By Ally MacConchie, Copy Editor
Innovative: (adj.) featuring new methods; advanced and original (New Oxford American Dictionary).
When you think of something innovative, you think of something groundbreaking that’s going to change the world for the better. Recently, I’ve seen an increase in advertisements from companies marketing products they say are “innovative.” Usually, when I click the link, I’m disappointed to find these “revolutionary” products are packaged in single-use plastics and quite opposite of what they say they are. A product that’s supposed to change the way we go about our daily lives, that is housed in toxic, polluting materials, is not a product I want to support.
Often, I see consumer goods claiming to be better for the environment. Whether it’s through sustainable sourcing of ingredients or partnering with agencies that aim to reduce carbon footprints, they are packaged or shipped in single-use plastics. Anything claiming to be sustainable and innovative that continues the cycle of our consumerist, throwaway culture is an oxymoron.
Seeing things packaged in layers of plastic is an immediate turnoff for environmentally conscious consumers, and many people are switching to reusable devices. There are many brands making refillable packaging, which both reduces waste and encourages consumers to return to their product as opposed to their competitors’.
Besides, there’s already a plethora of products that are packaging-free — the most sustainable of all. The brand Lush, for example, sells package-free bath products, like soaps and bar shampoos, in 100% recycled packaging. In fact, if you bring in multiple Lush product containers to recycle at their stores, they give you a free gift, usually a freshly made face mask. What better way to create an incentive to care about the waste you produce than rewarding someone with free stuff?
For anyone looking to create a new product, first ask yourself this: am I doing more harm than good? Before I put this product on shelves, have I figured out a solution to reduce the waste and environmental impact of my product? In this age, most people are looking to reduce their carbon footprint, and won’t consider an option that adds to it.
If a brand wants me to purchase their products, they have to show me that some of their profits are going toward protecting the planet we live on. Putting something on store shelves that contributes to pollution and global warming isn’t worth the effort of production, and is not worth your money.