Plastic - wow!
Wow, wow, wow, surely we've known for a while the damage plastic does and is doing to our environment but the stir created by the sudden media interest is phenomenal, absolutely incredible! Media reports, surveys, television documentaries have all increased public awareness. The statistics are shocking and have woken many of us with a start and a jolt. This is real, this is really happening. So much of our lives are managed by plastic. Without even realising it we are consuming vast quantities of throwaway plastic every hour and every minute of every day. Here are some sobering figures:
- In 2016 320 million tonnes of plastic were produced.
- Families throw away about 40kg of recyclable plastic per year.
- Every day 8 million pieces of plastic pollution finds its way into an ocean.
- 5,000 items of plastic pollution are found in every mile of beach in the UK, including 150 plastic bottles.
- 100,000 marine mammals and turtles and 1 million seabirds are killed by marine plastic pollution annually.
- Use of plastic in Western Europe is growing 4% per year.
- ALL types of plastic ARE recyclable. 75% of consumer plastic waste is sent to landfill and not recycled. Plastic can take 500 years to decompose.
I had an awareness. An awareness of waste and recycling but not really an awareness of how much plastic and especially throwaway plastic I was consuming. A trip to a coffee shop, wrapping children's packed lunches, buying organic from the supermarket and buying children's "healthy" lunchbox snacks. Then there's antibacterial soaps and gels, hubby's shower gel, my conditioner and then my lip balm in a plastic tube.
Five years ago I chose to produce lip balms in both tins and tubes for the simple reason that some people like a tin and some like a tube. Rarely does an individual "do" both, you're either one or the other. Stats from Euromonitor claim the beauty industry produced 19 million squeezable plastic tubes in 2016 - where did these all go? Probably not recycled, apparently they're too small for the recycling plants to bother with!
In light of all the above I have decided to make a green and plastic-free stand! I will therefore be removing the plastic lip balm tubes from production. Personally I prefer the tubes for hygiene reasons but until I can find an alternative I'll have to become a tin user too. I am sorry if that disappoints some of my customers, and I'm sure it will but if the current figures are anything to go by then something has to be done and ASAP! With facts like, if you lined up all the polystyrene cups made in the world in just one day it would circle the Earth and that plastic pollution is costing us near on $1.27 billion annually as it threatens shipping, fishing and tourism then if everyone makes one or two small changes then maybe we can make a difference to the amount of damage we are imposing on our planet.
Similarly I will be changing the black plastic lids on our B-Rose products and our Vanilla & Geranium Cleanser to be aluminium. They won't look as smart but their environmental impact will be far less. I am proud that all our other packaging is recyclable aluminium, tinplate, glass or paper and therefore think a few small changes could make Beeutiful even more planet conscious. Of course this is not it, there are more behind the scenes changes that I can and will be making. I hope you agree that the sacrifice of a lip balm tube and the colour coordination of Beeutiful products is worth it to make some positive change toward our precious planet's health.
Sending lots of green plastic-free love