Takeaway Packaging removes environmental guilt from fast food. As a key supplier of sustainable food packaging in the UK, we focus on alleviating plastic consumption in the fast food industry.
In this blog post, we’ve decided to do something a little different by compiling a list of our very own environmentally approved companies that use recycled packaging outside of the food sector — or at the very least have some planet-protecting aspect in their business plans. Basically, we want to spread the love to other feel-good brands that split their efforts between profit and caring for the planet.
As a reader of our blog, you’re likely in the process of building a waste-free life. If this is true for you, our list of ethical brands is a free resource built to help you, a fellow environmentalist.
Leading Companies That Pledge to Recycle Plastic and Use Recycled Packaging
Given the climate change crisis that we’re facing, leading companies are now pledging to recycle plastic — great news for the planet and waste-free shoppers alike. This makes shopping for household products such as shampoo, makeup and even technological items easier.
- Ecover – Household product brand Ecover has a strong ethos to deliver “clean plastic”. Its product range includes fabric softener, hand wash and dishwasher tablets so that you can scrub up with a clean conscience.
- L’Oréal – Major cosmetic brand L’Oréal has a feel-good goal set for 2020: for 100% of its products to have an improved environmental or social profile while providing equal or greater benefits to the consumer. You can review its 2017 progress report and check out its refillable challenge, among other environmental initiatives.
- Walmart – This supermarket giant has a bold and powerful zero-waste mission, spreading its values across its entire supply chain. If you’re leading a company with a “zero plastic waste aspiration” goal, you can request to join the packaging pillar of Walmart’s Project Gigaton.
- Accenture – This global management consultancy is a Fortune 500 company that is leading the way in business when it comes to the environment. If you take a look at its latest Corporate Citizen Report and skip to the environment tab, you can see this ethical firm’s commitment for yourself. This includes 21% of its used energy coming from renewable energy sources.
- Intel – This major technology corporation ranks higher than most of its competitors when it comes to positive environmental impact. The company actively deals with its own energy consumption with smart investments into green power and energy conservation projects.
- REN Clean Skincare – Popular spa skincare brand REN has launched an Ocean Plastic Bottle that removes the metal spring and is 100 per cent recyclable. The company is slowly rolling out this packaging system to some of its products, so don’t rush out to buy REN skincare products before asking if the item is using the recycled plastic packaging.
- LUSH Cosmetics – Giving LUSH a mention in this list is a no-brainer, but we want to specifically talk about its shampoo. Shampoo is one of those niggly items for waste-free advocates, where it can seem difficult to find without plastic packaging. LUSH solves this issue and comes to your rescue with solid shampoo bars (it even stocks vegan protein shampoo in this formula).
Have a firm high street favourite that we’ve not mentioned here? To check up on other large corporations, you can refer to Just Capital’s 2018 ranking table. This handy tool lets you take a closer look by filtering according to industry and other specific metrics.
Charities That Actively Recycle Plastic and Protect Our Oceans
You might not always be able to buy products from these organisations, but you can always make a donation. These companies are actively seeking to improve the climate’s state by making it their sole mission to recycle plastic among other environmental goals, like cleaning the ocean.
- Oceana – This Washington D.C. based charity is so committed to protecting the world’s oceans that it made it its strapline. Oceana frequently raises money for ocean-based causes like protecting vulnerable ocean life, including whales. This charity isn’t afraid of pushing the boundaries of charity work, onboarding ocean ambassadors such as Lauren Conrad, former reality TV star of MTV hit show The Hills.
- Greenpeace – A well-known organisation that’s not afraid to hold key industry players accountable for their actions, Greenpeace continues to bravely protect the planet with its constant news coverage of global disasters and relentless awareness-raising campaigns.
- Wasteaid – Another well-known yet well-deserving charity is Wasteaid — an organisation with a specific goal: to help stop marine plastic pollution. Wasteaid has a variety of ongoing projects that tackle plastic waste in locations such as Cameroon, Gambia and Kenya.
- 4ocean – This ocean cleanup charity has a clever marketing plan to recycle dumped plastic waste into bracelets that people can buy (in place of a formal donation). You might have seen its TV advertisements, which show the 100 per cent recycled product in all its glory.
- Surfers Against Sewage – This charity is exactly how it sounds — an organisation founded by a bunch of Cornish surfers who are passionate about ocean conservation and waste disposal. Among other environmental work, Surfers Against Sewage helps to create plastic-free communities and has converted 543 communities — and counting. (This information was true of June 2019, you can check the current count on its plastic-free communities page.)
- Recycled Island Foundation – This non-profit based in the Netherlands helps to spread awareness of plastic pollution by facilitating community education sessions. Unlike other recycling organisations, the Recycled Island Foundation combines ocean cleanups with guest lectures to create the ultimate impact.
Conscious Companies That Exclusively Stock Recycled Products
These companies are committed to recycling by exclusively selling recycled products as their core mission. If you’re living a waste-free life and have committed to only supporting companies of this kind, these are the brands to keep in mind.
- Green Toys – The clue is in this company’s name, as the Californian brand creates 100% eco-friendly toys from recycled materials. The firm was started by a husband and wife duo with a vision for a cleaner, greener world for their children. With that in mind, the pair have a solid five-step vision, which includes state safety laws, socially responsible design and the use of recycled plastic and eco-friendly packaging.
- UNWRPD – This subscription-based service is the ultimate starter pack for sustainable living. The site boasts basic essentials like toothbrushes, razors and deodorant that you can get delivered to your door each month (in sustainable packaging, of course).
- Naked Pinecone – Similar to the subscription-based service above, Naked Pinecone specialises in household essentials like toiletries, cosmetics and cleaning items. If you’re prone to problem skin, it boasts a more extensive range of skincare products compared to most eco websites.
- Rothys – Rothy’s quirky site copy (reminiscent of a classic Drake hit) reads “started from a bottle… now we’re here” to explain how it’s taken over twenty million single-use plastic bottles destined for a landfill to create new kicks. This innovative shoe company sadly only delivers to the US and Canada at the minute, so here’s hoping the company goes global with its mission or that our UK entrepreneurs take a leaf out of its book.
- Girlfriend Collective – This all-around ethical company is aimed towards women, selling sustainable activewear to girlfriends across the globe. Its imagery displays its inclusivity towards different body types and its copy makes you stop and think about the environmental impact of your clothes — even those you use to work out in.
- Patagonia – Golden oldie Patagonia has been creating ethical clothing since before it was cool to shout about it. With its other environmental initiatives, this brand always seems to be ahead of the game when it comes to saving the planet.
- Looptworks – This ethical luggage company makes responsible travel easy. No matter how you define it — recycling or upcycling — if you need a new weekend bag or cosmetics case, this brand is a great choice.
- Eco Beauty Crew – Transitioning to a sustainable lifestyle isn’t easy and every little helps. If you’re looking for a replacement beauty hub to avoid the non-eco brands found on Cult Beauty or Feel Unique, look no further. Eco Beauty Crew has got you covered with an extensive product list from countless brands, including both affordable and affluent options.
Recycled Ranges from Your Favourite Companies
If you still want to buy from your favourite brands but need to know that what you’re purchasing is waste-free and recycled, check out these specific ranges from well-loved companies. Most of the brands on this list belong to the fashion industry — an arena that produces ten per cent of the world’s global emissions. While these brands might not have plans to make their entire lines sustainable right now, here’s hoping that they will change their minds in the future.
- Everlane | ReNew – This brand has an altogether ethical approach, with its responsible factory management and ReNew Collection, which is made from 100 per cent recycled materials. The Everlane website does a great job of spreading the word with a counter of how many plastic bottles have been made since you landed on their page, while a free downloadable guide shows you how you can be chic with “No New Plastic” in your wardrobe.
- Adidas | Parley – Adidas is the second-most-famous footwear brand in the world, so it’s a good job that it’s decided to push its own recycled plastic message. The Parley range, available on its website, aims to intercept plastic waste before it reaches our oceans and uses the material to create high-performance sportswear.
- H&M | Conscious Collection – This Swedish clothing brand has swept over Europe to become one of the biggest names on the high street. Although its ethics have been questioned more than a few times due to its fast fashion business model, its recurring conscious collection is catered to those who want to promote a sustainable lifestyle. Your call.
- IKEA | Recycled Plastics – You’ll have to do some digging to decipher IKEA’s recycled products from its regular sort, but luckily, Upcyclist created this list of IKEA’s recycled plastic products. Some of IKEA’s ranges also sport recycled wood items to make your home’s interior stylish and sustainable.
- ASOS | Recycled Lingerie – A relatively small collection of recycled lingerie has been added to the UK’s largest independent fashion retailer. You can find more information on the product’s components in the Evening Standard’s recent story, which highlights the use of discarded fishing nets and carpets to create underwear.
Are there any conscious companies that we’ve missed? Tell us about your go-to environmental brands over on our social channels. Chat to us on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram, or visit our contact us page to get in touch.