Exciting news! Through our partnership with rePurpose Global, we’re now contributing to the removal of the same amount of plastic from the environment as we use in our packaging and shipping, making us the first Plastic Neutral meat-alternative company in the world (isn’t that wild?!).
All contributions will be sent to our chosen rePurpose Global partner, Waste4Change - a social enterprise based in West Java, Indonesia (the home of our beloved tempeh!), that develops sustainable waste management systems to reduce the amount of waste going to landfill. By supporting the organisation, we’ll reduce the amount of plastic that is sent to landfill and instead ensure it is re-used in an environmentally and socially responsible way.
By going Plastic Neutral, we’re not only helping to tackle an almost £40bn/yr funding gap that plagues recycling supply chains worldwide, but will also add an income stream for over 140 waste management workers and their families in West Java. Today, informal waste workers often earn less than £4/day, work in precarious conditions, and face severe discrimination despite providing a crucial societal service for cities across the developing world. We’re boosting these workers’ income by attaching value to hard-to-recycle plastics, while supporting an experienced recycling social enterprise that holistically uplifts ex-waste pickers through occupational safety, health insurance, and skills training.
As we have mentioned previously, due to the relatively complicated food safety aspect of tempeh production, it’s really difficult to remove plastic from its production and packaging. We currently use plastic packaging for our products to extend their shelf-life, reduce the likelihood of any spoilage and make them suitable for wider distribution. It’s something that really frustrates us as a team and we’re constantly working on. We’re particularly looking into how we could use recycled or renewable materials rather than virgin plastic. We’re making progress, but it will take a while to implement and so we needed an interim solution.
As you all know, our mission is to do things the better way - for people, the planet and animals. But the better way is not always the perfect way - it’s about making whatever changes we can to get closer to our greater goals. As a start-up, it can be tricky to implement all the changes we want to from the beginning, but we’re working hard to be as sustainable as possible.
So, we’re thrilled to be able to rebalance our plastic footprint, as well as support such a positive and impactful initiative in the country that our co-founder Driando and team members Elvira and Lidwina call home, and has provided us with the gift of tempeh. Going Plastic Neutral is a step in the right direction for us, but we know we have plenty more to do.