Esoterance not only cares about you, but also our environment. Plastic pollution has become a huge problem worldwide, and while some types of plastic are recyclable, the reality of it is that a whopping 91% of plastic does not get recycled, even for types of plastic that have a higher rate of recycling such as PET and HDPE still only have a recycling rate of 28%.
More so, even plastics that can be and do get recycled, unfortunately eventually break down into micro-plastics, which is becoming a disaster not just for the environment but also ourselves. In fact, micro-plastics have now even been found in human placentas.
Research into micro-plastics in birds has found that it gets absorbed through their stomach lining and dirupts their digestion, and this is only the beginning as due to lack of research, we do not yet know or fully understand the impact of microplastics.
Therefore, Esoterance is completely plastic free. In fact even our delivery packaging including the tape we use is made of paper and is recyclable. Furthermore, the packaging we use is part of the Restoring Australia initiative which plants 2 trees for every 30 packages we post out.
Why we choose metal jars?
Metal (Aluminium) cosmetic jars were chosen due to them being the most sustainable cosmetic packaging around. Being a metal they are not only infinitely recyclable, with one of the lowest carbon footprints to recycle, they also have the highest rate of recycling at 90.4%, compared to glass which has a recycling rate of 48% in Australia. In fact the only reason they don’t have 100% recycling rate is simply because of incorrect disposal, so as long as you put them in the recycle bin, you can guarantee that they will be recycled.
Being lighter and less fragile means they have the lowest carbon footprint compared to other packaging when it comes to transport weight and also require less transport packaging material to protect them.
The advantage of aluminium is that it is also stable and non-reactive, which is why it is commonly used for food packaging as well, such as aluminium foil.
What about bioplastics, biodegradeable and compostable plastics?
This is a classic case of greenwashing. Bioplastics are in fact just as toxic as other plastics, according to an article recently published in Environment International.
The group from the ISOE institut in Germany led the word on the largest survey to date on chemicals in bioplastics and concluded that Bio-based and biodegradable plastic are not any safer than other plastics.
They pointed out that cellulose and starch based products contained the most chemicals. In fact, it was discovered that 80% of bioplastics contained more than 1000 different chemicals, and some of them contained as many as 20,000, most of which are known to be dangerous under laboratory conditions, same as conventional plastic. The toxic substances can be directly toxic to cells in the laboratory, or they can act as hormone disruptors. It is almost impossible to keep track of absolutely all the possible harmful effects of so many different materials.
The other problem with bioplastics is that even bioplastics that claim to be compostable or biodegradeable actually only degrade or compost under certain conditions, usually requiring industrial composting facilities. Under normal environmental conditions, these bioplastics can last anywhere from 100 to 1000 years, making them not much better than conventional plastics. In most regions, we do not yet have the industrial composting facilities to handle bioplastics. In fact many councils in Australia do not allow bioplastics to be placed in the green bin, and as such, just end up in general waste bins to go to landfill.
If in the future a better alternative presents itself, then Esoterance will adopt it. For now we believe that metal cosmetic packaging and paper/cardboard for postage with their high rate of recycling, is the best way to go.