Did you know most companies package cosmetics in plastic? Most of that is single-use, petroleum-based plastic. Not only is this harmful to our natural ecosystem, it can also be harmful to our health. From the beginning, we've chosen to bottle in glass for the planet, people and purity in our products.
But it's not an easy decision. Every year, every month...sometimes even every week, we are faced with "well, should we do this next product in plastic?" Why? First of all, plastic is exponentially less expensive. As costs continue to rise (thanks covid!) we are desperately trying to keep our prices stable for consumers. In some cases, plastic packaging costs 1/10 that of glass, or even less. So it is getting harder to keep using glass, but we forge ahead. Secondly, plastic is so convenient. It is lighter, squeezable and more travel friendly. Next, it is rare, but once in a while our beloved customers receives a broken bottle.
It's easy to understand why plastic is so popular. it is unbreakable, lightweight and inexpensive - both to produce and ship. Annually, the beauty industry cranks out more than 120 BILLION units of packaging - most of it plastic.
While recyclability is great in theory, less than 10% of plastic waste actually IS recycled. So where does it go? Landfills, dumps or nature (forests, oceans). 95% of beauty packaging is thrown out after one single use. Take a moment to think about how many tubes, bottles, and jars you have that get disposed of each year. 15? 30? 100? The numbers can be staggering as we think about entire populations. Oh, and plastic lasts forever. That is right - every plastic item that was ever made, still exists, in some form. In 2021, our nonSustainable Coastlines - Hawaii removed over 600K lbs of trash from Hawaii coastlines, much of it was...yes, you guessed it, plastic.
Trash and landfill impact aside.....let's look at what goes into cosmetics that are packaged in plastic, most notable PETE or PET. Cosmetic formulas contain oils, solvents, alcohols, extracts and more - and these can compromise the integrity of plastic over time, causing phthalates and BPA to leach into the product. This is especially more likely if the bottle (or tube) gets hot in the sun (think a warm day at the beach with your SPF in tow...) Is this a lot and is it obvious? No. But most of us prefer not to apply harmful chemicals to our freshly cleansed skin, especially when we've been so careful to select the right product with the right ingredients. While we don't have a lot of data to say whether our favorite lotion leaches phthalates into our skin, the risk is just too great.
Glass is perfectly pure and incapable of leaching anything from its composition. So that's why we stick with glass. It may not always be the most travel friendly and sometimes, yeah, it breaks. But we feel that these downsides (along with the utter beauty of our glass bottles) are easier to deal with than the certain disposal challenges and potential chemical issues with plastic.
For more on plastic and the pursuit of plastic-free beauty, visit Beat The Microbead.