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Home Blog Wellness OUR PLASTIC FREE PROMISE – THE REFILL REVOLUTION BY OVVIO

Wellness

OUR PLASTIC FREE PROMISE – THE REFILL REVOLUTION BY OVVIO

14th June 2018
Anthia Koullouros

Dear much loved customer,

The planet is sagging under the weight of our waste.

Each year, Aussie families throw away 100 kilos of plastic per household – and considering how light most packaging is, that’s a scary figure.

The worst things is that plastic we throw away never really goes away – it lives on in our food, our water, and our bodies. It’s virtually indestructible.

A new world of plastic.

Rather than breaking down, plastics simply become smaller and smaller, polluting the environment, choking wildlife and eventually re-entering our food supply. Images of rubbish-streaked fields, floating rafts of junk, and unlucky birds caught in bags are a daily heartbreak. Microscopic plastic particles pepper our seas and fill the bellies of livestock.

We’re all feasting on plastic, whether we like it or not. And what for? Convenience? A cheaper price?

At Ovvio, we can’t reconcile promoting healthy products which also harm the planet.

In fact, our mission is to provide honest, natural and considerate remedies that don’t hurt the earth – one we plan to uphold.

Why doing ‘green’ business is tough.

The perils of plastic are clear. But if so, why aren’t more businesses refusing to use it?

The truth is, doing ‘green’ business is tough.

The current model of business success hinges on consumption – enticing people to buy and spend more; providing fast, cheap and easy products. Plastics have made single-use, grab-and-go options not only possible, but far more profitable.

Asking consumers to bring their own containers or spend more on eco-friendly materials can prove financially and logistically challenging – even for the most ethical businesses.

As well as that, environmentally friendly packaging doesn’t always stack up under scrutiny. Some comes from irresponsible sources, is made using energy-intensive processes, or simply doesn’t break down. Some fails to meet food standards or keep contents fresh. Other alternatives just don’t work for the consumer, or cost so much that a small business would never be able to make ends meet.

We’re writing this not to sound defeatist, but to highlight the tension between ‘doing the right thing’ and ‘doing business’.

And yet, change is possible.

A lack of effort is why we’re in this mess, so we were determined to find a new way for Ovvio – whatever it took.

After years spent researching environmentally sound packaging, we discovered New Zealand company Convex. Convex’s innovative bags and wrappers, called Econic, are made from renewable, plant-derived materials that compost fully, unlike some biodegradables which fail to break down.

In fact, they’re ingredients are internationally certified to European and American compostability standards.

Econic packaging is designed for foodstuffs so it keeps our beautiful herbs, spices and teas super fresh. And once disposed of in a composting environment (with water, oxygen, soil and microorganisms) it breaks down completely.

Finding them was a revelation. Thank you, Convex for creating Econic packaging.

Our plastic free promise.

We’re so pleased to announce that, to coincide with Plastic Free July, Ovvio is opting out of plastic packaging.

Well, it’s not exactly a new thing. Our teabags have always been biodegradable, offering one of the few planet-friendly alternatives to synthetic silk. But now we’re bringing it full circle with our Refill Revolution.

Starting July 2018, every Ovvio tea will have a beautiful forever-use tin which can be refilled with our compostable refill bag made from sustainably-managed plant-based materials or skip happily to our refill room in Paddington and top up to your heart’s content using your own vessels.

This makes Ovvio one of the first Australian tea companies to give plastic the flick and embrace waste-free refills, a move we hope will pave the way for industry change.

In summary.

✔ All Ovvio teabags are biodegradable, plastic free made from plant-based material.

✔ All Ovvio loose leaf teas will have their own beautiful forever-use tin.

✔ All Ovvio loose leaf teas will have their own compostable refill bag made from sustainably-managed plant-based materials.

✔ Top up on your favourite Ovvio products, using your own vessel, in our refill room.

All we need is your support, and more businesses to follow suit.

What’s good for the planet is good for us, too.

Join us in saying no to plastic, and yes to a healthier world.

With love,

Anthia and the Ovvio Team.

 

WASTE-FREE GLOSSARY
TEA TIN – Our tea tins are designed to look beautiful, protect teas from light, and be refilled forever.
REFILL BAG – These fill up our tea tins to hold loose herbs, teas and spices. Made from a combination of compostable films from sustainably-managed renewable resources, they’ve been internationally certified to meet strict composability standards.
REFILL ROOM – A solution to the problem of single-use packaging. Our refill room offers herbs, spices and teas in bulk, rekindling an age-old shopping concept that’s far more interactive, and much kinder to the planet.
TEABAGS – Unfortunately, some biodegradable products don’t break down, despite what it says on the label. We’re happy to report that our teabags are fully biodegradable, made with a delicate plant-based mesh that returns to the earth without toxic residue.
CELLOPHANE – A thin, plastic sheet made from regenerated cellulose (found in the cell wall of plants). We use this material to hold tea in our tins.
COMPOSTABLETo be termed ‘compostable’, packaging needs to meet criteria around time it takes to break down, the conditions it will break down in and the non-toxicity of the compost produced. Essentially, it must end up as carbon dioxide, water, inorganic compounds and biomass equivalent to known compostable materials (like plant matter), leaving no toxic residue.
BIODEGRADABLEBiodegradable means that a product will break down with the help of naturally-occurring microorganisms over a period of time. However, there is no universal requirement for products labelled as such to break down within a certain time, or without toxic byproducts.
DEGRADABLEDegradable products don’t use microorganisms as part of the breakdown equation. Instead of composting, they rely on chemical additives to break down faster than other plastic packaging would. These items are not necessarily beneficial for the environment, and are sometimes worse – breaking down into smaller and smaller pieces of plastic and posing a real threat to animals, ecosystems and humans.
RECYCLABLEThough preferable to making new items from scratch, recyclables still require an investment of energy to transform them from one thing to another. Items such as plastics, papers and metals depend on people disposing of them in the right way, plus proper processing.