Lush news as natural beauty retailer’s cork packaging ‘carbon neutral’

Each of the retailer’s 35g ‘Cork Pot’ sequesters more than 33 times its weight in carbon dioxide

Natural beauty retailer Lush has been awarded its first ‘carbon neutral’ certification for its cork packaging.

The so-called “Cork Pots” – designed to hold its shampoo bars – are made from the bark of the cork oak sourced from southern Portugal and are 100% natural, reusable and biodegradable.

The Carbon Trust has certified the packaging as carbon neutral after verifying that each 35g Cork Pot sequesters more than 33 times its weight in carbon dioxide – equivalent to removing around 1.2kg of carbon emissions from the atmosphere.

Lush said it has planted more than 20,000 native trees in Portugal in the first year of the production of its Cork Pots.

The carbon sequestration is achieved through the growth of the cork oak trees, the bark of which is harvested for the raw material of the pots.

Simon Brewer and Ben Davis from the environment impact team at Lush said: “When Lush started working with cork, we knew the material was very capable of sequestering greenhouse gases from the atmosphere. But we didn’t realise just how much until we came to study it more closely and found that a Cork Pot was actually removing more CO2 than it was emitting over its lifecycle.

“It was a groundbreaking moment and we were delighted to work with the Carbon Trust to confirm that a single 35g Cork Pot is sequestering over a kilo of CO2e. Packaging that is quite literally fighting climate change.”

Cork is harvested by stripping the bark off the trees in a rotating system – the bark grows back over the course of nine years when it is ready to be harvested again.

Lush claims the process encourages wildlife and does not harm the trees.

John Newton, Associate Director at The Carbon Trust added: “The transition to a net zero economy presents businesses with both the opportunity to develop innovative products that are appealing to consumers and differentiate their brand in the market but also address the need to decarbonise.

“Lush’s 35g cork pots are exactly the kind of innovative approach to packaging that addresses these needs and we are delighted to certify that they achieved carbon neutrality in line with international best practice standards.”

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