1 Living Without Plastic
1.1 Is a life without plastic possible?
It totally depends on how much you are willing to change your lifestyle to decrease your plastic use. To rid your life of all plastic completely is a real challenge considering things we make regular use of like phones and computers contain plastic. We believe in a do your best approach and encourage everyone to reduce plastic where they can.
1.2 Tips for living with less plastic
So glad you asked! You bet we do! For more information, check out our blog here. Want to dive deeper? We published a book called 'Life Without Plastic: The Practical Step-by-Step Guide to Avoiding Plastic to Keep Your Family and the Planet Healthy'. This is the ultimate handbook for living a life with less plastic! Find it here.
1.3 If I need to use plastic, which ones are safer?
Excellent question. And we totally understand. While we firmly believe that all plastic leaches something - so in that sense no plastic is necessarily completely safe - we do understand that plastic currently plays some important roles in everyday life for many people, and is not going to disappear right away.
Feel free to browse our INFO section. In particular, we would point you first to our section on the Common Plastics #1 to #7, which will give you a solid overview of the most common plastics in everyday life - including which ones to seriously consider avoiding if at all possible.
2 Quality and Ethical Sourcing
2.1 How safe are your products and are they tested?
Product quality and safety are crucial to us. If we can't trust their quality and safety, how can you?
We choose products made of safe materials free of known toxins such as bisphenol A (BPA), phthalates, and lead. We build trust relationships with our suppliers. We ensure our products meet Canadian and U.S. government standards - they tend to far exceed them. This includes regulations set out in the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Improvement Act (CPSIA), which require us to have testing done on certain products for lead and phthalates in a third party accredited laboratory.
For more information on how we source our products to ensure they are safe, high quality, and ethically-manufactured, please take a look at our Ethical Sourcing section.
You can be confident that we use our products in our own everyday lives constantly - and that 'we' includes our 11-year old son, his friends, our families, our staff, our friends, our partners, our communities!
2.2 Life Without Plastic is Green America certified. What does that mean?
We have gone through a rigorous screening process and are one of the few certified businesses to be granted Green America's top tier Gold Seal of Approval. Read more about what this means here.
Green America is a not-for-profit organization with the mission of harnessing economic power - the strength of consumers, investors, businesses, and the marketplace - to create a socially just and environmentally sustainable society.
2.3 What is ethical sourcing?
Ethical sourcing means ensuring that the products being sourced are created in safe facilities by workers who are treated well and paid fair wages to work legal hours. It also implies that the supplier is respecting the environment during the production and manufacture of the products.
This is an issue we take very seriously. We go to great lengths to ensure our products are ethically sourced, whether the product is one of our own Life Without Plastic or Sanctus Mundo products, or from another supplier. Some of the key details of our sourcing policies with respect to the environmental and labour criteria we consider when sourcing products are explained here in more detail. You could say that ethical sourcing is in our DNA.
For more information, please take a look at our Ethical Sourcing section.
2.4 Why do you source some products from China?
First off, it is important to note that just because a product is made in China does not mean it is a low quality product. China is home to some of the most advanced manufacturing facilities and expertise in the world, and some of the highest quality products in the world are made in China.
That said, we have made a conscious decision to be extremely careful about sourcing anything from China because the reality is that there are also a lot of low quality and unethically produced products coming from China.
This decision is based on safety, environmental, labour and human rights factors, and also for trust-related reasons flowing from previous experiences we have had with a former Chinese supplier and interactions with other Chinese suppliers.
Regarding the former supplier, we had ordered a particular type of food container made of 100% food grade, 304 stainless steel and when we tested the initial sample received it was fine. All seemed fine. When the actual shipment arrived and we began selling the containers, we started getting complaints from customers that the clips holding on the lid of the container were rusting. Clearly, the clips were not made of stainless steel – or at least not the same quality as the rest of the container. The company did send us replacements for one detachable part of the clip, but they never really acknowledged the problem or admitted any wrongdoing.
We have deep respect and admiration for the Chinese people and their rich culture and history. Our main problem is with the repressive dictatorship that is the Chinese government, and its sometimes questionable environmental, labour and human rights records. There are many examples to choose from to illustrate the problems, but a few big ones include the widespread ongoing use of coal-fired energy, the invasion of Tibet, the continuing oppression of the Tibetan people and the ongoing persecution of other minorities in China, such as the Uyghur people and practitioners of the Falun Gong/Falun Dafa belief system.
Life Without Plastic does sell some carefully chosen products made in China, such as the Klean Kanteen and Lunchbots. These products and the facilities where they are made are closely checked by the manufacturers (and from the safety perspective, we may test certain products ourselves for toxins, even if the manufacturer has done their own testing).
For more information, please take a look at our Ethical Sourcing section.
3.1 Where are your products sourced from?
All over the world. Canada, United States, Germany, Italy, Thailand, Korea, India, China, Japan and we are sure to note the country of origin for each product on our site. We do our best to source our products as locally as possible, but for certain items, for example stainless steel items, this is simply not possible.
3.2 What materials are your products made of?
We try our best to source plastic-free alternatives made from natural and safe materials like wood, bamboo, cotton, khadi, jute, glass, stainless steel, ceramic, cellulose, various natural fibres (tampico, palmyra, coconut fibre), sustainably harvested animal hair (horse, boar, pig). Each product is different and you can find the specific materials in the product description.
3.3 Life Without Plastic sells some products with plastic parts. Why?
In a world so dependent on plastic, it is a challenge to find certain products with no plastic components. Therefore, a small number of our products do feature plastic parts, however in these cases, we ensure that these parts are made of high quality, stable plastics and will have little or no contact with your food or beverage.
We are always adding to our product line and we tend to focus on new products that are difficult to find in a non-plastic form. To us, it makes sense to offer an option that may not be perfect (i.e., plastic-free), but is a significant improvement over a typical plastic version of something. We work with our suppliers constantly to progressively develop new products with no plastic at all.
3.4 Why are there rust-like stains on my container?
What you are seeing is perfectly normal. These are heat stains caused by the high temperatures required to weld two pieces of steel together. This is not a problem with the stainless steel rusting because it is not corrosion-resistant.
For example, with a container with clasps, you will notice that the heat stain or discoloration has occurred only at the spot welds to attach the clasps to the container. This area is known in the industry as the "heat affected zone" (HAZ). This is the area on either side of the weld where the metal was almost but not quite heated to its melting point in order to attach the clasp.
What is occurring is that some of the metal components in the stainless steel alloy (which is primarily iron, chromium and nickel) want to melt and others don't, so you have something that is sort of partway between liquid and solid. As this cools, the metal atoms can move about and segregate themselves differently than the original evenly distributed arrangement they had before being heated. This can leave some surface oxide discoloration which can show up as a "heat stain" and/or over time excess oxidation (or rust). There is no health risk whatsoever and it is easy to remove.
Stainless steel is self-repairing through a process called passivation - essentially whenever there is a scratch on the stainless steel, the exposure to air creates a protective oxide coating, which prevents corrosion (rust).
So all you have to do is to use an abrasive liquid cleanser (e.g., baking soda in water) and scrub the area to remove this excess oxidation residue (which shows up as "rust" over time) to expose fresh metal underneath and the stainless steel will self-repair (the abrasion will not harm the stainless steel).
4 Ordering and Payment
4.1 How can I order your products?
There are several ways. Please use whichever works best for you.
WEBSITE: The quickest and easiest way to order all day any day of the year is through our ON-LINE STORE.
E-MAIL: You can send us an e-mail with all your order details (item numbers and quantities of products ordered, shipping and billing address, payment method), and we will send you an invoice by e-mail that you can pay on-line by PayPal or credit card (or we can take your credit card information over the phone).
PHONE: You are most welcome to call us and have your order processed by one our customer service helpers during our office hours. Within North America you may call our toll free number 1.888.898.0369, or our local number 1.819.459.1459. Outside North America, please call our local number during office hours (+1.819.459.1459) and leave a message, we will call you back to place the order.
If you order by phone, you will be required to pay for your order by Visa or Mastercard. Your order will be charged in the currency of your residence (Canadian or US dollars) and the shipping and handling charges will be determined based on the shipping address. International orders are charged in US dollars.
E-MAIL, POSTAL MAIL, FAX: To order by e-mail ([email protected]), postal mail, or facsimile (1.613.482.9372), simply e-mail, mail or fax us all the details of your order including name, billing and shipping addresses, products ordered and quantities (please include the SKU code for each product), applicable shipping and handling charge, include applicable taxes, payment by Visa, Mastercard, cheque or money order - please do not send cash.
4.2 What forms of payment do you accept?
For online orders, payment may be made by VISA, Mastercard, American Express, or PayPal.
We also accept money orders, certified cheques/checks, and personal cheques/checks sent by postal mail to Mama Mundo Inc, 4 Taschereau, suite 385, Gtaineau, QC, Canada, J8Y 2V5. These should be made payable to Mama Mundo Inc.. If paying with this method, please note that orders will not ship until the cheque/check has cleared.
Please do not send cash.
4.3 What currencies do you accept?
4.4 Do you accept International orders beyond Europe?
4.5 Why am I getting a PayFlow error message when I try to make a payment?
We have increased the security screening for payments made on our website. This rigorous screening process is done for both our protection and yours and may from time to time prevent legitimate orders. If you encounter a PayPal Payflow error message regarding your payment type or tender, please contact our customer service so we can help you with your order.
4.6 How can I get my shopping cart to change currency?
Your checkout currency will reflect the currency of the first item you put in your basket. Please be sure to select your currency before you start adding items to you cart to ensure that you checkout in your preferred currency.
5.1 Do any of your products contain plastic packaging?
Very few of our products may have some plastic packaging in them that comes from the original manufacturer, not from us.
We work closely with our suppliers to minimize and eliminate such plastic packaging, and to use recycled packaging as much as possible. This is an ongoing task.
We do our best to indicate in the description of any plastic packaging.
5.2 Do you use any plastic packing and shipping materials?
All new materials used to pack your order are made of non-plastic packing materials that are primarily paper-based like packing paper, cardboard, even gum paper tape! We also sometimes use cellulose tape or filling or cornstarch packing peanuts which are reusable and compostable but not recyclable.
We encourage you to give the packing materials another life by reusing them for your own packing needs, or as a last resort, recycling them.
6.1 How do you ship orders, and how much does shipping cost?
6.2 How long will it take to get my parcel?
6.3 Is there tracking?
6.4 What happens if I gave the wrong address when I ordered?
If your order is returned to us because the address you gave us through Paypal or otherwise is wrong, we will contact you in order to get your new address. We will then require that you pay the full cost of shipping the products to you at the correct address.
In trying to keep our prices low for your benefit, we cannot afford to pay shipping fees twice. The prices you pay for shipping are generally already significantly lower than our actual shipping and handling costs.
Please ensure you keep Paypal updated at all times with your current address information. Thank you for understanding.
6.5 Do you ship internationally?
6.6 Will I have to pay any custom duties and brokerage?
6.7 What precautions are you taking relating to the COVID-19 situation?
The news of COVID-19 has spread widely, and we can imagine its impacts are being felt by all. We at Life Without Plastic will continue to be here for you, providing a level of comfort and normalcy in these difficult times. We want the best for our customers, and are taking safety measures to support the well-being of our globe.
We assure you that we are taking precautions to ensure our products are up to health and safety standards. Our warehouse and product handling team has been rigorous about routinely and thoroughly washing their hands. In addition to this, workstations are being sanitized regularly throughout each day.
We understand and respect your concerns and want you to feel safe with our products. We will continue to do our best in responding to this ever-changing situation, and will continue to keep you informed along the way.
7 Returns and Warranties
7.1 Do your products have warranties?
Yes. All Life Without Plastic branded products have a one year warranty against manufacturing defects. The one year is calculated from the date our records indicate you have successfully received your order. Normal wear and tear, such as scratches and dents, are not covered under the Life Without Plastic warranty.
Some products may have a longer warranty with the original supplier and this will be indicated in the specific product description.
If you have a warrantly claim, please see the Warranty and Returns section for details on how to proceed.
7.2 What is your return policy?
Our return policy is simple.
Because we want you to be happy with each and every purchase, you may return any item you purchased from Life Without Plastic for a refund of applicable charges within 30 days of the date our records indicate you successfully received your purchase, provided the items are in original new condition with all materials, original packaging, paperwork, and accessories intact.
Items that are used, washed or damaged may not be returned.
Please note that shipping charges are not refundable, unless we sent you the wrong item or the item you received has a manufacturer’s defect.
All returns require a Return Authorization Number. Please e-mail us at [email protected] and we will promptly issue you one along with directions on where to send the return.
Please inspect your order as soon as you receive it. Any defective or missing items should be reported to Life Without Plastic immediately.
We always purchase shipping insurance so if you think your order was damaged during shipping, please let us know.
See our Warranty and Returns section for more detail.
7.3 How do I return a product?
1. Notify us by e-mail at [email protected] of your intention to return an item, and the reason for the return. If you suspect a manufacturer's defect, please send a photo of the defect by e-mail. Include your name, order number, proof of purchase, and indicate if you would prefer a refund or store credit in the form of a gift card/certificate.
2. We will then issue you a Return Authorization Number and provide instructions by e-mail on how and where to return the product. The return location may differ depending on the product and where you are located.
3. Return shipping fees are the responsibility of the buyer unless we made a mistake with your order or there is a manufacturer’s defect.
4. For your protection, please purchase insurance for the value of the item returned, or choose an insured shipping method that provides a tracking number and delivery confirmation. Keep a copy of these numbers for your records. We are not responsible for lost returns, nor will we provide a refund/credit for lost items.
5. We will notify you by e-mail of your refund/credit once we have received and processed the returned item. The refund will be made by crediting your original form of payment.
If you wish to return a product in exchange for another product, this must be done as two separate transactions. Please go through the return process, and then go ahead and order the other product at your convenience on our website.
We sincerely want you to be happy with the items you purchase at Life Without Plastic each and every time, but hey, life happens. So if you have any problems with your order, please do not hesitate to contact us at any time.
See our Warranty and Returns section for more detail.
7.4 How will I receive my refund?
We provide refunds by crediting the original form of payment.
If you paid for your order with Paypal, we will issue a Paypal refund to your account within 5 business days of receipt of the returned merchandise.
If you purchased by credit card, your card will be credited for the full applicable amount within 10 business days of receipt of the returned merchandise.
If you paid by cheque/check or money order, you will receive a cheque/check from Life Without Plastic for the full applicable amount (after currency conversion) of the return by postal mail approximately 2-4 weeks after the returned product has been received.
If you prefer a store credit in the form of a gift card/certificate, please let us know and we will issue one immediately once the merchandise has been returned and verified.
8 Getting in Touch
8.1 How can I contact you?
We look forward to hearing from you! You can get a hold of us in so many ways, check out our contact us page here. Or contact us by email.
8.2 How can I receive a copy of your e-mail newsletter?
Every couple of weeks we send out a newsletter with new plastic-free living tips and news stories. You can sign up by entering your e-mail here. Don't worry we won't flood you with anything you didn't ask for and we would never share your email.