About our packaging
As we are too small to commission our own packaging we buy ‘off the shelf’. We opt for the most environmentally friendly packaging we can find even though we are aware that it may not display our products to best advantage. As you might expect we are concerned about the environment and try to minimise our environmental impact in every way we can.
Our current packaging consists of:
- 100ml clear biopolymer bottle plus black flip top cap
- 300ml clear biopolymer bottle plus black flip top cap (and optional black pump)
- 50ml clear PET oval bottle plus black screw top cap
- 30ml Miron violet glass bottle plus black pipette dispenser
- 50ml white PP oval twist up deodorant stick
- 4.5ml natural PP twist up lip balm stick
- 280g/460g white PP tub for Coconut Oil
- 50ml white PP container for roll on deodorant
About the plastic
The majority of our products are packaged in clear Biopolymer PET plastic bottles. These are made from renewable resources.
Biopolymer is different to conventional polyethylene (the most commonly used plastic) because it is produced from the waste product of sugarcane, eliminating the use of fossil based raw materials that are so harmful to the environment. The renewable sugarcane captures CO2 from the atmosphere during its production, helping to reduce greenhouse gas emissions. Biopolymer is also recyclable, which means that landfill dumping is greatly reduced.
This Biopolymer plastic maintains the same chemical properties as conventional PET, which means there is no difference in performance or quality of the bottles. Whilst Biopolymer offers these environmental advantages, it still does not biodegrade. Biodegradability is an intrinsic material property related to the molecular structure of the material and is independent of the material’s origin. However, under the correct conditions it is possible that PET plastic (conventional or biopolymer) can photo degrade – i.e. can be broken down by photons in the sun’s light spectrum. Obviously it has to be exposed to sunlight (unlikely in a landfill) and even then, with perfect conditions, photo degradation could take 5-10 years.
The black fliptop caps / closures for these bottles are all made from virgin PP (Polypropylene) material. We investigated the use of PCR (Post Consumer Recycled) PP plastic for the caps, but in terms of energy consumed in the sourcing (we would have to get it from overseas) and production of both the PCR material and subsequently the caps themselves, we were advised that in fact the more environmental option would be to use virgin material for the PP caps, which can then be recycled and moved on down the chain.
The truth is that ultimately, even though the bottles and caps may be recycled, this amounts to downcycling - so that the recycled material is of lower quality than the original plastic and can only be made into progressively lower quality products, until it can no longer be recycled and ultimately is likely to become landfill waste.
The other products we have packaged in plastic are using a conventional PET plastic (because the oval shaped toothpowder bottle was the best choice for dispensing the product, and we could not find a biopolymer version in the size / design required) - this bottle also has a virgin PP cap and internal plug to regulate dispensing of product; and conventional PP (Polypropylene) - for the two deodorants and the lip balm. There is also a tiny amount of low density PE (LDPE Polyethylene) in the twist up deodorant stick (the rim of the internal cover that sits on top of the deodorant itself, under the actual cap).
PP plastic is recyclable, although it seems it is recycled less than PET plastic as the steps required to reprocess it are more involved than for PET. PP is not easily biodegradable - the only possibility of achieving this is if the plastic has been modified for microbial utility, i.e. to enable fungi and bacteria to do their work in decomposing the material. Very little PP plastic will have been modified in this way so it is fair to say that ours will not biodegrade. There is some debate as to how well PP will photo degrade - it would certainly take a very long time, even under perfect conditions.
The recycling codes for our plastic packaging are 1 for the biopolymer and conventional PET bottles, and 5 for the PP lids, deodorant sticks and lip balm tubes.
About the glass
The Miron Violet Glass we use has particular properties which make it an ideal choice for storing our high quality facial oils. Clear, blue or even amber glass do not have the same capacity to protect the contents from the quality reducing effects of light. Miron violet glass offers the unique property of maintaining the value of the product inside at a consistently high level over a long time period. This glass works like a natural filter - it blocks all visible light, with the exception of the violet part. At the same time, it allows a certain part to be permeable for radiation in the range of UVA and infra-red light.
This unique combination offers optimal protection against the ageing processes that are caused by visible light, thus protecting durability and potency of premium and sensitive products such as our blend of facial oils, which maintain colour, scent and freshness.
The Miron glass bottles used for the facial oil are completely recyclable - glass can be recycled anywhere, and the pipette part comprises four different materials (PP for the black top; TPE - thermoplastic elastomer - for the rubber bulb part; PEHD / HDPE for the ring under the black lid; and glass for the tube - all these materials are readily recycled).
About the cotton muslin bags
Our soapnuts, sustainably produced and wild harvested in western Nepal, are packaged in attractive cotton drawstring bags. These have been made by hand and printed for us by our soapnut supplier in Nepal. The soapnuts are also supplied with a small handmade cotton washing bag. We also use these handmade, printed cotton bags to package our skincare products. They are reusable, recyclable and (we feel) extremely nice to look at!