“If you’re all for the love of the planet, then why are your products packaged in plastic bottles?” As advocates for a sustainable lifestyle and eco-friendly everything, this is a question the team at So Good So You fields on a frequent basis, and we get it. Recycling, composting, plastics, glass, all that jazz, can be extremely confusing but we’re here to help fill you in on all that you need to know and the “why” behind our packaging since launching So Good So You six years ago.
Contrary to many other beverage companies on the market, So Good So You has been using 100% post-consumer recycled plastic since the very beginning in 2014. Continuously working to improve our practices and to have a greater impact, we recently leveled up and introduced our greatest sustainability innovation to date: the BtrBtl™. The BtrBtl™ has no negative impact on the recycling stream, but also offers a complete life-cycle solution should the bottle find its way to a landfill.
We know what you’re thinking.... “But it’s still plastic, isn’t it?”. Yes, and this is where things get interesting. See, the existing recycling system in the US is broken, meaning up to 90% of what is recycled, never actually gets recycled. Ouch. That fact is worth repeating. On average, only about 1 in 10 plastic items actually end up being recycled in the US - regardless of proper disposal. Instead, most plastics will make their way to a landfill where materials such a glass will take 1 million years, and plastics several hundred to a thousand years, to decompose. It’s a frightful thought, and a difficult reality, but instead of fighting the system, for now we have decided to work within it.
The BtrBtl™ looks the same as our current bottle. In fact, it is still made of plastic, but it features a very special additive. BtrBtl™ was specifically designed to degrade in a landfill at an accelerated rate when compared to regular plastic. It will convert into usable energy, breaking down into water, soil and carbon-based gases through accelerated biodegradation in a landfill. In a lot of big cities, buses and recycling trucks have been converted to run on energy - this clean energy comes from commercial landfills that convert trash to clean energy. Based on fancy independent third-party testing,* the details of which are shown below, ⅓ of the BtrBtl™ biodegraded in a laboratory environment designed to mimic industrial landfills in just over a year, vs. only 2% of a traditional plastic bottle during the same period. Further, we had lots of chats with the scientists and environmental engineers behind this technology and they told us because the independent tests showed that BtrBtl™ broke down to organic matter, there were no microplastics! This is a big win for the planet - bravo BtrBtl™.
The cool thing is you don’t have to do anything differently. Whether the BtrBtl™ is discarded in a recycling bin or trash can, whether it ends up in the appropriate plastic recycling facility or in a landfill - it’s end-of-life will be optimized.
We are excited, but we’re not stopping here. Ideally and eventually, our packaging will be 100% plant-based, just like our products. The ultimate goal is a plant-based ocean-biodegradable bottle, but this technology is still a few years way from being commercially viable. When it’s ready, we will continue to take a leadership position in sustainable packaging. In the meantime, there’s BtrBtl™.
We are proud to say that our commitment to the planet doesn’t stop with sustainable packaging. It can be seen through everything we do, from sourcing to selecting the most eco-friendly shipping and marketing materials. Our manufacturing plant is powered by 100% renewable energy, and over 94% of our facility waste is diverted from landfills.
What else do you want to know about our sustainability practices? Let us know in the comments and we will include it in a future blog post! BtrBtl™ hits stores this summer - enjoy your immune-supporting shots and rest easy knowing that together, we are caring for our planet.
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*Accelerated biodegradation based on ASTM D5526-94 testing showing that the treated PET used for the BtrBtl™ biodegrades 31.7–37.0% after 391 days in active landﬁll conditions compared to 2% biodegradation of untreated PET.