too.

Disposal

Ingredients are ultimately chemicals, and it's important to handle chemicals with care, practice personal and environmental safety, and dispose of chemicals properly. Every ingredient lists storage and handling instructions on their product page. The Safety Data Sheet is available to download for every ingredient, with disposal instructions listed in section 13.

We are committed to providing continuing education on good manufacturing practices in your kitchen, how to make safe products, and how to keep the environment in mind while you do it.