As a society, we like to think that we’re already moving away from harmful plastics and closer towards a plastic-free packaging world. Unfortunately, that may not be as true as it seems.
Our houses, and bathrooms in particular, are filled with opportunities for plastic packaging, and plastic waste. Bottles, pots, and tubes fill our bathroom cabinets alongside an endless supply of disposable items like toothbrushes and razors. One trip down the skincare and cosmetics aisle is enough to show that a plastic-free world isn’t every brand’s top priority.
The UK Government has, thankfully, made some steps forward in the fight to save our environment. Unfortunately, their measures are appearing to be too little and could be, too late. A tax on products that contain less than 30% of recycled materials is due to be introduced in 2022. That’s an awfully long time away and is a small percentage. Is enough progress being made when we know that in as little as 30 years, our oceans will be filled with more plastic than fish?
We’re all aware of the ban on plastic straws, stirrers, and cotton buds, but it isn’t legislation yet. These tiny plastic items only make up a small proportion of the plastic used. We’re grateful for this step in the right direction, but we know there’s more to do. What about the bigger items littering our bathrooms, bedrooms, and kitchens?
Though we like to think recycling is enough, in reality, it isn’t reliable enough. For example, small plastic items such as detached lids will be filtered out by the recycling centre’s sorting machines. Not all plastics are recyclable either. There are over 50 types of plastic in use, and yet fewer than 10 can be widely recycled. Despite the availability of a few recyclable plastics, some of the most prolific skincare brands are still producing products that are contained in non-recyclable plastics. Plastic recycling is also dependent on your local recycling centre and in some areas, very few types can be recycled at all.
Recyclable plastics have a limited lifetime. Typically, an item can survive up to 10 cycles before being sent to landfill, and that’s only if they make it that far. Plastic packaging often gets left in public bins, is incorrectly sorted by machines, or is left as litter. In order to preserve older plastics longer, they’re mixed with brand new plastics, which surely defeats the point anyway? Even reusable plastics like Tupperware and reusable coffee cups have to find their way to landfill someday.
The Power of Plastic-Free
At Kairn, we’ve taken the plastic-free packaging movement into our own hands because we don’t want our customers to be at the mercy of their town’s recycling rules or any errors in sorting.
We don’t see any value in using plastic when there are much better materials on offer.
Why do companies choose to use plastic packaging at all? The convenience of plastic allows it to be cheaper, but is cheaper ever really better?
Instead of trying to recycle better, Kairn’s aim is to provide plastic-free packaging from the start. We use materials like metal, glass, and biodegradable paper that much easier to recycle and don’t carry the risks for you and the environment that plastics do. Skincare packaged in plastic-free containers will be free of the harmful toxins that plastic releases. By providing exclusively plastic-free packaging, we know that our mark left on the world will be a positive one, and so will our customers.