The smarter way to healthier for our planet
by Caroline Fontein
Just take a short scroll through your Instagram feed or a trip to the nearest coastline. You don’t have to look far to know our planet is in trouble.
What’s not always so obvious is, what can we do to help?
It’s a question we ask ourselves every day. Because as makers of consumer packaged goods (CPG) and some of the industry’s top-selling health supplements, we at SmartyPants Vitamins are a part of the issue.
- Humans produce upwards of 300 million tons of plastic every year!
- And about 50 percent of the plastic produced is for single-use purposes, like product packaging. You might only use it once, but this type of plastic can stay on the planet for hundreds of years.
- While we all try and recycle, less than a fifth of all plastic is recycled globally, and Americans still throw out about 22 million tons of recyclables each year.
- As a result, around 18 billion pounds of plastic waste flows into the oceans every year from coastal regions.
- It’s clear there’s a problem. Yet, still nearly a million plastic beverage bottles are sold every minute around the world.
Ok, you get the idea. Plastic is everywhere.
According to Plastic Oceans International, a non-profit organization focused on raising awareness about plastic pollution, about one in three species of marine mammals have been found tangled in marine litter. What’s even more alarming? More than 90 percent of all seabirds have plastic in their stomachs. Yikes!
However, we have some good news too.
The CPG industry is on a mission to deliver more sustainable packaging, manufacturing and distribution methods. Already about 80 percent of the largest CPG companies have committed to producing 100 percent recyclable, reusable or compostable packaging by 2030 at the latest. Most of them, including the five largest companies, Nestle, Proctor & Gamble, PepsiCo, Unilever and Anheuser Busch, set their goal at 2025.
So how is SmartyPants helping?
From our packaging to our labels and the ingredients we use, we’re evolving to help minimize our environmental footprint.
Sustainable Packaging: PCR Bottles
Now more than ever, it’s important for companies to deliver products that are not only good for consumers but good for the environment too. So, we're doing our part by using bottles made from 80 - 100% post-consumer resin (PCR) to help reduce our impact on the environment.
PCR is resin that has been used in commercial consumer applications (such as water bottles, vitamin bottles, shampoo bottles, etc.) and returned in community recycling programs to be recycled into new products, like our SmartyPants bottles.
Our bottles are also 100 percent recyclable! Just by taking your vitamins and remembering to recycle your bottles, you’re helping us transform landfill waste into something that supports good health for you, your family and our planet.
Unfortunately, our bottle caps can not be recycled yet. We’re working on it. Here are a few more recycling tips.
But that’s not all…
It’s not just our bottles that are eco-friendly. Our labels are too because they’re printed on 100% tree-free stone paper. Instead of using wood pulp, these labels are made primarily from mineral powder (calcium carbonate) bound with a dash of non-toxic resin (20 percent high-density polyethelene). How this “paper” is produced also helps minimize waste because it doesn’t require water or bleach, like most traditional paper.
When it’s time to “seas” the day, we include omega-3 EPA and DHA from fish oil to deliver a high-quality source of essential fatty acids in our SmartyPants core line supplements.
But it’s not without a price.
Unsustainable fishing takes a toll on fish stocks, marine life and our natural ecosystems. To help minimize our footprint, we source our fish oil from sustainable stocks of wild-caught small fish including anchovies, sardines, herring and mackerel. These sources come from a worldwide population of fish to help prevent overfishing of any one species.
It’s a step in the right direction, but it’s not enough.
We’re always working on sourcing more sustainable ingredients which is why we decided to use plant-based omega-3 sources for the essential fatty acids in our SmartyPants Organics Formulas and PhD Formulas.
Instead of fish oil, we use omega-3 ALA from flaxseed oil in our Organics gummy supplements and omega-3 DHA from algal oil in our PhD capsule supplements. These alternative forms also provide people who follow a vegetarian and vegan diet with a high-quality source of omega-3s. And that’s no fish story.
There are many environmental issues that plague our earth’s well-being, and we know we’re not perfect. That’s why we’re always innovating for a better tomorrow.
Because we believe that little changes over time can make a big difference, especially when it comes to the health of our planet.
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Caroline Fontein is the Editor and Content Manager for SmartyPants Vitamins. When she's not writing about the latest and greatest in gummy nutrition, she loves rollerblading (it's a thing), long walks on the beach (with her dog) and wine tasting (sometimes the whole bottle).