At Blue Mountain Soapworks, our specialty is nourishing & protecting skin, but we’ve taken one additional step to help protect the environment as well!
Our products are minimally wrapped with organic or recycled/recyclable products to reduce waste. Nearly 90% of the world’s paper comes from wood pulp. This devastates old-growth forests worldwide – from the Pacific Northwest to the tropical rainforests of Southeast Asia and Brazil.
To do our part, we print the ingredient information for our soap bars on translucent vellum paper that is “Tree-Free“!! It’s made from 100% cotton rag (similar to the paper on which currency is printed). Not only is cotton paper superior in both strength and durability to wood pulp-based paper (which may contain high concentrations of acids), but no trees are destroyed to create it!
Next, the corrugated paper soap wrappers are made at least partially from recycled paper. Of course, this wrapper is also 100% recyclable when you no longer need it. Using recycled paper reduces water pollution by 35%, reduces air pollution by 74%, and eliminates many toxic pollutants.
The paper we use to label our half-bars is called Bagasse Sugar Paper. It’s made from sugar cane waste (otherwise known as “bagasse”) and Certified Plantation Fibre. It’s also tree-free and 100% biodegradable and recyclable. Even the manufacturing process is sustainable and eco-friendly!
Making progress: There are some innovative things being done to make more paper products from non-wood, tree-free alternatives such as the sugar cane bagasse mentioned above (residue left after extracting the sugar) & banana stems (both are plentiful in Jamaica), that are left in the fields after harvesting of the main crop. Using alternatives like these helps to eliminate greenhouse gas pollution from these agricultural leftovers that would otherwise be burned in the fields.
Paper is also made from fiber crops like hemp and flax; and, believe it or not, even elephant poop! Elephants have vegetarian diets, making their poop rich in cellulose — prime paper-making material. They also happen to unload around 500 pounds of it every day, making the stuff plentiful and renewable!!
Who knows? One of these days we may be wrapping our delightful Blue Mountain Soapworks soaps in elephant poop!!