Weleda Teams Up with Terracycle to Increase Plastic Packaging Recycling

It’s been great hearing about all the recycling initiatives from brands this week for Recycling Week 2020.

If, like me, you’re frustrated with the limited recycling services offered by your local council then you’ll be pleased to hear that Weleda has partnered with TerraCycle to offer nationwide drop off points to recycle its soft plastic tubes.

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9 Things to Know About Shoes Made from Recycled Plastic Waste

Making products out of recycled plastics is amazing and it still blows my mind how plastic can be turned into fabric.

So when Clearwaters footwear got in touch to show me how they are tackling ocean and landfill waste by turning plastics into shoes, I couldn’t wait to find out more.

I talked to Clearwaters co-founder Sean Evans to find out exactly how plastic is recycled into their gorgeous, cosy slippers and what more we can do to make recycling plastics a mainstream thing that we can all benefit from.

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An Expert’s Guide to Plastic Ingredients in Beauty #PlasticFreeJuly

Microbeads commonly used in beauty products have been proven to pollute our ocean life and waterways and after much-deserved press, campaigning and consumer pressure the laws were changed. In 2018 in the UK, plastic microbeads in body scrubs and exfoliating rinse-off product were banned.

However, the story and fight for cleaner products and ocean conservation doesn’t end there. There are actually a host of other plastic-based ingredients commonly used in conventional beauty products that are less obvious than microbeads but still cause damage.

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New Weleda Deodorant and New Eco-Design Packaging

weleda roll on natural deodorant

I’m always looking for the next great-working natural deodorant so I was pleased to hear Weleda has expanded its 24h Roll-On Deodorant collection to include a new scent, Sea Buckthorn. This joins Citrus, Men’s and Pomegranate in the range to try.

What makes these deodorants special?

They are formulated without zirconium or aluminium salts that block underarm sweat ducts in an anti-perspirant product. Instead, these Weleda deodorants will allow skin and sweat ducts to function naturally and healthily, so yes, you will sweat, but keep reading…

Yikes, does that mean I will smell of bad body odour?

Hopefully not! While these natural deodorants won’t block pores and you’ll still sweat naturally, there are ingredients that’ll help stop body odour from developing: organic witch hazel distillate should act as a natural astringent, and organic liquorice root extract has antimicrobial properties to inhibit odour-causing bacteria.

What else is in there (or not in there) I need to know about?

Pure essential oils fragrance help preserve the product, meaning artificial preservatives and parabens can be avoided. Over 70% of the ingredients are NATRUE-certified organic, all ingredients are suitable for vegans and vegetarians, and dermatologically proven for skin tolerability.

Tell me about the new eco-packaging…

The packaging for all the deodorants in the range has been re-designed in recyclable bottles made from 70% recycled plastic. This is part of Weleda’s new eco-design programme.

Weleda says: ‘The new, fully recyclable HDPE bottles made from 70% post-consumer recyclate (PCR) has been carefully sourced from British food packaging such as milk bottles.’

Pretty cool, huh?

Read more about Weleda’s commitment to sustainability here

Read more about HDPE plastic bottles and recycling at wrap.org.uk.

Get more of my natural deodorant recommendations here and another here

Dr Hauschka Shower Cream now comes in packaging made from recycled plastic milk bottles

dr hauschka shower cream recycled packaging

This new Dr Hauschka Shower Cream comes in innovative sustainable packaging, made from PCR (post-consumer recycled) material, which includes plastic milk bottles. This apparently has saved over 65% of raw oil normally used to make conventional plastic tubes.

The shower cream has a gorgeously soft, creamy texture and an instantly uplifting lemon and lemongrass scent (developed by an in-house perfumer).  I’ve been told the shower cream can also double up as a facial cleanser as it has anti-microbial properties. A pea-sized amount is all you need.

Here’s a mini Q&A with Tara O’Rourke, Dr. Hauschka’s brand trainer and expert who explains more about the recycled packaging and Dr Hauschka’s approach to sustainability:

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Wrag Wraps: Try eco wrapping paper this Christmas… 

Worried about excess waste at Christmas? Trying to have a festive season that treads a little lighter on the planet? Fear not, I assure you it’s possible! Yes, Christmas is probably one of the most un-eco times of year but if going green with wrapping is on your radar then check out Wrag Wrap – reusable, fabric gift wrap. A innovative new way to wrap and give.

wragwrap eco wrapping paper 4

I discovered Wrag Wrap on Twitter  – a small company inventing a novel approach to wrapping. A lot of thought has gone into making Wrag Wraps as ethical and as sustainable as possible.

Did you know that the UK sends 5 million tons of paper waste to landfill every year? And it takes six mature trees to make one tonne of paper. That’s 50,000 trees for the 8,500 tonnes of paper used at Christmas.

The ‘paper’ is made from 45% plastic waste (from recycled plastic bottles) and 55% polyester (although they would like it to be 100% recycled materials in the future). The type of recycled polyester used has a 50% lower carbon footprint than organic cotton, and apparently keeps 900 million plastic bottles a year away from landfill. Read more here about why WragWrap choice recycled polyester over cotton or other sustainable fabrics.

wragwrap eco wrapping paper 3

Wrag Wrap founders know that people like the tradition of wrapping and unwrapping presents so they added crackle into one of the styles: A 30cm x 30cm square with vibrant, fabulous prints, a cord and button attached so you don’t have to use tape, plus a tag pouch so you can write a message – they’ve thought of everything!

If you’re wondering about the crackle (could it be some un-eco cellophane paper?), I can tell you even that’s been considered: made out of discarded music festival tents, collected before being scooped up and taken to landfill. Brilliant!

wragwrap eco wrapping paper 2

If you’re wondering how to make reusable wrapping work for you, WragWrap co-founder, Nick has this note of inspiration: “Some prefer to keep their Wrag Wraps in the family, starting a new tradition and passing them around from year to year.  Others like to send them out on a journey – give one to a special friend, who then gets to pass it on.”

I love the ingenuity of Wrag Wrap and hope they go from strength to strength!

Read more about the staggering problem of paper waste here and the shocking stats of plastic waste here.

Could you live a plastic-free life?

The plastic vortex greenpeace environment campaign

Plastics greenpeace campaign

It takes 450 years for plastic molecules to break down and most households throw away a shocking 40kg of recyclable plastic a year – so it’s an environmental nightmare, but can you live without it? Meet a Plasticarian – a person who does not use plastic in The Independent on Sunday is my environmental news pick of the week and while the people in the article sounded a bit extreme (searching for places to buy toilet paper not wrapped in plastic), I think we could all benefit from a less plastic-fantastic life.

In retrospect, and without consciously doing so, I think I’ve definitely reduced my use of plastic over the past few years. I’ve stopped buying bottles of water when out on the go (I have plenty of stainless steel ones instead); fruit and veg I buy loose from the supermarket or market and pass on the small plastic bag; weekly fresh bread comes in a paper bag; there’s very little processed food in my weekly shop (food like chick peas, lentils, beans etc are all in tins); chocolate comes in cardboard; I rarely drink juice and I make my own hummus now (I used to buy at least a couple of supermarket tubs a week) so I definitely save tons of plastic there. I think cooking most things from scratch cuts down on a lot of packaging by default.

But I still use a toothbrush and I work in the beauty industry (so have crates of beauty products in plastic containers) so I’m by no means plastic-free , but my life (and waste bin) are certainly a lot lighter than they used to be.

But plastic is in everything these days and it really kind of upsets me. Even simple things like breakfast porridge has been turned into a plastic extravaganza with fancy microwaveable pots, transparent lids, portable spoons, etc and all ending up in the bin taking hundreds of years to degrade.

What’s wrong with buying porridge in a simple bag or box and cutting out all that waste, pollution, manufacturing, etc. But packaging manufacturers seem adamant on making us consume more and more heavy plastics in more and more unnecessary ways.

I’m not proposing boycotting this modern day convenience like some people in the Inde’s article because I know that’s not realistic but it’s worth being more conscious of the plastic we consume and dispose of. Our oceans, wildlife, birds, animals, marine life, our fish farming and ourselves will be far better off if we reduce, re-use and recycle (and even refuse) where possible.

Check out these sites for more info on plastics and our world…

Newsnight report on plastics polluting our seas

Plastic Oceans

Greenpeace Trash Vortex campaign

Lucy Siegle debates plastic vs glass