Plastic Neutral Certification

Plastic Neutral Journey | Great Eastern Sun

We love healthy food, and healthy food comes from a healthy planet. That’s why we’ve partnered with rePurpose Global to become a certified plastic neutral company.

What does plastic neutral mean?

In a nutshell, plastic neutral means we account for all plastic used in our packaging, shipping and operations, and remove an equivalent amount of plastic from the environment each year while affecting positive change for those most at risk.

Why go plastic neutral?

  • 3 billion people on the planet still lack access to holistic waste management
  • 18 million+ workers are trapped in exploitative, informal recycling markets
  • 90% of waste is openly burned in low-income countries
  • 80% of plastic leakage into the natural environment can be solved by investing in existing solutions

We are committed to the health of our planet and its people, and are continuously searching for viable products and materials that can replace plastic in our operations. Becoming certified plastic neutral enables us to affect change while we continue to reduce our own reliance on plastic.

Why partner with rePurpose Global?

We love our planet, and the people who call it home. Partnering with rePurpose provides us the opportunity to affect change on both fronts.

rePurpose works in low-income nations with communities that lack holistic waste management infrastructure. The financial support from participating companies, like Great Eastern Sun, enables their teams to work with these communities to establish waste management infrastructure and recycling programs while providing previously informal waste workers with training, protective equipment and stable, formal employment.

Hear how this has impacted workers.

Plastic Neutral Impact

As of Dec 2022, rePurpose has recovered 38 million pounds of nature-bound plastic waste. To give you a visual, that is the equivalent of 3.5 billion plastic bags that would have otherwise been leaked into our oceans, openly dumped, or burned.

Through their programs rePurpose has provided comprehensive waste management access to more than 5 million people, and empowered more than 2,000 workers.

Project Hara Kal

Great Eastern Sun funds Project Hara Kal in Kerala, India. To date, Great Eastern Sun has supported plastic recovery of the equivalent to 4 million plastic bottles or nearly 40 million plastic bags and helped to provide dignified livelihoods and safe working conditions for 223 women from low-income, at-risk populations.

Another Common Question

Why use plastic in the first place? Why not glass or another alternative?

Although we currently use plastic packaging, we are continually working with our suppliers to find solutions that reduce or eliminate the amount of plastic per container, utilize recycled plastic and are truly recyclable. We also regularly communicate to our suppliers that we want a plastic alternative container that is eco-friendly. There are some promising solutions on the horizon and we can’t wait for a viable alternative to become available!

We have explored “paper” carton options. These packages have an eco-friendly outward appearance, but still have layers of plastic hidden within the paper. Packaging with layers of plastic within another material are called multi-layer packages and are currently not recyclable or compostable. Some companies have adopted multi-layer packaging to give the impression that their product is eco-friendly, but the packaging still contains plastic and is not recyclable.

Why not use glass? While glass is a superior material in some ways, it has many disadvantages. Glass is much heavier than plastic and manufacturing glass and mining the raw materials to make glass are energy intensive processes.

Glass is also fragile, so during transport some of the jars chip, crack, or shatter. Once this happens it is no longer safe to eat the contents and it must be thrown away, resulting in food and glass waste.

Glass jars are also much more expense than plastic. We’ve tried glass packaging in the past, but the added weight of glass vs plastic greatly increases shipping costs due to the increase in the amount of fossil fuels that must be used to transport heavier shipments. Continuing to package in glass would force us to substantially raise our prices, pushing our miso out of the affordable price point we try to keep it at to make it accessible to customers from all economic backgrounds.


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MISO MASTER ORGANIC HANDCRAFTED MISO PASTE
EMERALD COVE DRIED EDIBLE SEAWEED
HAIKU JAPANESE ORGANIC TEAS
EMPEROR'S KITCHEN AUTHENTIC JAPANESE SAUCES & CONDIMENTS
SWEET CLOUD BROWN RICE SWEETENERS
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