Product Label Guide

At The Path Less Wasteful, we believe that living a more sustainable life should be as easy as possible. So we have provided an explanation for the icons that can be found on our products, so you can find the best products for you.

This symbol means suitable for vegans, you will find it on all of our products since everything we sell is vegan friendly! Vegan products do not use or contain any animal products (e.g.no leather, silk or dairy products).

If something is biodegradable it means that it can break down into natural materials in the environment without causing harm to its surroundings. Essentially, when something biodegrades the item and its substances seamlessly mix back into the earth. This happens with the help of organisms such as bacteria and fungi. A biodegradable product will not leave any toxins behind.

Cruelty Free products are products that have not been tested on animals, either in the product’s development or manufacturing process. By choosing a cruelty free product, you know that no animals were harmed at any stage of the product’s lifecycle.

This means that neither the product or its packaging are made from or contain plastic. Plastic is a problem because all the plastic ever produced still exist, it doesn’t degrade, it just breaks down to microplastics which pollute our oceans, it also harms wildlife by entanglement and ingestion.

A compostable product is one that is capable of breaking down into natural elements in a compost environment. It will leave no toxicity in the soil. There are typically 2 types of compostable products, items that are suitable for an industrial compost environment and products that are suitable for home composting.

Products made from recycled materials are environmentally friendly because they remove the need for a new manufacturing cycle. Many types of glass, paper and cardboard can be recycled and repurposed into entirely new products. This reduces the strain of the manufacturing process and the waste management process on the environment.

BPA means bisphenol A, a chemical used on an industrial scale in certain plastics since the 1960s. BPA is often found in polycarbonate plastics, which are commonly used in water bottles and food containers. There is concern that BPA can leach into food and water consumed by humans through the packaging. This is why many popular plastic and non-plastic products are labelled as BPA Free.

Palm oil is a major driver of deforestation of some of the world’s most biodiverse forests, destroying the habitat of already endangered species. This forest loss is also responsible for increased greenhouse gases into the atmosphere and contributing to climate change.

As well as deforestation and loss of biodiversity, there also remains some exploitation of workers and child labour in the palm oil industry, but it doesn’t have to be this way. The Roundtable of Sustainable Palm Oil or RSPO sets best practices producing and sourcing palm oil. Certified palm oil protects the environment and the local communities who depend on it for their livelihoods, so that palm oil can continue to play a key role in food security. RSPO palm oil that’s free of deforestation, exploitation and the use of fire.

These are products that we have sourced from some fantastic suppliers and producers local to us in The South West. This reduces the impact of the products as they have less to travel to us before they go onward to you, our customers. It also means we can support other family run and small business in our local area and boost the economy of the South West.

These products do not contain the chemical Sodium Lauryl Sulphate (SLS), which is a foaming agent found in many mainstream personal hygiene products. It is a surfactant which can cause irritation or harm to our skin.

These products are made of materials which can be used again after they have been treated using a special industrial process. Some of our products come in packaging that is recyclable (a lot are packaging free), and some of the products themselves are also recyclable at the end of their life.

These are items that are made, crafted or produced by hand, rather than machines making items in factories. Items produced by hand are usually of superior quality and have the makers heart and soul in them. They are made with love and care that often shows in the craftmanship, it can also mean depending on manufacturing method that you have a unique item.

These are items that can be used again and again rather than disposable items or single use plastics, such as water bottles, takeaway cups or razors. By using items again it reduces their impact on the environment and cuts down on the amount of single use plastic being used and going to landfill or ending up in our oceans.

GOTS is a textile production certification that limits the use of toxic bleaches, dyes and other chemical inputs during the production process of textiles. It is internationally recognised as the toughest organic textile standard because it goes beyond verifying the organic farming process to include every step of manufacturing.

Fairtrade is about better prices, decent working conditions, local sustainability, and fair terms of trade for farmers and workers in the developing world. By requiring companies to pay sustainable prices, Fairtrade tackles the injustices of conventional trade, which traditionally discriminates against the most vulnerable. It enables them to improve their position and have more control over their lives.

If you have any questions, just email us at thepathlesswasteful@gmail.com and we’ll be happy to help!