Working with our global teams, we’ve witnessed first-hand the positive impact of behavioral changes. We've come to realize, people aren’t always aware of the negative impact their actions have on the environment. But, once educated on alternatives, they are eager to make changes for the positive and approach challenges with a fresh perspective.
Upon receiving our first shipment from our producer in Indonesia, we found each teak stand completely wrapped in thin foam padding. We felt the amount of packaging was excessive and knew we needed to address this with our next shipment. When we raised the subject with our team, we were surprised by their response. They were proud of how well they were able to protect the shipment by meticulously wrapping each stand. Given this perspective, we knew we needed to navigate the situation gently.
As avid scuba divers, we’ve had the good fortune of diving some of the most remote sites around the world. In recent years, we have encountered increasing amounts of plastic pollution in the water and on the beaches. No matter where we’ve been, no matter how remote, there is always the constant reminder of the impact humans are having on the environment.
One of the most polluted places we’ve encountered was in Indonesian waters. In communicating our desire to minimize the use of plastic wherever possible, we shared pictures of the pollution with our team. They were shocked and upset seeing so much plastic littering what should have been pristine beaches. From that point forward, they’ve embraced the idea of reducing the amount of plastic packaging and finding renewable materials such as corrugated cardboard and paper.
We often don’t think twice when grabbing a plastic produce bag at the market, or straw for our drink. Everything we consume ends up somewhere. Unfortunately, most developing countries don’t have the same infrastructure for recycling and disposing of waste as the US, resulting in much of the single-use plastics washing into rivers and, eventually, flowing into the ocean.
Through our interactions with our partners, we’ve found the use of plastic and foam is most often because they’ve always “done it this way” without thinking about what happens to foam once the items are unwrapped. Seeing the plastic pollution in their own country made them aware of the issue and encouraged them to approach the problem from a different perspective. What began with our products has now spread throughout the company. The ownership has taken on the challenge of reducing the use of plastic foam for wrapping goods and they are now using biodegradable alternatives for all the items they produce.
We recognize the future health of our plant is dependent on the actions of individuals on a global scale. We are all in this together and have the responsibility to hold each other accountable for finding more sustainable options wherever possible. LBE Design is committed to improving our manufacturing process and packaging, both domestically and overseas, to ensure we are leveraging the most environmentally viable options available. We live in the mindset “there is always room for improvement.” While we still have several opportunities, we are working every day toward our goal of eliminating single-use plastics in production and packaging.
We are all in this together and have the responsibility to hold each other accountable for finding more sustainable options wherever possible.