You are the problem, or so the plastics industry would have you believe
Okay, hear me out on this one, because I think it’s a really important subject. The world is just not set up for you to recycle plastics and glass. The fact is that our recycling programs aren’t as good as they might seem. Most recycling plants don’t actually recycle most of your bottles and jars. Even if you clean and properly sort them, recycling plants might not be equipped to recycle them. Did you know that only 9% of plastic is recycled?! And only 26% of glass! What’s so gross about that 26% is that 100% of it should be recycled!
Our modern world revolves around consuming goods housed in plastics and glass, and as hard as we try we can’t get away from that. Why? Because plastic (in particular) is a genius solution to our problems. It’s cheap, it protects goods, and it comes in various applications—from thin bags at the grocery store to sturdy boxes for storage. Plastic has become our way of operations as humans. But here’s the thing: it’s killing our planet. It’s over-consumed, and it’s honestly not your fault. It’s our fault. And as a business, it’s almost impossible to avoid plastic and glass. So as you consume our skincare, I want you to know that we’re considering all the facts of our choices. I’ve been thinking deeply about scaling our small business and how I want to move forward with non-plastics, but the truth is, glass isn’t so great either. In fact, glass has a higher carbon footprint than plastic. It’s much heavier, and so it uses more fossil fuels to ship. Glass uses tons of water to make and it’s toxic to the factories and environments it’s created in. For every bottle made, you could power your computer for thirty minutes or keep a light on in your house for four hours—that’s how much of a carbon footprint your kombucha bottle or jar of face cream uses.
What I propose here isn’t radical, but it is a step in the right direction. We need businesses like mine to take the power into our hands so you can safely consume. As a skincare company, we believe that if we use plastics we must also offer refills, educate our spa partners and peers on our choices, share resources, and put money into companies that are walking toward the right choices, even if we don’t have a perfect solution right now.
For Botnia, that means offering you refills for our packaging and looking at our bottles as a one-time purchase that you can refill time and time again with aluminum—a material that can be upcycled. Moving to labels made of recycled and compostable materials, shipping with eco-conscious packaging supplies. And doing our due diligence to source new packaging innovations. Taking the responsibility off your shoulders is my goal and should be the goal for all companies. I believe that if every business owner took it upon themselves to view the world this way we would find a solution much quicker, so if you know a business owner who offers goods in plastic, make an intro—we are always happy to share resources. And if you’re a consumer of our skincare, know this: we thank you for doing your part to help us, we know our system isn’t perfect, and we will do better for you and our planet in the future. Thank you for having patience with us and for reusing what you can and knowing that what you can’t reuse, maybe you can repurpose! I’m lucky to offer skincare that I believe is so good for the earth and all people on it, and packaging is the last piece to the puzzle. I have a fire in my belly, and I will not stop searching until I have a beautiful solution.
With love and a proactive shift,
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