Wednesday, March 25, 2009

Viv Stickers – Tell Me About Your Gooey Insides

We recently received a note from our sticker manufacturer Lightning Labels stating that they would be switching their eco-friendy Earthfirst PLA label material over to a new material called Natureflex – a wood pulp based substance manufactured from sustainably farmed trees. As a side note, cheers to Lightning Labels – these guys have great customer service and noting that we are an environmentally friendly (understatement ;-) ) company made sure to send us a specific note on the switch.
Most importantly though, it sounds like the right move from an environmental perspective. Lightning labels cites 3 main reasons for the switch, and I’ll add a 4th:
  1. PLA is made from corn which takes away from the food supply for humans and farm animals, and has contributed to an increase in food prices for products with a corn component.
  2. There are problems with the recycling of plastic containers with a PLA label – which means many such containers actually end up in landfills rather than being recycled.
  3. Whole Foods is actively discouraging its suppliers from using PLA.
  4. Many forms of PLA are only compostable in a commercial composting facility (not in your backyard).
You can read more at lightning labels blog about their reasons for switching, and you can also check out an article from Oregon Live regarding composting & recycling concerns with PLA.
For now, we have quite a few PLA-based stickers already eagerly waiting to be stuck. We did however want to share what feels like a smart move on the part of one of our suppliers and let ya’ll know that we’ll be keeping a close eye on the most environmentally responsible way to manufacture Viv stickers.