Plastic: Our Love-Hate Relationship
First of all, Happy New Year! I hope I'm one of the first to wish you this, and not one of the people who will still be saying it to you Jan 30! I hope the new year brings you all things merry and bright and loving - and that you shed whatever it is you want to shed, whether it's pounds or unhealthy beliefs or negative self-talk or that voice that tells you you're secretly not good enough. It's all BS and it's time to, in the immortal words of Elsa, Let It Go.
Easier said than done of course so...instead of sharing one of my largely meaningless NYE resolutions with you, I'm going to talk about plastic. You know, this stuff.
We all know plastic is awful...so why keep using it?
I heard a very funny vegan counter to the argument "We have been eating meat for thousands of years, what's the problem, why stop now?" and the vegan was all like 'Um, we've been also enslaving people for thousands of years, why did Lincoln put a stop to it ever?' Yeah and women couldn't vote till the 20's and blacks till the 60's so when has length of time ever been a good reason to keep doing something?
The other thing is, there are simply too many of us now. We're not talking about a cow lasting a family of 8 an entire winter, we're talking about billions of animals killed, and of course, trillions of empty bottles of water, shampoo, body wash, and just about everything else, winding up in landfill at at the bottom of the ocean. We are supposed to recycle, but so few actually do it's frightening. Almost NONE of our plastic waste is recycled into anything.
Plastic was invented in 1907 and it pretty much took off. Let's face it, the stuff is pretty damn useful and found in just about everything, so there are reasons and arguments for it. The problem is, it never goes away. This would be fine if Trump would invest trillions into booming our plastic into space but he'd probably just start an alien war. Perhaps the plastic could be compacted to build a wall, I don't know. But the problem is, plastic doesn't disappear, even when it breaks down - it just breaks down into smaller and smaller pieces, which are consumed by animals and create ridiculous poisonous pollution everywhere.
So Why Does SaltZ&Co Use Plastic, Ya Damn Hypocrites?
Okay let me explain. This explanation is not going to satisfy everyone, in fact it doesn't even satisfy me some of the time, but here goes:
-The amount of plastic wrap it takes to wrap a bar of soap is much less waste than that generated by a bottle of liquid soap - which we do not sell much of
-The vast majority of types of affordable cosmetic-grade packaging are plastic
-Plastic keeps the soaps separated, the fragrances distinct, and prevents people from coming into contact with allergens
-I often exhibit our soaps at outdoor fairs where, glycerin soaps like mine would become soft and fingerprinted after being squeezed by so, so, so many hands. Plastic keeps the soap sanitary for the eventual buyer.
Now...as I said, that explanation doesn't always satisfy me. So I did the Naked Cupid soap this holiday season and it sold out before I could even put it on my online store. But nobody touched it - it went straight into gift baskets and directly to the recipients, so I was able to do that without it getting sticky at all.
I also have my waste-free shampoo bars which are a big hit and are packaged with recycled brown paper and two labels. I have to charge a bit more, packaging is absurdly expensive.
Now, I am tired of plastic, guys. I do use glass jars on many products and they are great. I also recycle and reuse all my boxes and packaging from my suppliers and from my own personal deliveries and gifts, which is why your SaltZ&Co order may say Amazon on it.
I used to hate plastic so much I put everything in cloth and that didn't work out too well because cloth wicks the scent away from the bath salt so quickly, you had like 7 days to use the bath salts OR ELSE. I had to change that, or lose my customers and serve a substandard product.
5 Easy Tips For Reducing Your Own Plastic Waste
1. Switch to bar soap from liquid soap (body wash or pump soap). It lasts a lot longer and less or no plastic is involved.
2. Switch to a resuable water bottle and buy a Brita filter instead of water by the case.
3. When plastic comes into your home, find a use for it. Use grocery bags instead of buying bags that fit your garbage can, use a sandwich bag more than once if all it contained was a couple of cookie crumbs.
4. Schools are ALWAYS looking for donations of plastic bottles for crafts for their kindies. Ask your kid's teacher if there is anything plastic you can donate.
5. Use less plastic by wrapping foods in tupperwares instead of just putting plastic wrap over a plate. Use permanent containers for kids' lunches rather than lunch bags.
I have great news for the New Year. I am going to be adding more plastic-free options to my soaps and other natural skin care lines. please look out for them in upcoming newsletters - and have a cleaner, greener New Year!