First of all - why use plastic at all?
Premium beauty has as much been about the packaging as the formula. Weighty glass jars, metallic inks and heavy feeling lids. Beautiful - but not always the most sustainable.
Using glass would help decrease the single-use plastic problem yes, and it has a great recyclability rate throughout Europe, but it’s traditionally heavier with a higher carbon footprint during transport, too. Some formulas also, like body and facial oil are better packaged in glass to preserve the integrity of the formula. We’ve gotten smarter with our packaging, assessing each product on an individual basis. When we use glass, we make sure it’s 100% recyclable in both bottle and cap, and when we use plastic, we’re always pushing boundaries to make sure it’s the most recyclable that it can possibly be.
The Ocean Plastic Partnership.
In 2018, with TerraCycle we created the our body wash bottle containing 20% reclaimed plastic waste from the ocean. People (and our planet) loved it, so we’ve launched our award-winning Atlantic Kelp and Magnesium Body Cream in the same packaging, too. With more than 8 million tonnes of plastic dumped in our oceans annually, we’re glad we can take steps to give this plastic a second life. The rest of the bottle is made from 80% recycled plastic, creating a cycle where we can keep this waste out of landfill. Look out for the grey bottles - they’re a sign of sustainability and working toward a plastic-free future for the ocean.
Why only 20% ocean plastic?
We’ve been clean to skin since 2000 - we’re not about to let that slip. We do rigourous packaging testing on our innovations, to make sure it’s safe to house our formulas. For example, that none of the plastic elements or particles migrate into the formula. Since ocean plastic isn’t as strong as recycled or virgin plastic - as you’d expect from plastic that’s been travelling the high seas - we’ve kept it to 20%. Protecting our formula while protecting the planet.
Designing for recyclability.
Not so fun fact: recycling plants oftentimes don’t recycle tubes made from various different types of plastic. It's because they pollute the recycling stream, so even our best efforts at the recycling bin can be in vain. Our solution? With our latest zero waste skincare innovation, Clean Screen Mineral SPF 30, we’ve used mono (one-type) plastic only and included 50% recycled plastic, making use of plastic that’s already in circulation.
50% is the limit we can currently use to ensure the tube is still usable, as recycled plastic isn’t as strong as virgin plastic. Our cap is made from 100% recycled mono-material plastic and can be recycled widely. For our efforts in designing with a Clean to Planet ethos in mind, SUEZ - the world leader in sustainable resource management - awarded us the first Circpack Certification for designing our packaging with circularity in mind - so with your help, it can be recycled time and time again.