Did you know that 91% of plastic in the world is not recycled?
Plastic packaging, particularly single-use plastic in the retail industry, is one of the largest contributors to landfill waste. It poses an enormous threat to the planet - and one that we take seriously.
At the end of the day, the purpose of packaging is to safely and neatly store a product during transit or delivery to a customer, or to provide a carry bag when purchased in store. As it stands, packaging really only has a once-off function. For us this is a big no no, especially as it's not sustainable and creates excess waste.
According to National Geographic, out of the almost 9 billion tons of plastic that has been produced since the 1950s, only 9% of that has been recycled. The result? Approximately 8 billion tons of plastic made in the 1950s still exists today! That sucks, and makes us sad.
As a burgeoning African company, we are committed to change. Indeed, we adopt the mentality of being the change we want to see in the world. With this in mind, we are slowly working towards a more sustainable product at every level of production (watch this space!).
That's why we've reinvented the bag for your ROWDY Bag. As of 2021, every ROWDY purchase comes with a reusable shopping bag made from 100% recycled ginger beer bottles!
WHY GINGER BEER BOTTLES?
Recycled PET (Polyethylene Terephthalate) bottles like Cream Soda, Coke and in ROWDY's case, Stoney Ginger beer bottles, are collected locally from waste reclaimers, waste dumps and recycling plants. Once collected, they are then recycled into PET yarn to be woven into the fabric ROWDY uses for its packaging. What is PET? PET plastic is the most common container in the soft drink market today.
The brainchild of ROWDY's Product Designer Caileigh Pentz, the goal of our reusable and recyclable packaging decision is to use chemical-free, virgin materials where possible.
ROWDY has chosen to work with Stoney ginger beer bottles because the brown plastic bottle gives the packaging its cream-brown colour without any
“As a product designer, I want to steer clear of using chemicals where possible. We are able to dye the virgin material, yet I thought that the ginger beer bottles' cream brown colour was perfect for ROWDY as a leather brand as it reflects our love for natural materials,” Caileigh says.
HOW IS EACH BAG MADE?
Okay, it's a process, but here is a breakdown of how each ROWDY Bag For Your Bag is made:
- Stoney ginger beer bottles are collected and cleaned for recycling
- The recycling plant break up the bottles into tiny pieces and churn it all together
- The tiny pieces are melted and a thin PET yarn is created
- The yarn is woven into the fabric we use for the packaging
- The packaging is designed and developed with our supplier
- Prototypes are made and tested
- The packaging is cut and the seams are heat-welded on an automated machine to be as precise and as strong as possible
- The handles are reinforced with a tack stitch to ensure durability
- The packaging is sent to the screen printer to apply the branding
- The packaging goes back to our supplier for a final quality control check before being delivered to ROWDY
- The packaging is boxed according to size and delivered to ROWDY
“For ROWDY, we want to design packaging that can be realistically re-used and serve as a functional and beautiful product for each customer. As a customer, if you do not see yourself using the packaging again, we'd like to offer you the option to give it back to us so that the packaging can be re-used again for its primary function - packaging. This does not only save money for both sides, it contributes to a closed loop system that reduces the amount of packaging ROWDY would need to produce annually,” explains Caileigh.
“While we are still a long way away from being a full-sustainable brand, it is small but mindful decisions like this that are the first steps in our journey to embracing basic goodness,” she ends.