300 million tons of plastic are produced globally every single year. However, less than 10% of that plastic is recycled, leaving 91% to end up as waste in landfills or dumped in our oceans—polluting the environment for generations to come. We believe that we can do better. Just as our mission to serve and raise good humans is precious to us, the Earth we leave behind for our children and our grandchildren is precious to all.

 

By Natalie Sealover

Let’s face it—we have a lot of work to do. 

We began Natalist with the mission to look the fertility industry straight in the eye and say, ‘Do better.’ In doing so, we built our company on the values of evidence, education, and thoughtfully-designed products. We sought to create a seamless preconception and pregnancy experience that pushed past antiquated norms and spoke to the parenthood journey with empathy and respect. 

But as we continued to grow, we realized there is so much more work to be done. Of the 300 million tons of plastic that are produced globally each year, 50% consists of single-use plastic waste. And as a company that sells primarily single-use products (such as our Pregnancy Tests and supplements), we can not turn a blind eye to our impact on the Earth—our Earth—Mother Earth. 

And so, as we launch our Mother Earth sustainability initiative, we look back at ourselves and say, ‘Do better.’ We commit ourselves again to pushing back against default industry standards and look to find ways to bring sustainable solutions to the fertility and pregnancy space. 

As part of our initiative, we want to help educate our customers on our products today by providing straightforward guidance on how to properly dispose of them after use. Below, we have compiled a comprehensive list of our products, their recyclability, and suggested best practices for disposal.

Pregnancy and Ovulation Tests

  • Our Pregnancy and Ovulation Tests are made of ABS plastic (#7). While this kind of plastic is actually very recyclable, not all recycling municipalities are equipped with the proper processing devices needed to recycle the plastic. We recommend calling your local recycling plant to find out if they will accept this material.
  • Please note: in order to recycle our tests, you must remove the test strip from inside the plastic casing. This can easily be done by prying apart the casing using a flat edged object like a butter knife. If your local recycling plant will not accept this type of plastic, our tests can be disposed of alongside your normal domestic waste since they do not contain batteries (like digital tests).
  • As for the packaging, our Pregnancy and Ovulation Test boxes and instructions are 100% recyclable and can be recycled with other paper and cardboard products through your local recycling center or curbside program. We do recommend breaking down the box before disposing. Unfortunately, the foil wrappers and DMF-free desiccants are not recyclable (you can reuse desiccants though!). These should be disposed of alongside normal domestic waste. 

Supplements 

  • All of our supplement bottles are made of HDPE (#2) plastic. HDPE plastic is free from BPA, phthalates, heavy metals, allergens, and harmful fumes. It is typically made from post-consumer recycled (PRC) materials and is 100% recyclable. 
  • While most recycling municipalities and curbside recycling programs will accept this type of plastic, some will require supplement bottle caps to be removed in order for the waste to be recycled. We advise you to check with your local plant or program to find out their policies on bottle caps and lids. Paper labels can be left on when recycled! 

The Lube 

This was a tricky one—as of now, there are no 100% sustainable solutions in the market for flexible packaging made to hold liquids. 

  • Our individual Lube sachets are made from plastic-lined post-consumer recycled  paper and our Lube pouches are made from 20% PCR materials. While these packaging materials are not recyclable (for now!), the production of this product is significantly lower in plastic waste by volume when compared to standard lube bottles or squeeze tube packaging. Additionally, the manufacturing and transport process for flexible packaging materials and products produces far fewer CO2 emissions. Furthermore, water and energy consumption is lower compared to plastic and glass packaging processes. The Lube itself is also free of parabens (parabens are endocrine disruptors—chemicals that can interfere with our endocrine system and are known to cause ecological harm) and free of petrochemicals (which are also known to have detrimental effects on both human and environmental health). 
  • As we continue to explore recyclable packaging options, we encourage you to properly dispose of your Lube product waste in your household waste bin. 

Self-published Books

  • Our self-published books are all manufactured at mills that use 100% certified renewable energy, including electricity created by wind, solar, biomass or run-of-river sources. They are also made with paper that includes post-consumer recycled materials. 
  • While our paperback books can be recycled through most curbside recycling programs or local recycling centers, we strongly recommend that you donate them to your local library or pass them along to a friend! 

Shipping Packaging

  • From the beginning, we’ve tried to keep our shipping packaging minimal and as plastic-free as possible! All of our shipping boxes and padded mailers are 100% recyclable and can be recycled at your local recycling center or curbside recycling program. 
  • To reinforce our shipping boxes, we use gummed paper tape which is not only 100% recyclable, but also biodegradable. This can be left on the boxes to be recycled alongside the box. Our welcome cards are made from sustainably-sourced paper and can be recycled alongside our boxes and mailers. And while our tissue paper is not recycled, it is made from PCR materials and is compostable. 

*Please note: while our shipping labels are not recyclable, they can be left on the boxes to be properly disposed of by the plant during processing.


To learn more about single waste plastics in health products, click here