When I started TRH nearly 4 years ago, I had several ‘non negotiables’ that were a huge priority for me personally. They included – Organic certification, Fair trade approved, a charitable component which supported the harvesting communities, transportation via sea (to minimise our carbon footprint) and absolutely fabulous quality berries!
Over time it appeared I had overlooked one very important factor. A factor that would become apparent as our company grew and consumers became more ecologically conscious. In 2013, the waste free movement was seemingly in its infancy, and organic certification was our highest priority. We were never asked about our packaging specifically and we continued to pack the berries in plastic, inside the cotton bag.
By 2015 a change in personal and consumer level thinking… saw the plastic bag become an issue and we set about planning our transition to 100% waste free. But it was not as simple as I had hoped! A political blockade between the India/Nepal border meant that paper products could not be transported into Nepal and our plans would need to be delayed until a resolution had been reached and we could source the materials we needed.
From the beginning, we knew also that dealing with a developing country would pose issues. This would become apparent as we attempted to convey our desire to be waste free. In developing countries… plastic and plastic products are seen as a sign of affluence and progress. So when we requested a transition back to paper and fully compostable materials… it took some convincing! We took it as far as our carton packaging too and sourced paper packing tape and jute wrapping for all of our shipping cartons. Every step was reviewed, audited and changed. I was firmly set on the idea that we would be entirely waste free!
So here we are in 2017 and we've made it! We were able to source recycled paper bags, labels, cartons, jute and paper packing tape and we have received our first full shipment. Our 100% waste free packaging is now rolling out into stores around the world and I am super proud of what we are doing. Our efforts combined with our conscious customers will bring about massive change and provide a fabulous option for a truly waste free product. We have worked tirelessly behind the scenes to ensure that our soapberries are making a difference not only to the people of Nepal, but to the environment.
So if you are considering changing over to TRH soapberries, not only are you making a difference for you and your family, but you are having a positive impact on our planet!