Lush continues its commitment to sustainability, innovating not only packaging but also the method of transportation. Lush has developed a carbon-positive cork pot to replace the aluminum tin of its shampoo bar that sequesters at least one kilogram of CO2e. The company has committed to the purchase of 500,000 units over the next 12 months. The first shipment of 6,000 pots will make the journey from Portugal to the UK by sailboat though a partnership with green logistics provider New Dawn Traders. While the shipping method will minimize the carbon footprint of transportation, the company will need to allow extra time for shipping.
Nick Gumery, Creative Buyer for Packaging at Lush, said to The Telegraph, “It’s a serious test of logistics and whether it makes business sense. Business won’t change if it’s solely done charitably. Lush is interested in its impact but wants to show, as an ethical business, it can still make a profit.”
Cork is not only biodegradable, but as the material is harvested the tree is not harmed because it requires stripping the outer bark off the tree, which is done without chopping it down or harming it as it undergoes a regenerative process. It takes nine years for the cork to grow back when it is ready to be harvested again, a process which encourages natural wildlife to flourish, according to Lush.
Miles King, a nature writer who works with the company, explained to The Telegraph, “Cork is a natural product, made from the inner layer under the bark of the Cork Oak tree (Quercus suber). Traditionally used to make corks (as in stoppers for wine bottles), cork is actually a remarkable material—antibacterial, fire retardant, water resistant, flexible, strong, easy to work; and at the end of its life, it can be composted.
“Harvested from a living tree, it also has an exceptional ability to sequester carbon, helping to mitigate the effects of climate change chaos. The [Lush] team’s calculations suggest that each cork pot sequesters over one kilo of carbon dioxide gas (and this is a very conservative estimate). This compares with an aluminum pot which releases 9kg of CO2 for every kg of Aluminum created.”
Photo: via Lush