Some of you may have heard the term "Single Use Plastics", it has been in the media quite a lot in recent months, more so, since Sky launched their "SKY OCEAN RESCUE".
But what are single use plastics and what is the problem?
Single use plastics can include any disposable plastic item which is designed to be used only once. Single use items are often used in packaging, consumer products, cosmetics and healthcare. Examples include: light-weight plastic bags, disposable utensils, beverage containers, coffee capsules, wet wipes, and razor blades.
International beach clean-up data from the Ocean Conservancy shows that plastic drinks bottles, food wrappers, plastic bottle caps, straws and stirrers, plastic bags and plastic lids are amongst the top ten most common items collected.(Source: Institute for European Environmental Policy (IEEP) 10/2016)
The Problem with Single use plastics is that we "simply cannot afford for our oceans and seas to reach a critical tipping point. Our ocean makes up three-quarters of our planet. No matter where we live, we all depend on our ocean for the food we eat and the air we breathe.
Every minute, the equivalent of a rubbish truck load of plastic goes in to our oceans, it never decomposes and will remain there forever. If nothing changes, by 2050 all the plastic in the ocean could weigh more than all the fish. Plastic impacts on an entire ecosystem, marine life get caught up in it, eat it and live in it. It also has a direct impact on our health, acting as a sponge for toxins which can end up in our food.
Big issues for our ocean health such as this affect us all. They’re also something we all have a role to play in- if we all work together, we can help to protect our oceans."
(Text Source https://skyoceanrescue.com)
So as an ethically and environmentally minded cosmetic company, We have taken action over recent years, to try to reduce our single use wastage...
Here is what we have achieved so far!
1. In 2015, We transferred 98% of our skincare products from plastic containers and lids to glass, with aluminium lids.
2.In 2016 We transferred all of our bath salts, milks and fizzes from plastic containers into glass containers with aluminium lids.
3.In 2017, We introduced cardboard gift boxes eliminating the plastic sleeve previously used.
4.In 2015, We stopped using plastic bags and introduced paper bags only, However in 2017 we re-introduced a bio-degradable carrier bag, Due to the UK weather, not being kind to paper!
5. In 2016 We eliminated the use of Micro-beads a year ahead of the planned ban, by the EU, We now use Bio-degradable glitter*.
* What is bio-degradable glitter? The glitter that we use is Bio-glitter® it is based on a biodegradable film made from trees, primarily eucalyptus, sourced from responsibly managed plantations.
How does it degrade? Heat, water and oxygen are required for effective bio degradation by microorganisms. Bio-glitter® is metabolised by micro-organisms which transforms it into carbon dioxide, water and biomass
How Long does it take to degrade? Rate of bio degradation is dependent upon composting conditions. Like a leaf in a swamp Vs a leaf in the desert. The biodegradable film is accredited according to different standards including ASTM D7081-05., for degradation in sea water. Bioglitter® has the advantage that most glitter particle sizes in the product range are already <2mm in size and immediately pass the disintegration criteria for the standard.
Our new Glitter is also vegetarian and vegan friendly, It has no nano particles and is free from allergens.
(Source: Cosmetic Bio-Glitter)
So what do we have still to do?
As you can see over the past few years we have made big in roads in to removing single use plastics from our shelves, BUT their is still more to do and we aim to have completed the following steps by Spring 2018.
1. To transfer all of our shampoo/shower gel and hand washes from plastic bottles into aluminium bottles.
2. To transfer the remaining 4 skincare products that are in plastic bottles into aluminium bottles.
3.To repackage our Bath Bombs and Soaps from plastic wrap into a biodegradable shrink wrap. Which can be recycled or put into the compost.
4.To offer our soaps either wrapped, in the new wrap, or unwrapped, giving the consumer the choice.
5.To only use bio-degradable or paper fillers, when shipping our products to customers, not polystyrene peanuts!
Once we have completed all of the above, the only single use plastic, being used in conjunction with our own handmade products will be the following:
Our natural deodorants, these are currently packaged in a plastic container that is made from HDPE plastic.
HDPE plastic is one of the most widely recyclable plastics, So we would encourage our consumers to recycle with your plastic milk bottles, Or as an incentive, we will be launching a return scheme in 2018, where if you return one of our deodorant canisters to our shop in Mevagissey, We will give you 10% off your next deodorant purchase.
(WE ARE ALSO INVESTIGATING A CARDBOARD OPTION TO OUR DEODORANT PACKAGING! STAY TUNED!
And the final piece of the puzzle and the most complicated piece is what to do about the pumps that we use in our body lotions, shampoo, shower gels, hand washes and other pump action products. Now this equates to just 20 products, 1/6th of our entire product range, but these pumps are made up of multiple parts, including a metal spring and small tube. All of which if they made their way into the ocean, would be harmful to the wildlife.
Currently due to the spring and the rubber seal, these are not recyclable, But if dismantled they can be!
So in the early part of 2018, we will be distributing a guide, on our website that will show how to dismantle the pump, which will then allow you the consumer to recycle all of the parts. For those consumers that are closer to our shop and visit regularly, We will be offering an in-store deposit scheme for pumps from our products, each pump returned, will be worth 10p off of your next purchase.
The Bathhouse and Soapery Ltd is dedicated to protecting the environment, oceans and its wildlife, over the years we have stopped using Micro-beads, Palm Oil, Now we are even more dedicated to help reducing the waste that goes into landfill or ends up in our oceans, We are a family run business, We are not financed or backed by a major brand, We do not have the financial spending power of major cosmetic companies, But we believe that along with our customers we are helping save the oceans, one product at a time and we will continue to look out for new innovative ways to address any outstanding commitments, such as the pumps and deodorant tubes. Hopefully making us one of the most environmentally friendly and ethically minded businesses in the UK.
WITH YOUR SUPPORT, WE CAN ATTAIN OUR GOALS....KEEPING THE OCEANS THAT ARE AROUND US CLEAN!
WATCH THE SKY OCEAN RESCUE VIDEO #OceanRescue #OceanHero