It's In The (Compostable) Bag - Our Latest Sustainability Win!
Posted by Howard Sobel on
Recycling - you know we’re into it. After all, we recently debuted our amazing Outlands Made In The USA Recycled Socks, a collection of amazing original socks made using sustainably sourced recycled materials. Once we let those bad boys loose on the world, though, we started thinking about what else in our company could be made more sustainably using eco-friendly materials.
At Socksmith Canada, about 95% of our business is wholesale, mainly to small boutiques around Canada (aka “those cute little stores with the fun socks”). Our wholesale customers can order six packs of socks on our wholesale site at wholesale pricing. Until recently, those six packs came in plastic bags, but we’re pleased to announce that we’re actively phasing out our packaging for our six packs to be 100% compostable material.
Why is this such a big deal for us, and for the environment? Well the fact of the matter is, plastic bags kinda suck, and we’re going to tell you why. Bust out your fact caps (fact caps, coming Fall 2024), it’s time to crack some eggs of knowledge all over you with the “Did You Know?” segment of this blog:
- DID YOU KNOW that only 9% of the world’s plastics are actually recycled? We’re shocked and appalled, too!
- DID YOU KNOW that the average decomposition time of a plastic bag is 1000 years? That’s a straight up millennium. That means a plastic bag that got tossed into a landfill in the year 2000 will be fully decomposed around the same time a fresh crop of thirty-first century millennials are getting derided in the thirty-first century press for ruining thirty-first century society as they know it.
- DID YOU KNOW that Americans use 100 billion plastic bags each year, which require twelve million barrels of oil to manufacture? And did you know that only two billion of those bags are located in the cabinet under your kitchen sink right now? Just kidding on that last part, but there’s way too many plastic bags any way you slice it.
- DID YOU KNOW that more than one million seabirds and 100,000 marine animals die from plastic pollution every year? The ocean is the landing spot for way too much of the world’s plastic waste, and the effects are devastating.
Back to us. We here at Socksmith are committed to being as sustainable and environmentally-minded as possible. That’s why we’re switching those aforementioned plastic bags for our wholesale six packs to compostable bags from Propac. Propac utilizes an eco-friendly, 100% biodegradable raw material known as EL724 which contains corn lactic acid and cellulose. Corn - what can’t it do? With our new completely compostable packaging, we’re going to be saving almost one million plastic bags. That’s a whole lot of prevented trash!
Established in 1977, Propac is an industry leader in using eco-friendly materials in their packaging. They have been working on research and development of these amazing biodegradable bags for the past twelve years. The biodegradable bags from Propac are a certified compostable product. Want to know just exactly how legit these bags are? Well, they’re certified by the following highly legitimate bodies:
- BPI in the USA
- Korea Environmental Industry and Technology Institute - This product received the Certificate of Korea Eco Label for reducing local environmental pollution as well as the reduction of harmful substances.
- TUV Austria Belgium NV - Propac was given the Certificate for Awarding and Use of the 'OK COMPOST INDUSTRIAL' Conformity Mark.
- DIN CERTCO - Germany
- JBPS Japan
Our Propac compostable bags break down under conditions such as being exposed to sunlight, moderate temperatures, and humidity. They are secondarily degraded by bacteria and mold. Within 180 days, these bags will naturally completely degrade, and be classified as general waste rather than recyclable waste. In other words, they’ll be more like the gross slimy food rapidly rotting in the drain trap in your sink than the plastic bag you turn inside out and make into a glove to remove that food so you don’t have to touch it and then cut your own hand off because it’s contaminated.
We're super excited to announce this change, and hope that going forward, we can figure out more and more ways to reduce waste and save the fish and seagulls! Thank you for being part of Team Socksmith, now and into the future.