Who we are
The Pure Options journey started all the way back in 2003 by Charles Richardson & Deborah Richardson ( yes they are married) with a very lofty mission of saying "Goodbye" to single use plastics.
Which let's face it is a lofty mission, but one they felt was worth fighting, as idealistic concerned citizens they thought people cared as much as they did.
Did it work ?
Nope , Everyone said " We don't really care what happens to our packaging after they are thrown away, plus theres is a lot cheaper" ( it was, we couldn't get it made without a 110% premium) , so Charlie went off and became a Store Manager with the Co Operative ( not a time he thinks of fondly) and Deb became a Teaching Assistant ( which she thought was like being a Teacher with a fraction of the pay).
So what changed?
In 2018 our owners felt that the time was right , attitudes had changed, a dedicated but small amount of people were asking the right questions, so we weren't alone and then Blue Planet happened and everyone started asking the right questions.
So what do we do?
What we do is simple, we look at products made from petrol based plastics and we replace them with circular and sustainable products made from plants, it a natural solution to an un-natural problem.
So what drives us?
We are laser focused ( we hate business gargon but we felt this was a good way of putting it) on creating solutions that remove barriers, we don't think there is anything wrong with the disposable cup, in fact we think it's amazing, we just think it should be made from a plant based compostable alternative and then it's not only no longer a problem , it's great for the planet.
Should the consumer stop using straws and disposable cups?
We can't see why anyone should feel guilty about using a straw or disposable cup, just make it from plants, it's a simple barrier free solution that fits today's modern fast living without putting a barrier in your way.
It also benefits the planet so why wouldn't you?
What's the difference between compostable and biodegradable?
If we use the Cambridge Dictionary's definition, biodegradable is something ‘able to decay naturally and in a way that is not harmful.’ to put it simply , if something is biodegradable, then eventually it will break down into smaller pieces by micro organisms such as bacteria or fungi.
Which sounds good right , well not really because this definition is not a legal definition and most things will eventually break down into micro organisms within the definition and the only things that we can find that don't are glass, silicone and plutonium rods.
The problem is without a legal definition / standard and a time frame most things are biodegradable, think of it this was , a car battery will pollute the local environment and will eventually harmlessly break down over time but is still a problem for 100 years.
Strangely Australia (also used by the French) actually has a definition that includes time-frame and a level of toxicity
Compostable actually has a standard, in Europe, it's EN13432 and the almost identical US standard ASTM D6400,
Key tests and Pass / Fail criteria are:
Disintegration – the packaging sample is mixed with organic waste and maintained under test scale composting conditions for 12 weeks after which time no more than 10 % of material fragments are allowed be larger than 2 mm ( breaks down into small pieces in under 12 weeks).
Biodegradability – a measure of the actual metabolic, microbial conversion, under composting conditions, of the packaging sample into the water, carbon dioxide and new cell biomass. Within a maximum of 6 months, biodegradation of the test sample must generate an amount of carbon dioxide that is at least 90 % as much as the carbon dioxide given off from the control/reference material ( breaks down into soil through microbial action).
- Harmless - The absence of any negative effect on the composting process ( breaks down harmlessly and is great for plant growth).
Toxicity - Low levels of heavy metals (Potentially Toxic Elements) and no adverse effect of the quality of compost produced. Upper limits, in mg/kg of dry sample, are: zinc 150, copper 50, nickel 25, cadmium 0.5, lead 50, Mercury 0.5, chromium 50, molybdenum 1, selenium 0.75, arsenic 5 and fluoride 100 (safe to be added to the land).
Harmless and beneficial - The composted packaging material must not have an adverse effect on the bulk density, pH, salinity (electrical conductivity), volatile solids, total nitrogen, total phosphorus, total magnesium, total potassium and ammonium nitrogen characteristics of the compost (most not negatively effect the environment it is disposed of in).
Where can I download information for media contacts for The Pure Option
We are thrilled you are interested in what we do and we have a media download section
To view our award videos
To download media information
To email our media contact Manager
Looking for stats on compostable packaging
To speak to our Media Manager - 01495 211853.