It's time for us to give up on single-use plastics.
Each year, around 8 million metric tons of plastics end up in our oceans. Microscopic plastic fibers are found in 83% of the worlds tap water and in 94% of tap water in the United States. The extent of the effects that micro-plastics have on the human body still are not completely understood. But plastics have been proven to disrupt the thyroid hormone axis which can lead to hypothyroidism while Bisphenol-A (BPA) can disrupt the production of sex hormones.
Some researchers suggest that by 2050 there could be more plastic than fish in the oceans by weight. Sea turtles and other marine species have been found to contain large amounts of plastics in their stomachs. When this occurs the plastic blocks the animal's digestive tract and the animal typically starves. Large amounts of plastics have also been found in the stomachs of beached whales. This is only one example of how plastics kill wildlife. Entanglement, ingestion, and absorption are all common ways in which seabirds and marine life are killed due to plastics.
Australian researchers have observed corals in the Great Barrier Reef to be ingesting micro-plastics at only a slightly lower rate than their normal intake of phytoplankton. Corals get energy from photosynthesis of symbiotic algae living within their tissues. While more research is needed, it is feared that indigestible plastics occupying the corals' stomachs will cause mass coral deaths in conjunction with coral bleaching due to global warming. Corals provide incredibly important ecosystems for a vast amount of sea-life around the world.
Biodegradable and degradable plastics have helped reduce plastic pollution but they are not a complete solution. These plastics do not break down efficiently in natural environments. Degradable plastics that are oil-based may break down into smaller fractions in natural environments but do not degrade further.
Glass As Packaging
Glass is great. Most of our ingredients are stored in glass or stainless steel because they do not pose a risk of contamination or degradation. Also, it is 100% recyclable. Still, it is not considered a renewable resource. It is vital that we make all efforts to reuse and recycle glass as much as possible.
Sand has become the most widely consumed natural resource on the planet after fresh water. We use more than 40 billion tons of sand and gravel every year in concrete, glass, and other building supplies. There’s so much demand that riverbeds and beaches around the world are being stripped bare.
A couple of notable statistics:
- Sand mining has erased at least two dozen Indonesian islands since 2005.
- Sand is mined illegally and sold on the black market in over a dozen countries.
Aluminum is tricky. It is abundant in the earth's crust but it is a non-renewable resource, meaning it can't be replaced once taken away.
Bauxite ore is the world's source of new, or 'primary' aluminum and it is mined in great quantities causing degradation to the earth's surface. Furthermore, harmful emissions are produced at higher rates when processing primary aluminum than when processing recycled aluminum. For these reasons, it is important that we reduce our use of primary aluminum.
We can radically reduce mining of primary aluminum easily as it is 100% recyclable and retains its properties indefinitely with little loss in quality. . According to the Aluminum Association, nearly 75% of all aluminum ever produced in the U.S. is still in use today. Aluminum is durable and will not bust or break easily if thrown in a beach bag or purse. For these reasons, we chose aluminum tubes for our products.
We are continually seeking out better packaging solutions. We are working to eliminate the use of plastic caps on our aluminum tubes. Make sure to recycle your tubes when you are finished with the product, and separate the cap from the tube before you do !
This was the easiest packaging choice we've had to make. Our cardboard tubes are completely compostable and biodegradable while still being a sturdy vehicle for our products. After removing the sticker label, feel free to throw these into your home compost receptacles. If you over-push your face stick, gently tap the bottom of the tube on a flat surface and the product will recede.
We will continually seek out the most environmentally-friendly packaging options.
- "Here's How Much Plastic Ends Up In the World's Oceans". Time Magazine. 02/12/2015.
- "Synthetic Polymer Contamination in Global Drinking Water". orbmedia.org. Retrieved 2017-09-19.
- Mathieu-Denoncourt, Justine; Wallace, Sarah J.; de Solla, Shane R.; Langlois, Valerie S. (November 2014). "Plasticizer endocrine disruption: Highlighting developmental and reproductive effects in mammals and non-mammalian aquatic species". General and Comparative Endocrinology.
- Gregory, M. R. (14 June 2009). "Environmental implications of plastic debris in marine settings--entanglement, ingestion, smothering, hangers-on, hitch-hiking and alien invasions". Philosophical Transactions of the Royal Society B: Biological Sciences. 364 (1526): 2013–2025.
- Microplastic ingestion by scleractinian corals by N.M. Hall, K.L.E. Berry, L. Rintoul, M.O. Hoogenboom is published in the journal Marine Biology. DOI 10.1007/s00227-015-2619-7
- Thompson, R. C.; Moore, C. J.; vom Saal, F. S.; Swan, S. H. (14 June 2009). "Plastics, the environment and human health: current consensus and future trends". Philosophical Transactions of the Royal Society B: Biological Sciences. 364 (1526): 2153–2166.
- UNEP Global Environmental Alert Service – Sand, rarer than one thinks (2014)
- "The Deadly Global War for Sand". Wired Magazine. 03/26/2015.
- Greenwood, Norman N.; Earnshaw, Alan (1997). Chemistry of the Elements(2nd ed.). Butterworth-Heinemann. p. 217. ISBN 0-08-037941-9.
- Schlesinger, Mark (2006). Aluminum Recycling. CRC Press. p. 248. ISBN 978-0-8493-9662-5.