What Does Going Beyond Sustainable Look Like?
Lush Co-Founder and MD Mark Constantine has been quoted as saying: "In Lush, we work in an industry where the packaging costs the customer more than the product. Now, the customer needs to worry about how to recycle something they didn’t want to buy in the first place. This seems like a raw deal to us. If we can cut out all the plastic packaging, we can give our customers better value for money."
The impact of plastic on the planet is being widely discussed now, however reducing packaging is something Lush has been working on for many, many years. Plastic itself isn’t the problem, it’s a durable material that’s fabulous for structures and products that are meant to last, but it’s widely being used for single-use packaging and disposable items, creating waste that won’t break down for centuries. Its proper disposal is simply not a priority, as evidenced by the estimated five trillion pieces of it floating in our oceans, poisoning marine life and disrupting ecosystems.
Giles will discuss how Lush is finding solutions to plastic packaging; a new material made from ocean plastic; closed-loop recycling systems and the challenges that come along with this; and how opening packaging-free 'Naked' shops has revealed a version of what the future could look like - a world where packaging is forbidden and innovation reigns supreme! The Naked shops have also demonstrated a brand new shopping experience that merges product innovation with digital solutions to reduce packaging.
About Giles Verdon
Lush’s Earthcare team is made up of a mix of environmentalist and engineering expertise, who are responsible for reducing the company’s impact on the planet. They do this through tackling wastefulness in all its forms in Lush’s factories, shops and offices. Giles is a mechanical engineer by trade and was instrumental in opening the Lush Greenhub in 2015 to directly deal with the company’s packaging waste, with the ultimate aim of creating closed-loop recycling systems for everything. It’s here that the black pots returned to Lush by customers are washed, shredded and turned back into new black pots.
Even though packaging is kept to a minimum at Lush, when it is required Giles and his team are consulted on design elements, to ensure it’s as minimal and/or reusable as possible and recyclable at the end of life.