IS PLASTIC SUSTAINABLE?
Almond Clear’s Face & Body Wash and Hydrating Gel are packaged in HDPE plastic. Is that sustainable? According to LeafScore, HDPE is the most environmentally-friendly type of plastic because it is:
- Always made without the hormone disruptor Bisphenol A (BPA)
- Universally accepted at municipal recycling facilities
- Lightweight (meaning lower carbon emissions during transport)
- Reusable several times over
The downsides of plastic packaging include:
- Not being endlessly recyclable
- Originating from fossil fuels (petroleum and natural gas)
- Having a huge environmental impact during extraction, processing, and disposal
- Not being fully biodegradable
- Often containing phthalates or other chemicals that can harm health
- Giving rise to microplastics in waterways, soil, and even the air
Some larger skincare companies like CocoKind are using plastics partially derived from sugarcane and other natural sources. Unfortunately, this type of packaging is not available to small and medium size companies like Almond Clear because of the requirement to order hundreds of thousands of units of packaging at once. Hopefully in the future, bioplastics will be more widely available to smaller businesses.
Another problem with bioplastics is that they don’t break down easily. Some do biodegrade, but only in the exact right conditions, such as in industrial composting sites that aren’t widely available. When these types of bioplastics end up in landfill, they don’t have the right conditions to biodegrade.
Almond Clear’s serums are packaged in glass. We made this choice because glass is totally recyclable, safe and non-reactive, and endlessly reusable.
However, glass also has some downsides. Shipping glass products increases the risk of breakages, and thus, wasted product and packaging. Also, glass is very heavy, and weight of packaging decreases fuel economy when shipping via automobile or airplane. Glass typically accounts for at least a third of the weight of a final sealed product, compared to 5% for plastic.
We will continue to use glass because it is recyclable and comes from renewable resources, but we know that it’s not a perfect solution.
Paper is one of the most environmentally-friendly packaging materials. It is renewable, very recyclable, and lightweight. Our glass serum bottles come in paper boxes, however, paper cannot be used to contain liquids. Because of this, paper is not a real option for our skincare products.
Light, durable, easy to recycle, safe for use, and viable in cold and hot temperatures, BPA-free aluminum is a clear winner for sustainable skincare packaging. Aluminum also resists corrosion and has a lower melting point than glass, making it less energy intensive to recycle.
Why doesn’t Almond Clear use aluminum? First, because it is very expensive. We’d need to increase our prices in order to cover the cost of housing our products in aluminum. Secondly, aluminum is not squeezable (so not good for our cleanser or moisturizer), and it is opaque, so you can’t see how much product you have left (not good for our serums). We hope to find ways to use aluminum for future Almond Clear products.
SHARE YOUR THOUGHTS
Do you have thoughts, suggestions, or comments about Almond Clear’s environmental sustainability? We’d love to hear from you and we’d greatly value your input! Please reach out to email@example.com and let us know what’s on your mind!
*The information in this article comes from LeafScore.