Plastic-free is not enough
I have a question that has been niggling away in my head about the plastic-free movement.
I'm hyper-aware of the growing focus on plastic-free packaging. A few people refusing to buy your soap or refusing to believe that your soap is in biodegradable shrink film (or saying that takes too long to degrade) can do that to you...
So the alternative appears to paper bags, cardboard cigar band wraparounds, ... aka trees. Naked soap doesn't work - technically they need to be labelled. Perhaps string and a cardboard tag is the least offensive option - but it still means trees are being cut down to package soap.
Personally, I'm more comfortable using a by-product of the petroleum industry (as long as it is biodegradable) than contributing to more mass deforestation. Plastic that is not disposed of responsibly is bad, but I honestly don't believe that moving to paper and cardboard products is any more viable - the only issue is that the trees are gone, as opposed to a pile of discarded plastic rubbish in your face of killing wildlife... and I still feel reusable plastic has an arguable place.
If the byproduct of the move away from plastic is killing trees we are only addressing a part of the problem or moving the problem down the line, away from plastic to not enough trees, and certainly not enough mature forests.
Plastic-free on its own is NOT enough. So what is the answer?