During our development, finding sustainable packaging solutions has been far harder than formulating, designing or distributing. Here is a summary of some of the problems and solutions we have so far come across.
4 main types of alternative to plastic: recycled plastic, biopolymer, biodegradable plant-derived (potato / corn) material and glass.
Ironically it's currently not sustainable in itself, to use 100% recycled plastic, there simply isn't enough in circulation to go around.
Biopolymer and recycled plastic are also harder to mould than conventional plastic, which means they come in limited shapes and sizes. We are sure there are people working on PCR and Bio accessories, although we would expect them to be currently using eco materials for the outer or non functional parts.
The issue with potato or corn derived material is that they do not support water-based products and unfortunately the same is true of biodegradable material.
In the end we found glass to be one of the best plastic-free solutions. It can be a little more difficult to transit, and all eco options cost more than standard plastic. It is also an imperfect option given the amount of energy it takes to produce but it is fully recyclable and our main aim, was to limit the production of new virgin plastic.
We also considered a recyclable or re-filling scheme but there are many issues with a startup like ours trying to run such an operation: