I wanted to talk a little bit more about the compostable lip balm tubes I’ve found from Eco Vision. I’m not sure I was very clear in my last post about it. So let me lay out the facts here so you can give me your feedback with all the information in your hands.
::These tubes are NOT “compostable” plastic. I don’t consider those products truly compostable or eco-friendly as they must be composted in a commercial composting facility – not in your worm bin or backyard compost bin. I wrote a post about this some time ago on my other blog, and EcoGrrl and EcoYogini just left comments about this on my last post. So be assured, these tubes are plastic-free and made of paper.
::These tubes have Fake Plastic Fish’s stamp of approval.
::They are made from 100% post consumer waste paper.
::I have been assured that they are “biodegradable” and “home compostable.” (“Biodegradable” is not necessarily a green selling point, as there are a lot of non-eco-friendly items that are “biodegradable.” That’s a loose term, as far as I’m concerned. But “home compostable” is reassuring to me.)
:The tubes hold a little more than .20 ounces of lip balm, which is about 20% more than what you will find in a plastic lip balm tube (those contain between .12 and .15 ounces of lip balm). Just for your information, the lip balms in the tins I sell contain .50 ounces of lip balm.
::They are made with an organic adhesive and glaze.
::These tubes don’t have a twist bottom that pushes the lip balm up – you squeeze it up, as you would with a toothpaste tube. However, because these are so small, you will NOT need to “roll” the bottom up as you go! :)
If I do decide to go ahead with this new packaging, I may not be able to afford the minimum order to have the tubes printed the way I want, in which case, I’ll have to use my regular labels on them. So admittedly, my tubes probably won’t be as pretty as those by Organic Essence! ;)
I’m still unsure if this is the right path for Five Seed, as part of me associates “compostable” with “disposable.” But I realized last night that I have no idea what people are doing with their lip balm tins that I currently sell once they are empty. Are people truly willing and able to reuse them? Would customers be more likely to wash and reuse their tins, or to toss paper tubes into the compost bin?
In other words, I realized that ultimately, I can’t control what happens to my packaging once it leaves my hands. In my happiest thoughts, it all goes to people who wash out the tins and find ingenuous ways to reuse them. But I don’t know that. I’m now questioning whether or not it would be “greener” to offer people the option of buying these paper tubes for those who don’t WANT to deal with washing and reusing a tin, but who would be willing to throw the tubes into the compost bin.
Anyway…now that you have all the information, I would love to hear more of your opinions on this. I created a short survey (6 questions) that you can access here. In order to show my appreciation for the time you spend answering these questions (almost all are yes or no multiple choice questions), I am offering a discount code for 10% off an order of $25 or more.* In order to receive the discount code, I need your name and email address (the first question on the survey). This information will NOT be shared or sold. I only ask for it so that I can keep track of the discount codes. You can skip this question, if you have any privacy concerns, or would like to remain anonymous, but without your first and last name and a valid email address, you will not be eligible to receive the discount code.
Thank you all for your feedback!
*The discount code will be sent to your email address within a few days of completeing the survey. It can only be used once, and is not valid with any other promotional code. You must answer at least 3 of the survey questions to receive the code. The code expires on October 1, 2010.