Plastic is ubiquitous in our everyday life, from packaging and food containers to even our clothes! For an average person, all it takes is a quick peek into your refrigerator and you’ll know just how much plastic we use daily. With things as they are now, it’s nearly impossible to create a life without plastic.
A sustainable plastic-free life is the dream — so how about we take one step closer to that goal?
Chantal Plamondon is the CEO of Life Without Plastic, a B-corp-certified business. She’s on a mission to help people reduce plastic consumption and exposure in our daily lives. She shares that while we cannot completely avoid plastic, we can always strive to reduce it as much as possible and let people know we care. Chantal imparts practical tips on how we can reduce our plastic use and become more aware of the products we buy.
A life without plastic is not about perfection; it’s about a shift in mindset and habits. As we become more conscious and aware, we then reduce our overall waste and consumption.
The Birth of Life Without Plastic
Life Without Plastic started 17 years ago, and it was only in March 2022 that it became a certified B corporation. They applied right before the pandemic, and the process was longer.
Prior to launching Life Without Plastic, Chantal was a lawyer. She worked for several law firms and consultant companies. However, she didn’t feel satisfied with her work, noticing that big law firms typically work to defend big corporations. What about the ordinary citizens and the environment? When Chantal gave birth to her son, she wanted to start a business that gives her flexibility and the capacity to help others.
And so, Life Without Plastic was born.
A Purpose-Driven Endeavor to a Plastic-Free Life
Chantal didn’t know what to do when she had her son, and her mother had already passed. She turned to magazines and saw how plastics would affect infants and pregnant mothers. In particular, the prospect that the plastic in baby bottles and toys can transfer to a baby’s body horrified her.
Back then, it was difficult to find alternative baby products without plastic.
Life Without Plastic started with only 10 products in 2006. They carried glass baby bottles, stainless water bottles, and stainless steel dish sets. The brand started by sourcing from suppliers and eventually customizing its products.
Chantal said, “We always start with a need for products that are not exactly tailored to the needs of people and we improve whatever exists already.”
For Chantal, Life Without Plastic is an advocacy to change how people purchase products. Even if life without plastic seems impossible, it’s a goal worth aiming for.
How to Be Better
Unfortunately, we will all generate plastic waste. It’s inevitable, given the material’s prevalence in our lives. Corporations across many industries keep using plastic packaging, and the pandemic spurred this on further due to fear of contamination.
Instead of stressing over things you can’t control, you can look for ways to minimize your plastic waste. For example, try to reuse plastic bags for your garbage bags instead of buying new ones every time. In fact, it’s not good to use compostable bags as your recycling bag since there shouldn’t be any composting in the dump.
Life Without Plastic: A Group Effort
Most people think plastic-free living is impossible.
Plastic-free living depends so much on the collective society and how we’ve created everything around plastic. For example, hospitals use so much plastic just to maintain a hygienic environment.
Any single person has no power to create a completely plastic-free life. It needs to be a collective decision and effort. It’s not just corporations that need to change; governments also need to set standardized protocols for the change.
Nonetheless, Chantal said, “It doesn’t mean that we cannot take steps. Because by taking small steps, we show corporations, we show governments, we show everybody around us that we care. And unless we take those small steps, nobody will know that it’s an important issue.”
Recommendations for Less Plastic Consumption
Think of plastic-free living as a mindset beyond plastics. It’s really about reducing consumption and becoming more aware.
For example, most people are not aware of how much plastic is in our clothes. Every time we wash our clothes, microplastics are dislodged into our sewage system and, eventually, waterways.
Knowledge is power. Chantal recommends us to:
Be aware of everything you buy
Ask if there’s a better product with less plastic and less packaging
Determine whether you really need the product
Small Steps to a Plastic-Free Life
Chantal and Jay Sinha wrote the book “Life Without Plastic: The Practical Step-by-Step Guide to Avoiding Plastic to Keep Your Family and the Planet Healthy.” It will guide you through reducing both plastic consumption and exposure.
For example, rugs are often made of synthetic materials and will shed microparticles every time you step on them. Meanwhile, sunlight disintegrates curtains. These microparticles will then be part of the air you breathe.
Another common plastic product are the containers we use to store food. The transfer is worse when we reheat foods in plastic containers.
The pandemic created fear of reusable cups, and Chantal shares that the process of recovery will take time. While this is a setback to the goal of reducing single-use plastic, Life Without Plastic continues to be active in social media and other platforms to educate their following and everyone who cares.
More About Chantal
Chantal Plamondon is the co-founder and CEO of Life Without Plastic, a B-corp dedicated to creating a world without using fossil-fuel-derived plastics.
She is an advocate of creating a plastic-free life and educating people on how to do it. Through her book and social media, she gives practical ways and guides for a life without plastic, and her business acts as a one-stop shop for alternatives to plastic products.
If you want to reach out to Chantal, you can email her at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Do you have a purpose-driven business just like Chantal and want to take your mission to further heights? A CFO can help you figure out your next best move. Schedule a discovery call with us at Profit Reimagined™. We want to help you move the needle forward, make an impact, and help more people — all while remaining profitable.