Pack it up pack it in let us begin…..

Pack it up pack it in let us begin…..

Posted by Joline Stevens on

I realise it’s a bit of a leap from House of Pain to packaging BUT, at Clementine Suds, we think what your skincare arrives in, is as important as the ingredients inside.

Part of the reason we started Clementine Suds was to offer a skincare option that was plastic free, and we realise you're making product decisions every week. So, if you’ve thought about looking for products with more eco-friendly, more sustainable packaging this post is for you.

It’s important to understand that all packaging has an impact on the planet, all materials have a carbon footprint – and some have more than others. It’s helpful to think about skincare packaging options on a scale as opposed to ‘good’ or ‘bad’.

For simplicity I would place single use non-recyclable packaging on one end of the scale, those options are to be avoided. Minimal and/or naked packaging, has the least impact and would therefore be on the other end of the scale.

Solid bubble bath bar sat on a soap dish with an example of it's packaging sat next to the bar. Four brightly coloured boxes are in the background showing all the aromas our solid bubble baths are available in: zesty orange, relaxing lavender, refreshing grapefruit and minty eucalyptus

Some considerations, thought starters and guidance for you:

1. Plastic.

This is probably the least straight forward topic. Clementine Suds is plastic free – we’re on a mission to rid plastic from consumers bathrooms, and we believe the high street should offer more plastic free options. However, we realise that for consumers who choose liquids, plastic containers are hardy and long lasting. Plastic is effective at preserving food and helps to reduce food waste, but it shouldn’t be the only option manufacturers opt for. The mess that plastic waste creates is real and well documented. To avoid contributing to this you can choose plastic that has been recycled (often referred to as post-consumer recycled plastic) AND can be widely recycled when you’ve finished. Check your product labelling, and ask your retailers. This way we create a circular model where materials are reused for as long as possible.

2. Glass.

Glass is a timeless packaging option that is not only recyclable but also infinitely reusable. It's a good choice for skincare products as it preserves the integrity of the ingredients and can be easily cleaned and repurposed by consumers. However, glass is heavier than many other packaging options – meaning that it has increased transportation costs (and fuel). Second the high temperatures required to manufacture glass means that it is high on the energy consumption scale. Lastly and perhaps most importantly glass is made from sand, which is not a renewable source.

3. Recycling

We're well versed on the need to recycle now - but this is a timely reminder - don’t forget your power as a consumer. We shared on a post recently that only 12% of UK plastic waste gets recycled. By supporting products with recycled packaging, you're contributing to the demand for recycled materials and closing the loop on the recycling process.

4. Biodegradable Materials

Packaging made from biodegradable materials such as bamboo, sugarcane, or cornstarch-based plastics offers a sustainable alternative to traditional plastics. These materials break down naturally over time, minimizing environmental impact. Our solid bubble bath bars need to be kept dry after manufacturing, and we use sugarcane-based shrink wrap as a plastic alternative.

5. Refillable

Opting for refillable packaging helps reduce waste by allowing you to replenish your skincare products without the need for new containers being manufactured each time. Buying in bulk can often be more cost effective as well as environmentally friendly. Seek out brands that offer refill stations or mail-in refill programs to make the process convenient for you.

6. Compostable Packaging:

Compostable packaging, like our compostable cardboard sleeves, are designed to break down into organic matter when composted, leaving behind no harmful residues. After zero packaging this is the next best option, as once composted the packaging materials are absorbed back into the eco-system. Please check which materials are compostable, glossy cardboard or ones that use non-vegetable ink are not suitable.

7. Alternative Packaging Solutions:

This is where it gets really interesting. Not readily available on our high streets just yet, but as biotechnology has developed we are seeing all sorts of new and innovative packaging solutions appear. Materials such as seaweed or mushroom-based packaging or packaging made from agricultural waste like wheat straw or bagasse. These alternatives offer biodegradable and often renewable options for skincare products. Look out for them, ask your favourite skincare manufacturers if they are researching these alternatives. Where’s there’s demand they will follow!

At Clementine Suds we thought very carefully about our packaging. From working with award winning designers to using biodegradable cardboard sleeves, vegetable ink, sugarcane based shrink wrap AND naked products where possible. We want to demonstrate that amazing skincare products can also have a little carbon footprint on this lovely planet of ours.

This is a BIG topic and this post is by no means exhaustive – what do you use, what do you avoid, what have you switched to?

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