This weekend saw a piece in the Independent on Sunday questioning our trial of PLA plastics (our eco bottle) this year. The thrust of the piece was that PLA is not such a good thing. As you may have read in the blog before, we've now made the decision to move away from PLA and go for 100% recycled plastic across the range. Having looked at all the pros and cons, and talked to industry experts, we think that for our bottles it's better to stick to working with waste material (ie recycled plastic), rather than creating bottles from new materials (even though they are made from renewable resources).
We're always up for a debate and, when it comes to environmental issues, it's usually pretty complicated. Sometimes you try new things out and you don't get it quite right. It's true that the UK isn't quite ready for PLA. Lots of people don't have compost heaps yet. Councils here are just starting to do more composting. When we launched our PLA bottle WRAP (the government recycling body) said it was ok to have small amounts in with PET recycling, and supported the trial at the levels of PLA we'd use in our trial. But the recycling industry are now reporting that they are finding it hard to cope with PLA. We'd definitely checked about the use of GM corn, and knew there was no possibility of contamination from the plastic, so we opted for a scheme where they offset any GM corn with a tonne of non GM corn. If you are ordering in huge quantities, you can make suppliers change the way they behave and that was our goal in the long term. It was a trial after all, and you can't always go to trial with something that is the perfect version of itself.
All we'd really like to say to you is that we'd like to keep being allowed to try new things out. And when we do, we'd love it if you could tell us whether you think it's the right thing to do. We work hard to make decisions we are all proud of, but together we can do this better.
PS. One last thing. Claire's dad put one of our first ever bottles in his compost and it disappeared just fine. Maybe he's got special manure.