As I gather my recycling bags and prepare to load them into my car for another drop-off at the local recycling center, I do a rewind in my head to think more closely about packaging. Sure, I'm diligent about sorting my waste from things that can be recycled, but what if I leveled up and started choosing products sold in packaging that comes from sustainable sources, not just recyclable ones?
Thinking about Your Plastic-Wrapped Purchases
Are the products you're buying packaged sustainably? For example, by choosing plastic-free deodorant packed in a rigid paper-based cardboard tube that's sourced from trees, you're relying on less plastic in your life.
Although plastic deodorant containers may be recyclable, the initial sourcing of plastics comes from our limited stores of fossil fuels, which emit greenhouse gases when processed into plastics, according to a report from the Center for International Environmental Law (CEIL). Greenhouse gas emissions from plastic production could reach 52 gigatons by 2050! Think about the life cycle of a product. Gasses are emitted from plastic during initial fossil fuel extraction, export, refinement, and the manufacturing process. Later, plastics turn to waste in our waterways and on land if not recycled and put back into the processing cycle.
4 Reasons to Switch to Plastic-Free Deodorant Packaging
As you shop, look for products that fit your personal values and household budget. Little by little, we can close this loop of dependence on plastics. As I shop for future personal care products, including natural deodorant, I'm going to be mindful of what type of material the packaging consists of and opt for less plastic when I can. Here's how going plastic-free can help:
- It reduces demand for plastic. The most effective way to reduce our use of plastics is to leave fossil fuels in the ground. Choose paper-based packaging instead when possible. Over time, your purchasing choices can help to reduce commercial demand for plastic products.
- It keeps plastic out of landfills. Plastic doesn't naturally break down when placed in a landfill. It simply accumulates overtime. At the end of 2015, two-thirds of the 8,300 million megatons of virgin plastic produced was released into the environment, per the CEIL.
- It reduces greenhouse gas emissions and in turn mitigates the effects of global warming. The most prevalent greenhouse gasses emitted by plastics are carbon dioxide, methane, and nitrous oxide. These gasses fuel global warming, which in turn affects our ecosystems, including how sea creatures live and weather patterns, like the frequency of hurricanes.
- It is a simple swap that makes a big impact. Switching to a natural deodorant with plastic-free packaging will make you realize you can make an impact, one product at a time, without giving up the eco-friendly deodorant formula you enjoy using. It's another step in the right direction when adopting a natural lifestyle.
If you choose to try plastic-free deodorant packaging, be mindful of your last plastic tube and how you dispose of it. You can keep it out of the landfill by recycling through a TerraCycle program.
Are you curious to learn more simple ways you can choose green and reduce your impact on the environment? Browse the Naturally Good Products board from @tomsofmaine on Pinterest!
The views and opinions expressed in any guest post featured on our site are those of the guest author and do not necessarily reflect the opinions and views of Tom's of Maine.
Why It's Good
As you shop for beauty and personal care products, you have choices. By purchasing a tube of deodorant, lipstick, or bar of soap packaged without plastics, you're helping to reduce the amount of greenhouse gas emissions that float into our air each day and limit the accumulation of non-biodegradable waste in our landfills. Selecting sustainably packaged products is a simple choice with a big impact.