There’s a wonderful global trend right now happening in the skin care industry: eco-friendly packaging.
In the past, our only choices for packaging and shipping have been plastic or glass. Some products, like oils, or blends of oil and essential oils in serums, lend themselves to glass, but glass is notoriously difficult and expensive to ship. This means that plastic containers have dominated the cosmetics world. Eco-friendly skin care packaging hasn’t really been an option.
The Plastics Problem
At Ayr Skin Care, we are very concerned with the impact of plastics, bubble wrap, and other non-recyclable packaging. As a petroleum product, the production of plastics has an environmental impact that we should be trying to minimize. And did you know there is a giant zone of plastic garbage floating in the Pacific Ocean? How horrible!
But Greener Packaging Materials Are Coming
But there is good news: More and more recycled or otherwise eco-friendly packaging materials and boxes are becoming available to manufacturers like us!
This week in the Ayr Blog, read on to learn what we are doing now to be greener when shipping our products, and where we see ourselves moving forward.
Ayr Skin Care is on a Mission to Reduce and Reuse
Our effort to reduce waste starts long before the packing and shipping phase. At our office, we use recycled paper for our daily work and try to limit printing to the maximum possible extent. Doing work electronically is another of our practices that cuts down on wasted paper.
Additionally, we manufacture everything here in our lab, and try to buy from local vendors as much as possible to reduce transportation fuel. Several of our go-to vendors not only use organic-certified ingredients, but take it a step further by utilizing electricity from renewable resources. The greener the company, the happier we are to buy our ingredients from them.
Going Green with Brown Packaging
At Ayr, we are constantly looking for greener goods to use in the eco-friendly packaging and shipping of our skin care products.
When we get ready to ship our customers their boxes, we take pride in wrapping the items in 100% post-consumer recycled tissue paper. The paper might not be white like traditional paper, but it feels good to use it. Each product is nestled into 100% recycled brown packing material. We use as little as possible — just enough to ensure that your purchases will not roll around and become damaged during shipping.
We never use peanuts, bubble wrap or other plastic air-filled packing materials in our eco-friendly skin care packaging materials. The packing materials that we use are already recycled, and we encourage you to recycle them or reuse them by inserting a small card (printed on recycled stock!) inside the box to remind you.
The New Direction of Eco-Shipping
As new products continue to be developed, we will continue to use more eco-friendly packaging and shipping materials, including more post-consumer packaging and containers. Right now, we are a young company, only one year old, and we know we aren’t perfect but we are trying every day to be better and better.
One improvement on the horizon for us is retail shelf boxes. Currently, our products are sold “naked” in another attempt to use a minimum of boxes in our business. However, that may change in the near future. As we grow and move into retail spaces, there may be a need to box our products for placement on shelves in stores.
When that time arrives, we will consider post-consumer and recyclable materials. We’re also keeping our eye on other eco-friendly packaging possibilities: There are also early signs that vegetable-based containers for the products themselves, as well as for their shipping or display boxes, will be available too. These options could include 100% biodegradable corn that dissolves in water, or containers made from soy and rice. These kinds of eco-friendly skin care packaging options are a great trend in the beauty industry, and we are excited to be a part of it.
Recycling at Home
A fair amount of people know to recycle their large cardboard boxes, and larger plastic containers like milk jugs, but many people forget the importance of recycling smaller plastic items. Bathroom products like shampoo and conditioner bottles, soap boxes, and lotion tubes are often recyclable. In many homes, these items end up in a bathroom trash, not in the recycling bin.
However! Make sure you recycle the containers only, and not the lids. Even if the lids look recyclable, they’re too small to fit properly in the processing equipment at the recycling center.
When you have a moment, take a look at some of your containers. You will probably find that most are not made of eco-friendly packaging materials, and feature plastic construction, just like it is for us in the cosmetics industry. You might have a few bottles that can go into your recycling container at home. If a container is made of plastic, check the recycling number. A “1” or “2” can always go into recycling. Other numbers may be able to go into recycling too, or taken to a drop-off location, depending on your local rules.
Lastly, be sure to wash your containers of any food waste before recycling them. The oils and debris of food waste also hinder the machinery at recycling centers. These centers are largely in China — yes, we ship most of our recycling overseas — and it is becoming too expensive for them to process recycling filled with tiny obstructions like lids, non-recyclable materials, and food waste. If we don’t improve our recycling practices, we may lose recycling service at our homes and businesses!
Reusing Is Better Than Recycling
If you find that you have containers that cannot be recycled, consider washing them thoroughly and reusing them to store items like paper clips, pins, screws, nails, and more! Reusing is even more effective than recycling. After all, some of the most eco-friendly packaging is the kind you can use and keep using, over and over again! (Even if it is plastic.)
If everyone in the world did just a little bit more each day…walking or biking instead of using a car, washing out and reusing containers, installing solar power, or even simply remembering to separate their recycling from their trash, the world would be a better place.
A Lot of a Little Makes a Big Difference!
With our oceans full of plastic garbage, and the bellies of fish and birds full of plastic garbage, and the countryside and streets and alleys full of plastic garbage, maybe it’s time for us to reconsider what we throw away—and thus what we buy in the first place.
That’s our drive behind eco-friendly skin care packaging at Ayr. This article really has nothing to do with skin care itself, but if skin care is about feeling and looking good, that’s also something that being responsible with our garbage can influence. These little tips are just a small reminder that little things that we all do every day can make a big difference. Eco-friendly packaging won’t fix the world’s problems, but it will take us a step in the right direction.
Together, we can make the world a greener place.
If you have any questions or comments, we would be happy to answer you personally! Please contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org.