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Eco-Friendly Packaging? Not Exactly.


The term eco-friendly packaging simply should not exist. The only eco-friendly packaging is no packaging at all. Pull an apple from a tree and take a sweet, crunchy bite—that's eco-friendly packaging.

As a brand selling packaged goods to consumers, our goal is not to be eco-obnoxious or eco-ignorant. Our responsibility is to use the least harmful packaging we can for every product, and to reassess the options every year we’re in business. I have researched packaging almost as much as I studied in medical school, and I can tell you the answer is rarely as simple as it seems! Especially when it comes to natural products, the packaging sometimes plays a role in protecting or preserving the product. Some packaging is heavier to ship, which has a footprint of its own. Some packaging is marketed as green, but involves horrible labor conditions in another country. It’s a very tricky landscape to navigate, even for the experts.

When we choose packaging at Osmia, we sit down and obsess about our options from every angle, and then make the best decision we can at that moment in time. It rarely feels like a perfect decision, because it’s still packaging! But we want you to know that we’ve got our eye on the ball, and that we’re always trying to improve things. We expect our packaging to evolve as we grow, and hope there will be better options as environmental awareness drives the packaging industry to innovate with new materials and ideas. Here’s where things stand in 2021.

Paper cartons

Most of our products are in printed paper boxes to keep them protected and safe during shipping. The paper is FSC-certified, and the inks used for printing are UV inks, which do not contain solvents or release VOCs. All boxes are recyclable. 

Glass bottles and jars

Many of our products come in glass, which is fully recyclable in most places. (They must be rinsed completely clean in most places as well!) Pumps, caps, dip tubes, and lids are not recyclable. Our Purely Gentle Mud Cleanser bottle must be separated from the inner liner in order to be recycled (but it only takes about five seconds!), and the liner is not recyclable. 

Plastic tubes/bottles

Currently, our lip balm tubes are plastic and recyclable, and our face and hand creams are in a mixed plastic airless bottle that is recyclable (but it is not labeled with a number, so some locations won’t accept it.) We are working to switch over to partially recycled plastic for several of these products, and our Purely Simple Face Cream will be moving to a glass pump soon. 

Canvas bags

Our canvas bags are all made with organic cotton, GOTS-certified, and Fair Trade.

Shipping materials

Our shipping boxes and paper shipping materials are all made with recycled content and are recyclable. Our shipping labels are FSC-certified and/or recycled. We repurpose all bubble wrap and plastic shipping materials that come from our suppliers in packing our wholesale orders.

Additionally, we use all recycled printer paper at our offices, and we recycle and compost everything we can in our day-to-day operations. And, of course, we’ve planted a tree for every single order since Earth Day 2018—over 50,000 trees and counting!

In short, we CARE! Part of our mission is to leave a lighter footprint on the planet, and that applies to our products, our packaging, and our behavior. Going forward, we’ll give you an update each year about where our packaging sits, so you know what’s changed and why. In the meantime, you can help by taking the time to dispose of your Osmia packaging properly, recycling everything that can be recycled—even the paper crinkles in your Osmia packages!

With love and recycled content, 

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