Progress, Not Perfection
Plastic Free July
Did you hear about this movement? Did you try to eliminate single-use plastic last month? Plastic Free July seemed to be all the rage as we rolled into summer. Like so many things, I thought this would be an easy thing to do. I consider myself pretty enlightened on this topic and pretty aware of reusing as much as I can.
I carry my reusable bags,
I tote my bamboo silverware.
I carry a wondrous glass straw and a collection of stainless ones.
I recycle and repurpose boxes and containers as best I can.
I figured I could DEFINITELY go all month without single-use plastic.
As the first week unfolded, I realized there are so many times single-use plastic makes its way into my life. It’s more than refusing the bag or the straw. The plastic tabs on food containers, plastic tags on clothes, plant and garden containers. Some of the are harder to avoid, but eliminating the obvious ones simply meant keeping reusable water bottles, utensils and shopping bags handy was easy-peasy. I definitley did not nail plastic free July, but I made progress.
I did think more about the bigger picture and things that use plastic, which was serendipitous with the launch of Beautycounter’s newest sustainability efforts. I love when I can do business with any B Corp (Athleta, Allbirds, Patagonia, ). I am especially proud to work with Beautycounter, a Certified B Corporation, which means each of these companies go through rigorous third-party certification that ensures a business equally considers people, planet, and profit.
While Beautycounter products are NOT all-natural or organic, our scientists and product developers choose the best organic, natural, sustainable, and synthetic ingredients that meet our standards. Ingredients in our products are natural or plant-derived, and never include the more than 1400 ingredients on our Neverlist (which is continuously evolving as we continue to learn and test). Our patented Retinatural is an example of how the brilliant minds at Beautycounter have formulated products from plant-based ingredients that are safer and perform as well as conventional products.
Similar to our ingredient Never List, we have certain materials we prohibit or restrict in our packaging. BPA is one of them, as it may leach into the products when heated, thus contaminating formulas. We also do not use vinyl, as it can release phthalates, which are known endocrine disruptors.
Here’s what else you won’t find in our packaging:
General Purpose Polystyrene
Styrene Butadiene Rubber
Styrene Butadiene Styrene
Plastic added phthalates
Reducing Our Footprint
While what goes ON our bodies is as important as what goes INTO them, it’s also critical that we think about the bigger picture - the environment. Beautycounter is one of the early adopters in the industry of the How2Recycle system, leading the transition towards proper disposal and greater recovery of all personal-care products. At the end of the day, progress, and positive impact—not perfection.
How2Recycle is a standardized labeling system that clearly communicates recycling instructions. Look for labels like the one at the top of this post on products. This labeling breaks down what the label’s three sections mean for you.
1. How to prepare the product for recycling (e.g., empty and discard cap)
2. Degree of recyclability (widely recycled, check locally, not yet recycled, or store drop-off)
3. Type of material (e.g., plastic, glass, metal) and packaging format (e.g., bottle, tube, box)
If you have used our products before, you may start to notice a few things missing from your Beautycounter packages—such as plastic spatulas, overcaps, lid inserts, extra product literature, and cleansing cloth towels. By redesigning our packaging without additional plastic parts, we will eliminate an estimated 800,000 parts in the next year alone. We’ve also removed the secondary packaging (the box in which the product is placed) from the complete Countersun line, saving 450,000 cartons annually. *Pat on back*
For the remaining secondary packaging, we use Forest Stewardship Council (FSC) certified only. The FSC sets the gold standard for forest-sourced products and independently certifies that those standards have been met. FSC only uses materials from environmentally sound and socially responsible sources—and in an economically viable manner.
So while Plastic Free July was not a 100% win for me, it’s made me even more aware of where and how to be more conscious about the plastic and packaging that we are offered or use every day. And again, it’s about progress, not perfection. IIf you’re looking to make progress with safer products that come from a company committed to people and planet, let’s talk. Our products are safer for you, better for the environment and perform. Now through August 12th, we’ve got a Friends and Family sale that makes cleaning up your stash a bit easier on the wallet, too!