What is BOL packaging made of?

We are now 100% plant-powered, what a feeling. This is a huge milestone in our journey as a little start-up food company - one that is colossal in our ambition to be better for you and kinder to the planet. While we are very proud of the positive impact this will have, we also recognize that another opportunity looms in our sustainability strategy: packaging. You’ve spoken loud and clear - and we’re listening. 

In our last article on the topic (BOL, why are you still in plastic?) we shared our challenges and opportunities when it comes to packaging. In short, we are exploring alternatives to plastic that are future proof but that also keep BOL affordable to you - our wonderful customers. In the meantime we are building our efforts around the three Rs: reduce, reuse, recycle.

Instagram image courtesy of @dooley7050. 


While we explore alternatives to plastic, we want to share more about our packaging to keep you informed about our choices to-date. The first important point to note is that not all plastic is created equal. Black plastic and single-use plastic are widely used in packaging and stand outside the sustainable RRR method. What do we mean by this? BOL has invested in high-quality plastic that can be upcycled and recycled. It may seem counter-intuitive, but we see this as an important commitment: while we still make use of plastic, we have chosen materials that can be kept in our homes as well as recycled back into the stream so they don’t end up in our oceans and landfill. We actively encourage you to see our packaging as a resource rather than waste. You can check out our #dontwastecreate page here for inspiration.

So what is BOL packaging made of? Let’s take a look.

Instagram image courtesy of @theonlgirlinthehouse. 


Veg Pots + Super Soups

Our Veg Pots and Super Soups are made of PP plastic, the shorthand for polypropylene. We have selected this type of plastic for a variety of reasons.

  1. It is chemical resistant, making sure the contents of our pots are safe from any external threats.
  2. It is a tough material, which allows it to withstand transport and handling without the risk of shattering (like glass).
  3. It is heat resistant, which allows the pot to be safe to pop into the microwave and dishwasher and reused multiple times like Tupperwarere (which means PP is a “thermoplastic”).[1]
  4. It is fully recyclable, which means it can be melted and assembled into plastic pellets that can be used to make new products.[2] We are also looking at the opportunity to recycle our pots right back into the production cycle, a process that would save both plastic and energy. Our partners are looking into this and we hope to have an update to share with you soon.
  5. It consumes the least amount of energy and produces the lowest C02 emissions when compared to other plastics.[3] 

 

Instagram image courtesy of @fit4london_. 


Salad Jars

Our Salad Jars use a combination of materials to serve different purposes. The lid and fork provided are PP, mentioned above. Given that our Salad Jars do not require microwaving, the plastic we have selected for the pot and dressing container are PET, short for Polyethylene Terephthalate. We have selected PET for several reasons.

  1. It is a safe material, making it desirable for food storage as it keeps out microorganisms and nasties out.[4]
  2. It is a lightweight, perfect for on-the-go consumption.
  3. It is resealable, so you can have a little salad and keep munching on the go.[5]
  4. It is fully recyclable, so the pots can be melted into the little pellets mentioned above.

 

Instagram image courtesy of @iamjamesbarley. 


The label and fork wrap are PE as with the Veg Pots and Super Soups. In the case of the fork wrap, we are looking into removing it all together.

As you may know, one of our promises is to always improve. Having embraced the plant-based lifestyle and gone 100% plant-powered, we feel like a milestone has been set in our sustainability journey. Yet, it is true that more work remains to be done. Packaging is an important challenge to crack both for BOL and for the food industry as a whole. For this reason, we’re looking to launch a returnables scheme by the end of the year - an initiative that we hope will further reduce our impact as we explore long-term solutions. We’re also working on an exciting piece of innovation which uses significantly less plastic, so watch this space.

We’d love to hear your thoughts on packaging and on this post. If you have any ideas you’d like to share with us don’t hesitate to reach out via email at hello@BOLfoods.com or on social @BOLFoods.

Thanks for stopping in. Till next time.