Plastic is bad for the environment. However, the journey to being more eco-friendly isn't always as simple as just avoiding it. Of course minimising your use of plastic is a great place to start, but it's worth taking into considering your carbon footprint on a bigger scale, as well as the carbon footprint of the companies you buy from. We think that the journey to being environmentally friendly is all about making small changes that make big difference.
The bigger picture
In terms of the bigger picture, alongside being conscious of packaging of the products we buy, there are lifestyle changes and attitude changes that will make us much more environmentally friendly in the long term.
Supporting smaller businesses and, of course, shopping locally is a great way to reduce your environmental impact. Large companies who mass produce products have a larger carbon footprint than smaller businesses who handmade products or produce in small batches.
A recent study by the Climate Accountability Institute, tells us that “Just 100 companies are responsible for 71% of global emissions”.
In a nutshell, it is more environmentally friendly to buy a recycled plastic pot from your local shop (especially if you then repurpose it!) than it is to buy in glass packaging from a company who mass produces and who ships all over the world. The fight against plastic appears to penalise small businesses more than larger corporations, which is ultimately misguided.
Next time you think of ordering something from a large corporation, why not see if it is available in your local shop? Now more than ever we need to support our local businesses.
Our use of plastic alternatives
Where we can, we use biodegradable packaging and glass. However, our main aim has always been to make natural skincare accessible - and by that we mean affordable for everyone, so we choose to offer both a plastic-free option and a more affordable option, which isn't always plastic-free, in order to cater to all budgets.
If we completely moved away from plastic, we would not be able to offer an affordable option to those whose concern is the price point. Unfortunately, the plastic alternatives on the current market, e.g. the biodegradable tube containers we use for our deodorants and lip balms, are often more than four times the cost of their plastic counterparts.
As a result, we like to offer a more affordable option where we can. For our deodorants, we also offer the ‘powder deo’, which comes in a paper envelope refill and offers a cheaper option. For our face creams, we offer the option to buy in a recycled plastic refill.
So, whilst we are now happy to offer a plastic-free option for almost every single one of our products, we do still offer the option to buy in recycled plastic, as we do not wish to alienate any group or customer from having the option to use our natural skincare.
For example, the pots that we use for some of our samples are made from recycled plastic and is the only way we can justify the low price of the samples - if we were to use a more expensive material then we would need to charge more and then people might not be able to try our products.
Instead of buying often and in small quantities, after trying one of our products and finding one you like, we suggest buying in bulk. Rather than buying less more often, the best thing you can do is to buy more less often. We offer refills of many of our products, so you can buy supersize products and decant them into a smaller container that you already have. Instead of buying a new small toner every two months, each with its own container, label and environmental postage impact, you can buy one large toner that will last you 6 - 8 months. P.S. The added bonus here is that our refills are always better value for money!
Why we don’t accept returns of containers to be refilled
Our plastic containers are made from recycled material, and are themselves 100% recyclable. The environmental cost of posting containers back is greater than that of simply re cycling or even better, repurposing, your empty container. We are making efforts to partner with zero waste shops all over the country, so that you have the option to go and fill your containers once they’re finished, and support another small business while you’re at it. On that note - if you have a zero waste shop near you please let them know about us!
Our packaging materials
In terms of being better for the environment, when we pack your parcels we use the packaging materials saved from our own deliveries, giving everything a second life! This means that all of our parcel packaging is reused or purposed and we are not contributing to unnecessary waste. Many of our suppliers do use eco-friendly materials, so for example any of your parcels containing green bubblewrap or packing peanuts are not only repurposed from our own orders, but are also 100% biodegradable.
We will constantly be looking for affordable zero waste packaging solutions, so that we can continue to offer our products for every budget.
We will never buy in plastic packaging material and will always reuse where possible
We will try to connect with zero waste shops so that as many of you as possible have the option to go and refill your containers.
We aim to have a plastic free option for every one of our products by the end of the year (we’re nearly there!)
We will add bulk large containers for products so that you can buy your skincare in eco-friendly super sizes.
Thank you for reading!
Team Suneeta xx