31 July 2016

Unbleached paper

I'm going to share my latest find because it is amazing.

I've read a lot about making your own sandwich bags, and I swear I wanted to. Only... I never have enough time. Not to mention, buying beeswax is not as easy as it would seem here.
And then I've stumbled upon IF YOU CARE products. Good name for an eco-friendly company.

What they do is pretty unique and I, love the idea. IYC use materials specifically chosen to reduce their impact on the environment. They use unbleached paper, recycled materials and wood and paper coming from sustainably managed forests. In short, they replace petroleum based ingredients with natural and renewable resources; paper from pulp and paper mills practising the highest levels of clean water management.

What's so unique about their paper that I've mentioned it in the title?

Wood pulp, in its natural state, is brown or beige. Papers made from such pulp – for example, brown paper bags, and most cardboard boxes – are also brown. Usually, paper is subjected to a bleaching process to make it white, using chlorine derivatives, principally chlorine dioxide (ClO2), with horrible environmental consequences. Chlorine derivatives still produce toxic chlorinated organic compounds, such as chloroform, a known carcinogen.

Totally chlorine-free (TCF) paper is paper which is either unbleached or bleached using no chlorine or chlorine derivatives. Bleached papers which are totally chlorine-free (TCF) have been bleached with oxygen, ozone and/or hydrogen peroxide. These bleaching methods have none of the environmental impacts of chlorine chemistry.

IF YOU CARE paper is unbleached and always totally chlorine-free (TCF).

Now, what does it really mean for us?

Pretty much, that their products have really small impact on the environment compared to common methods used by other producers. So not only are we zero waste at home (because we can recycle and compost what we get), but we can also be sure that those products come from a place where they are manufactured in the most green way currently possible.

They are in fact efficient enough to produce recycled aluminium foil using only 5% of the energy normally used to create foil!

Another quite interesting thing they do is using supplies which might normally go to waste, and create a product that's very much needed: Soybean wax.
Soybean wax is a 100% natural, 100% renewable resource, unlike the more common petroleum-based paraffin wax. It is clean, safe, non-toxic and biodegradable. Soybeans are a renewable and sustainable resource grown by American farmers. Soybeans have a particularly good environmental impact in that they return nitrogen to the soil. Using soybean wax in place of petroleum-based paraffin wax helps reduce the use of petroleum products. For the farmers, this is a new way to make economical use of the soybean surplus.

Back to bags...

This is my favourite product of theirs: If You Care - Paper Sandwich Bags

If You Care - Paper Sandwich Bags - 48

With a price of 7 pence per bag, it is a no-brainer for a busy mum like me.
Also, the fact that the entire packaging is recyclable (carton) and the bags are compostable is another win. 
They are big enough to actually hold quite good pieces of food and are quite sturdy.

And the list of bonuses gets longer still:

  • Unbleached greaseproof paper
  • Totally chlorine-free (TCF)
  • Natural barrier properties – not chemically treated
  • 100% renewable resources
  • No petroleum products
  • Minimum waste
  • Vegetable-based inks for printing
  • Non-toxic glues
  • Replaces petroleum based plastic sandwich bags
  • Suitable for vegetarians and vegans
  • Microwave safe
  • Gluten free
  • Allergen free
  • Star-K kosher
  • No animal testing
  • No animal ingredients