Type the words “plastic pollution” into any search engine and you will quickly discover hundreds of photos and articles on the damage that is being done to the environment by our use of plastic.
Sadly, despite the problem getting more and more attention and more and more of us being aware of it, its still getting worse. But why? Well simply put, manufacturers love plastic.
Plastic is cheap, lightweight and durable. Its very easy to make, can be used for almost anything and is extremely cost effective to transport. Think of almost any packaged product and plastic will probably be the go to choice.
In the beauty industry over the last few years there has been a big shift towards cruelty free and ethical products. Big brands are making big announcements that they are now 100% cruelty free and finally launching high quality vegan ranges. This is of course all fantastic but can a brand really be considered cruelty free if it is still churning out products in plastic packaging and has no clear pathway to reduce and end its use of plastic? We certainly don't think so.
According to oxforddictionaries.com the definition of "cruelty free" is products that have been manufactured or developed by methods that do not involve experimentation on animals, but is that enough? Would you still buy these products if you knew, despite their cruelty free label, the packaging they come in is directly harming wildlife? Over 1 million marine animals are killed every year due to plastic debris in our oceans, including seals, whales, sharks, fish, turtles and birds. Companies refusing to start tackling this problem NOW are responsible for this.
Big businesses have the money and the power yet it is small brands, like ourselves, that lead the way when it comes to the problem of plastic packaging. Whilst we at Natural Essentoils still have a long way to go, we have made more progress in our 14 month history than many large brands ever have.
We currently have two products that are sold in entirely plastic packaging, three products that have had their plastic packaging significantly reduced and the rest of our range is entirely plastic free. We have plans in place to reduce the use of plastic packaging and ultimately end it. We can't reveal details yet but we do have some really exciting ideas that will not only allow us to sell all of our products with zero plastic packaging, but also save our customers money!
But what about the multi nationals who simply refuse to address the problem? What can you as consumers do? The easiest answer is stop buying their products, however in reality people aren't going to do that. But there are some things that are VERY easy to do.
The problem of plastic waste is getting worse. The only way to change this is if everyone does their bit. Manufacturer or consumer, only by working together can we make a dent in this huge global crisis.