“Plastic Free” - it’s the word on the tip of everyone’s tongue right now - especially since someone somewhere dubbed this month “Plastic Free July”.
Packaging, oh, packaging. You probably wouldn’t believe us if we told you how many times we go to bed talking about this. And wake up, still talking about it. We probably talk about it in our sleep :)
We’d love to be 100% plastic free but unfortunately the perfect packaging is still a unicorn in our world. But while the topic is on everyone’s lips it is a great time to chat about what we can do with plastic instead of throwing it in the bin.
Packaging is the #1 question we get asked about and we are guilty of spending many hours googling and networking with other beauty industry experts looking for that unicorn. There’s a long list of considerations we have to make, and we’re yet to find packaging that ticks all the boxes.
Here are are top 10 questions we keep asking of all of our packaging options...
- Is it recyclable? If so how easily? I.e. Does it need a special facility or can go straight in the council bin?
- Does it protect the product from air, light, fingers and other sources of contamination? (your safety is the most important thing of all).
- Does everything come out? (or do you get those frustrating little bits of product trapped in the bottom!?)
- Is it readily available in Australia? Do we need to import it?
- Is it affordable? Are there minimum orders? (we did find some pretty awesome packaging but it was $7.70 per bottle and we needed to buy 30,000 of them - that’s over $200k!).
- How much does it weigh? Is it easy to ship?
- Does it break easily? (i.e. what happens if someone drops it in the bathroom.. ouch!)
- Do we need to invest in special machinery?
- Can certain ingredients react with it? (for example, some tubes and essential oils don’t agree with each other).
- (and last but certainly not least) What is the impact of producing this packaging on our beautiful earth?
These questionsspin around, baby
Right round like a record, baby
Right round round round around...
The packaging balancing act
While we haven’t found the perfect packaging just yet (don’t worry, we’re still looking, ALWAYS!), at the moment we’ve found that the best solution to the packaging conundrum is to use a few different types of packaging, depending on the product.
- Our plastic bottles are made from 100% post consumer recycled plastic which can also be recycled again (and again, and again!).
- Facial oils are in glass bottles (with plastic pumps)
- Aluminium tins which can be easily recycled in your local council bin
- Creams are in easily recycled tubes with an added biodegradable enzyme
- Plastic jars can be easily recycled in your local council bin
Very soon we’re hoping to make some changes to this, and the first change we’ll be making is to reduce the use of virgin (i.e. not recycled) plastics. The plan is to switch some of our plastic jars over into tins, and we’re also thinking of putting some of our creams into glass bottles.
You’re also going to be seeing some larger sizes available too, so you can get more product with less packaging :)
Why we aren’t convinced about ditching plastic just yet
As popular as “plastic free” is right now, we still think thatrecycledplastic is awesome (don’t get this confused withrecyclableplastic, as there is a difference).
Recycled plastic (specifically post-consumer recycled plastic) is plastic that was once new (virgin) plastic but has now been made into something new. This is what our bottles are made from.
Recycling plastic is much more eco-friendly than creating new (virgin) glass or tin, and if we can give another life to the plastic that’s already on our earth instead of seeing it end up in landfill or the ocean, we think that’s just about the best thing we can be doing.
If you’d love to have your say about the future of Happy Skincare packaging, please leave us a comment down below! We love hearing what you think about this and our goal is to make both you and the Earth happy, so please speak up :)