Packaging with a Purpose: Why we chose PCR Plastic over Glass

Sustainability is a big deal to us, and we’ve spent years refining our packaging experience with the planet (and you!) in mind. As of July 2022, we’ve reached our next big milestone. With the complete repackaging of our Beach Collection, all of our packaging will be made with 100% recycled materials. 

While the prestige skincare market demands a certain aesthetic and we often receive requests for glass packaging from our community– we are set on post consumer resin (PCR) plastic packaging for our full collection. 

Leading with our transparent supply chain, here are the considerations that went into making this brand-defining decision: 

Glass Manufacturing Process 

Many people don’t know this, but sand is actually the primary ingredient in glass. The sand is heated to extremely high temperature, melted into a liquid state, and then used in molds to make bottles. Although it may seem like we have a readily accessible and abundant supply of sand, it’s actually being used faster than it can be naturally replenished. In addition, high silica sand is required to make glass. Sand with a high silica content is typically found in active or extinct riverbeds and seabeds. Removing this sand can have far reaching consequences.

Displacement of sand negatively affects ecosystems in more ways than one. Sand removal can cause damage to surrounding habitats, disturb river flows, and alter the microbial ecology of an ecosystem. Plus, surrounding communities become increasingly prone to flooding and erosion. For these reasons, sand consumption is not the most sustainable or environmentally sound practice.

PCR glass is becoming increasingly popular and available, however, the energy requirements to produce and transport it still significantly outweigh that of PCR plastic. 

Plastic Takes Less Energy to Produce & Transport 

Producing glass is an extremely heat-intensive process and uses a large amount of energy. Glass requires energy that is equivalent to 3.0 grams of CO2 per 1.0 gram of glass. In comparison, plastic requires energy that is equivalent to 3.8 grams of CO2 per 1.0 gram of plastic. However, making the same piece of packaging requires 5x the material of glass versus plastic. 

For example, an 82.2 gram glass PCR jar has a total impact of 246.6 grams of CO2 equivalents. A lighter 13.0 gram PCR plastic jar has a total impact of 49.4 grams of CO2 equivalents. The PCR plastic jar has only 20% of the carbon impact that the PCR glass jar does. 

Similarly, this increased weight per unit of packaging results in increased CO2 emissions when shipping from manufacturer to warehouse and customer. 

Readily Available PCR Plastic Materials 

Recycling helps to conserve our natural resources. Because it requires significantly less energy, recycling plastic is more environmentally-friendly than recycling glass. PET (or Polyethylene terephthalate), typically produced from fossil fuels, is one of the most common plastics in the world—and it is one of the easiest plastics to recycle. 

In a circular economy, making new products from post consumer resin removes plastic from the environment by converting plastic discarded by the consumer back into resin so that it can then be used again. Plus, once you’re done with a PCR plastic jar, you can either reuse it or recycle it, further reducing your carbon footprint.

We’ve been on a mission to eliminate our use of virgin plastic (and glass) from the very beginning. After testing out a lot of possibilities, we were excited to land on a line of packaging made from 100% recycled plastic that was hardy enough to meet our standards for product quality. 

Less new plastic in the world, and the same high standard of quality—that’s what we call a win-win.

Our Beach Collection was designed for all your adventures.
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