LONG- TERM IN­NO­VA­TION EX­CEL­LENCE: ECO­S­TORE

Idealog - - IDEALOG MOST INNOVATIVE COMPANIES -

Since launch­ing in 1993, eco­s­tore has been com­mit­ted to mak­ing and sell­ing safe, en­vi­ron­men­tally friendly house­hold clean­ing and per­sonal care prod­ucts.

That means cre­at­ing pack­ag­ing that is as sus­tain­able as pos­si­ble, so it makes sense then that the sus­tain­abil­ity-minded out­fit is one of the first com­pa­nies in the world to em­brace sugar bio­plas­tic, an en­vi­ron­men­tally-friendly al­ter­na­tive to petro­chem­i­cal plas­tic.

All of eco­s­tore’s bot­tles are made of sugar bio­plas­tic – a sus­tain­able and re­new­able source that also re­moves car­bon from the at­mos­phere as it grows. Mostly rain fed and re­quir­ing min­i­mal ir­ri­ga­tion, sugar bio­plas­tic is grown us­ing or­ganic fer­tilis­ers, in­clud­ing a by-prod­uct of the sugar har­vest it­self. Su­gar­cane husks even gen­er­ate bio-elec­tric­ity for the fac­tory that makes the sugar plas­tic, mak­ing the pro­duc­tion process even more sus­tain­able.

The eco-clean­ing and body care com­pany first in­vested in the sweet petro­chem­i­cal al­ter­na­tive back in 2014. The big­gest ob­sta­cle at the time was the cost of the raw ma­te­ri­als – cre­at­ing su­gar­cane bio­plas­tic re­quires a more com­plex ex­trac­tion and con­ver­sion process than tra­di­tional plas­tics and thus can’t com­pete eco­nom­i­cally with the oil in­dus­try’s vast economies of scale. De­spite the sig­nif­i­cant costs, how­ever, the com­pany made the de­ci­sion to switch, and four years later, 80 per­cent of eco­s­tore’s plas­tic us­age is sugar bio­plas­tic.

And though more costly than tra­di­tional plas­tics, the move has been worth­while. Ac­cord­ing to eco­s­tore’s cal­cu­la­tions, the com­pany has saved just un­der 4500 tonnes of car­bon from be­ing re­leased into the air, the equiv­a­lent of the emis­sions caused by driv­ing a car from Cape Reinga to Bluff – 8500 times.

And the com­pany isn’t rest­ing on its lau­rels. This year eco­s­tore signed on with ‘A Line in the Sand: A New 2018 Global Com­mit­ment’, part of a global ini­tia­tive to elim­i­nate plas­tic waste and pol­lu­tion at source. The move­ment, led by the Ellen MacArthur Foun­da­tion and in col­lab­o­ra­tion with the UN En­vi­ron­ment, has been en­dorsed by over 290 or­gan­i­sa­tions world­wide, rep­re­sent­ing 20 per­cent of all plas­tic pack­ag­ing pro­duced glob­ally.

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