Packaging sustainability is the process of making decisions that minimizes our environmental impact on our planet. At Shower Pouch, we look at all aspects of our business and find ways to improve our sustainability imprint.
With everything that we do, we stand behind the three key principles:
- A good year and a half of research and development was used to figure out what is the smallest wipe that is needed to sufficiently wipe the entire surface area of an adult human body. This R&D exercise is how we landed on a 2 foot by 1 foot body wipe. Anything larger than that we determined to be excessive.
- After landing on a size, we had to figure out what is the smallest size pouch that can hold our 2 foot by 1 foot cloth while being stowed away in a front or back pocket. We designed the size of the pouch base on the most compact fold pattern (cloth) we could create.
- The amount of formula was a fun process to figure out. We did not want to add so much formula that it turned the body wipe into a large wet cloth that dripped formula all around you. We also didn't want a lack of formula where a consumer would be forced to use a second cloth. Through a series of consumer tests, we landed on the right amount of formula that wasn't too wet and wasn't to dry while standing behind our promise that ...
- "One full body wet wipe will clean you from head to toe"
- Having a long shelf life for our organic formula was a must have. We evaluated different plastic film materials and discovered easily we were experiencing drastic weight loss before the end of one year. After testing our film in a foil material, we were able to increase our shelf life to THREE YEARS!
- The corrugate box that ships our hygiene products to our consumers utilizes the less amount of corrugate material possible. We right size our boxes so we have the smallest foot print when shipping. We accomplished this by testing different corrugate board grades while providing a beautiful unboxing experience.
- Being a product that is proudly made in the USA was a strategy to help reduce our carbon footprint by working with local suppliers and contract manufacturers. It didn't make sense to produce our product half way across the world just to ship it across a massive ocean for 4 weeks. Having access to our vendors locally allows us to have better quality control and a better grasp of our supply chain.
- Overall, the principle of REDUCE has allowed us to remove waste in our packaging, formulation, and supply chain while giving you a premium body wipe experience.
- As we think about waste, the biggest challenge to our planet and landfills is SINGLE USE products. From the 1950's, the manufacturing industry has benefited from low cost packaging while increasing our demand for convenience. Examples of this are disposable grocery shopping bags, disposable straws, disposable cutlery, disposable cups, and etc. As a society, we have conditioned ourselves that we are to use materials and throw them away after one use. Because of this, we are creating a more wasteful society. At Shower Pouch, we don't believe in a linear economy where you 1) make, 2) use, and 3) dispose. Until we are able to find new sustainable packaging materials, some aspects of our packaging will fit inside of a linear economy (e.g. our pouch material). Our goal is to create packaging that fits within a Circular Economy. A circular economy aims to eliminate/minimize waste by reusing, remaking, repurposing, and recycling. By creating our materials from reclaimed sources, we are creating a close loop system that has a very small environmental impact on our planet.
- In the the case of our body wipes, we quickly eliminated the idea of using a biodegradable cloth for two major reasons.
- We should ALWAYS pack out what we bring in. If you are camping, we should not encourage humans to bury a foreign material that is not local to that particular ecosystem. We could be creating more harm than good.
- Many "biodegradable" materials require that it be disposed of in a commercial composting facility. If a consumer doesn't take the time to find these facilities, more than likely the product will end up in a landfill "biodegrading" with the rest of the trash.
- Since we believe in a circular economy, we intentionally designed our Shower Pouch cloth from an engineered nonwoven. A material that can be washed with the rest of your dirty laundry and reused many times over. We over communicate that we want all of our consumers to give our cloth a second life. Whether you turn it into your new shop rag, to clean your floors, or to create your own version of a Shower Pouch
- An example of creating a second life for your body wipe. Use one "sandwich" size zip lock bag and add one folded clean Shower Pouch cloth. Creating your own formula, add roughly one shot glass volume of formula to the zip lock bag and close it shut. Store the package in your fridge to keep it cool and preserved.
- All of our corrugate box material is made from 100% Post Consumer Recycled paperboard and is locally produced in California.
- The last process in a circular economy is recycle. We should always strive to find a way to recycle our packaging. Sadly, most MRFs (material recovery facilities) aka Recyclers do not recycle plastic films or nonwovens. Our Shower Pouch engineered cloth is a mono material polymer that is commonly recycled. Since our cloth is considered a nonwoven, it is not currently recycled today. We are working with the Association of Packaging Recyclers to come up with innovative ways to address these unique packaging formats. As more sustainable packaging technologies emerge, we will always consider them for our products.
- Our hand sanitizer bottle is made from high density polyethylene. A very popular recyclable material by most MRFs. By 2025, we are targeting to produce all of our hand sanitizer bottles with 100% post consumer recycled resin. Currently, the pumps on our hand sanitizer bottle is not recyclable. In the future, we will redesign our bottle so the pump can be removed at the end of life. In addition, by having a remove able pump, we will be able to offer a refill program.
- Our 100% Post Consumer Recycled corrugate box is not only made from trash but is also 100% recyclable.
Thank you for taking the time to understand how we evaluated every aspect of our packaging, formulation, and supply chain to be sustainable and to minimize our environmental impact on our beautiful planet. Through innovation, we will always research ways to be more sustainable. Sustainability isn't a destination, but rather a journey.
Mike & Omar (co-founders)