The key criteria for us in choosing a product to stock is how comparatively sustainable that product or its packaging is to its plastic counterpart.
In some instances making a product from a natural material may actually not be the most sustainable option. Believe it or not, provided it is recycled, the use of a plastic shopping bag, is more sustainable than the use of a paper one, because the carbon footprint of the paper bag is higher.
And as we recently found, a bamboo toothbrush with nylon bristles is not the most sustainable option when it comes to choosing a toothbrush.
This is because there are no recycling programs in the UK that are prepared to remove the nylon bristles from the bamboo toothbrush for recycling.
This means that when you throw away a bamboo toothbrush the body is likely to decompose, freeing the non-biodegradable plastic bristles to enter our water systems.
For this reason we've chosen to sell a bio plastic toothbrush with interchangeable pure plastic heads that we guarantee can be recycled, provided it is sent back to us for forwarding on to our partner program.
When trying to make a choice that's best for the planet, there are a million variables one has to consider. Thankfully, the scientists are on it!
Not all plastic is recyclable, and even if it is, that doesn't mean that your council actually has the facilities to recycle it. In many instances the cost of recycling a product is just too high to make it financially viable to the recycler. In this instance, it's just dumped.
Our policy is that where you can find a MORE sustainable alternative to plastic, use it.
Click here to see what products you can recycle in your local council in the UK.
To get an idea of just how much of the waste you put into a recycling bin is not being recycled, click here. Terracycle specialises in processing difficult-to-recycle waste that cannot be recycled through regular municipal recycling.
We take already-used cardboard boxes, and seal them with paper tape. Bob's your aunt. All perfectly recyclable and biodegradable.
A million kudos to those guys who are able eliminate all waste from their lives. For the rest of us who have grown up with the convenience of just throwing things away (even into recycling bins), following in their footsteps seems hard.
The UN has recently named the problem of marine pollution as "Armageddon in the making."
That's why at PCP we've focussed on selling products that can help us all to do our part in keeping plastic out of our landfills and water systems .
While we firmly believe that you should always reuse before recycling, and recycle before throwing away, if you do just happen to throw some of our products away, you can do so with an understanding that they will not contribute to the further contamination of the environment.
Almost all of our products come from inside the UK and EU.
When it comes to the sustainability of the products themselves, at present, we can only rely on the research we've done and the information provided to us by the manufacturer. We do aim to conduct further research in partnership with academic institutions, but until we've done so, we can't guarantee that the information we give you is 100% correct.
We'd love to hear about it. Please contact us.