Sometimes we get asked about the plastic that your SCOBY comes packaged in. We hate single use plastic, and have searched far and wide to find a compostable alternative or at least a bioplastic that can be used with a vacuum sealing machine. Unfortunately, this product does not exist yet.
The team at Homemade Kombucha Co. goes to great lengths to minimise the amount of waste we produce. All of our packaging that we use for shipping your order has been sourced from local businesses. We never buy virgin packaging materials because we do not want to unnecessarily contribute to the huge issues with environmental plastic pollution and global deforestation.
Everything that is shipped with your order is recyclable. Most of the packaging we use will be cardboard that can easily be recycled in the yellow top household waste bins. Thankfully our nylon vacuum seal pouches are recyclable! Recycling programs like Redcycle can process soft plastics that your council would typically send straight to landfill. Any bubble wrap or padding airbags can be recycled in the same way – simply collect any soft plastic from your order, along with any household waste before you head to the supermarket and drop it off in the collection bins before the start of your shop.
Did you know that bubble wrap and sealed air bags are recyclable? Either reuse them yourself or drop them off at a soft plastics collection bin in your local shopping centre.
The Safety Of Plastics
When we brew our kombucha SCOBYs we always use high quality glassware – there are no cheap plastic brewing vessels, PVC kegs or stainless steel vats. We do not believe kombucha should be made on a commercial scale using methods that ultimately compromise the quality of the product.
The first time one of our SCOBYs comes into a contact with plastic is when we seal it up and ship it off to you. Our vacuum seal packs are made with food grade nylon – which is free of potentially harmful additives like BPA. Nylon is one of the most resilient plastics available – it can handle the acidity of kombucha much better than other common plastics during the few days your SCOBY is sealed up.
Think about it like this – if you buy a big brand kombucha in a standard plastic (PET) bottle, it will have been sealed in plastic for a far longer time than a fresh SCOBY. The phthalates like those in PET (polyethylene terephthalate) has been found to cause fertility issues in animal experiments by disrupting functions of the endocrine system.1 Strongly acidic liquids can potentially damage plastic compounds and cause plastic additives like phthalates to become more mobile – leaking into the liquid.
This is definitely an area of concern for us and is a controversial topic! The beverage industry strongly pushes that PET is safe, but the reality is this topic is poorly researched. The science behind understanding what sort of impact plastic and plastic additives can have on health is in its infancy. Remember plastic has only been in our lives for the last 60-70 years and the mass use of plastic in food packaging just started to take off in the 1980’s.2