Packaging - Recycling
Why don't we put everything in glass?
Glass is a sustainable packaging material that can be 100% recycled, provided it is disposed of properly. We are big fans of glass as a cosmetic packaging and offer our Rosemary&Ginger soap and mouth pulling oil already in the pretty glass dispenser. We will continue to try and use more sustainable glass packaging in the future.
Especially in cosmetics, however, some products in glass packaging are simply impractical. A toothpaste, for example, would not be well kept in a glass jar, as it would be contaminated every time it was taken out. Likewise, we do not think that sunscreen in a glass dispenser makes sense, as it is carried around a lot, taken to the beach or the swimming pool and the risk of breakage is simply higher there.
The fact that glass is always more sustainable than plastic is also a widespread assumption, which is not quite correct. Both the production and recycling of glass consumes a tremendous amount of energy - more than that of plastic. Glass packaging is also many times heavier than plastic packaging. This is why especially products that have to be transported a lot (such as our cosmetics: from the factory to our central warehouse, from our warehouse to the central warehouse of the drugstore chain, from there to the individual stores) have a worse environmental balance when they are packed in glass than when they are packed in lighter plastic packaging.
In addition, disposable glass packaging has to be remelted at around 1000 degrees after use, which also consumes a lot of energy and causes CO2.
The most sustainable packaging is surely glass - but only if regional reusable glass is used. For example, this is possible almost everywhere with mineral water (we also drink water from reusable glass bottles from the region here in the office), but less so with cosmetic products. Glass is therefore only a sustainable alternative if the packaging can be reused several times. That's why we currently only have the large glass soap dispenser, because thanks to our refill packs it can be reused almost indefinitely, as long as it doesn't fall off; as well as the mouth pulling oil, which is packed in glass to ensure consistent quality and good taste. And this is our goal for the future as well: to offer glass packaging where it makes sense and fits into the eco-balance. Otherwise, we rely on plastic packaging and other materials and try to source them as sustainably as possible.
Do you have an idea for an innovative sustainable packaging material? Then please write to us at: firstname.lastname@example.org
Which packaging materials do we use?
Different products require packaging with different properties. As we offer a wide range of different products, we also use many different types of packaging. From pump dispensers and classic squeeze bottles to tubes and glass dispensers, everything is included. You can find more detailed information about the different packaging materials below.
The brown bottles in pharmacist style, which protect our Alchimiste products, are made of dark PET, the corresponding pump is made of PP.
Most of our shampoo bottles of the Philosophy series are made of white HDPE, the cap is also made of PP.
For our hair treatments, toothpastes and hand creams we use aluminium laminate tubes, the caps are made of PP.
The mouthwash and hair oil are packed in PET bottles.
Our Rosemary&Ginger Hand&Body Wash is packed in a reusable glass bottle, which can be used for a long time and refilled again and again (as long as you don't break it). We also sell the Mouth Pulling Oil in a glass pump dispenser to ensure a safe product that does not alter its taste over time.
The different substances at a glance:
PP is a frequently used standard plastic, which is available in many colours and shapes. It is quite hard, heat-resistant, skin-friendly and resistant and therefore perfectly suitable for cosmetic (cap) products. The plastic does not contain plasticizers and is therefore not harmful to health. PP is basically very easy to recycle if it is returned to the material cycle. The sorting machines can usually filter polypropylene according to type and recycle it. Park benches or flower pots, for example, are then molded from the recycled PP.
Polyethylene terephthalate (PET):
The plastic PET, which we all know from drinking bottles, has many different properties and is particularly flexible. PET is widely used and can be recycled particularly well and easily. In Germany, however, only one third of PET plastic is actually recycled because the raw material does not return to the material cycle. PET packaging in particular, on which no deposit is charged, is very rarely disposed of correctly. You can dispose of our PET packaging in the classic way in a recycling bag - then you have done everything right and the plastic can be recycled in the best possible way.
High-Density Polyethylene (HDPE):
Polyethylene (PE) is the most common plastic in the world. It contains no plasticizers, is non-toxic and requires fewer resources in production than PVC, for example. PE is also easy to recycle.
Aluminium laminate tube:
These tubes are a hybrid of aluminium tubes and plastic tubes. The multiple layers efficiently protect contents, these tube types are particularly suitable for cosmetics. The tubes are made of a recycled composite material. It is shredded and then reused in industry.
Recycling - but the right way!
Almost all our packaging can be recycled. In order to ensure that the packaging can also be profitably returned to the material cycle, in other words recycled*, it is extremely important that the end user (i.e. you!) disposes of the packaging correctly.
So that you can do this without extensive research, we have summarised a few tips for you here.
*Here you will learn a bit of disposal jargon: material recycling is more or less the first step towards actual recycling, the disposed material is reused. The opposite of this is thermal recycling, less nicely formulated: the incineration of materials that cannot be further recycled.
This is the right way to separate waste:
To ensure that recyclable materials can really be recycled and do not have to be incinerated, it is important that you separate your waste correctly from the beginning. Here are a few tips on how to dispose of our (and all other) packaging correctly:
- Our plastic packaging can all be disposed of in the yellow bag/bin. Here you can also see what belongs in the yellow bag and what does not. In general, it is also not advisable to dispose of everything made of plastic in the Yellow Bag. What cannot be recycled should not be disposed of in the Yellow Bag. This only means additional work for the sorting machines. As a rule of thumb you can remember: Packaging goes into the Yellow Bag, products do not. As an example: You can throw the front part of the toothbrush packaging, which is usually made of plastic, into the yellow bag, but not the toothbrush itself - although it is made of plastic. Aluminium always belongs in the yellow recycling bin, because it can be recycled very well. This includes the used aluminium foil and the barbecue tray.
- Separate composites, if possible. For example, the closures of many packages are not made of the same material as the dispensers. This is also sometimes the case with our products. Therefore, simply separate the cap from the packaging and then throw it separately into the yellow bag - problem solved. This also applies to yoghurt cups, for example. You should always tear off the lid completely and throw it into the trash separately from the cup. Only then can the sorting machines recognise the different materials and return them to the appropriate recycling cycle.
- Only throw empty packages into the yellow bag. Slight contamination is not a problem, of course you don't have to wash your toothpaste tube before it goes into the bin. But you should not throw half-full shampoo bottles in the trash, because then they cannot be recycled. Especially with shampoo, it's a good idea to use the last bit of shampoo anyway, by filling the bottle with a little water, shaking it well and washing your hair again with the rest. This way you get the maximum out of the product and at the same time prepare the packaging for recycling.