I learned about how products travel around from one factory to another before it reaches the end user and carbon footprints. I accidentally came across how plastic grocery store shopping bags are recycled into reusable totes. The plastic shopping bags are collected from all over the country and shipped to a recycling center in New Jersey. Then they are trucked across the country to a port in California and put on a boat to China. In China they go to the factory that takes American plastic shopping bags (that have been used hopefully more than once) and turns them into recycled tote bags. We've all seen them. You may even own a few. They have a prominent recycling triangle on them. The finished recycled totes are brought back to the boat and shipped back to the US, in California, where they are distributed to the retailers.
It was at this time that we decided to print our soap boxes. When you buy a bar of nice soap, you want it to arrive in your shower clean. So we made the decision to go with packaging. When a product sits on a store shelf, it gets dirty, even after 1 day. That's one reason "floor models" are sold at a discount. The box industry is another interesting manufacturing business. I met a strange and aggressive salesperson from Koch industries. I found a great box manufacturing company that makes our boxes on pre consumer recycled waste. What that means, is that our boxes are printed on the edges of larger jobs, in the part of the paper board that would otherwise be scrap. And the boxes themselves are recyclable.