A sustainable product is one that satisfies a consumer need and, in turn, makes correct use of current resources without compromising those of future generations. For a product to be 100% sustainable, its entire carbon footprint must be so, that is, all the processes involved in its production must be eco-friendly with the environment, from obtaining its raw materials to delivery end to the consumer.
Even knowing this definition, most of us as consumers don’t know if the products we consume are sustainable or not, so in this article we will discuss some points to take into account when buying a sustainable product.
Raw materials recycled and reused in products
The raw material is the material extracted from nature for its future transformation process into a final product. But for a product to be sustainable, it’s proposed to use secondary raw materials, that is, from recyclable and reusable materials. The use of these secondary raw materials in products encourages both the efficient use of resources and respect for the environment (because this also significantly reduces energy consumption and the emission of greenhouse gasses).
In this way, when buying a sustainable product, you can find out if the raw materials used for its production were recycled or reused, and if so, in what percentage.
Recyclability of materials used in products
Recyclability is the ability of a product’s materials to be recycled and reused once its life cycle has ended and thus promote the circular economy. Therefore, to define if a product is sustainable or not, you can base it on the percentage of recyclability of its materials at the end of its life cycle.
These recyclable materials are those that, later, can be recycled and reused as secondary raw material in other products and start the cycle again, thus reducing the indiscriminate use of non-renewable resources on the planet.
Renewable materials in products
Renewable materials are those resources extracted from nature for their transformation into a consumer good, which have the possibility of being produced again naturally at a rate higher than that of human consumption. On the other hand, a non-renewable material is a resource extracted from nature that can’t be produced again naturally at a rate as fast as that of human consumption.
Taking this into account, you can detect the percentage of renewable materials in the product you want to acquire, discriminating whether the materials used for its production are renewable or not.
Tóxic free products
Another point to take into account is the level of toxicity in the raw materials used to manufacture the products you want to buy. If the raw material of a product has levels of toxicity, it means that it contains substances that are harmful to the environment or to people’s lives.
To define if a product is sustainable or not, you must take these levels into account, and consider that the more toxic-free the product you buy (and consequently, all the materials used in its manufacture), the more sustainable it will be.
Use of non-petroleum based plastics in products
Petroleum-derived plastics (used in most products on the market today) take 100 to 1,000 years to decompose depending on their composition. In turn, petroleum, which is its main raw material, is considered a non-renewable natural resource that, as previously mentioned, is not renewed quickly enough to reach the speed of human consumption.
Knowing this, you can find out the percentage of use of bioplastics in the products you want to buy, to know how sustainable they are. These are a type of plastic of vegetable and renewable origin. Also, a bioplastic has the advantage of degrading in months or up to 6 years depending on its manufacture.
Today, it isn’t obligatory for those who market products / services to report to society how eco-friendly their products / services they offer to the market are.
At Ekohunters we are committed to society and the planet, and we offer customers a selection of sustainable products. For this reason, we have developed a tool capable of providing truthful information about the degree of sustainability of the products we offer our clients. This is how the Eko quality seal was born, through which we highlight all the environmental properties of each product (named in the article) to help you make a more conscious and sustainable purchase, knowing how eco-friendly they are.