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Plastic V Glass

February 03, 2018

Plastic V Glass

The reasoning behind why we choose plastic over glass…

The container/packaging conundrum has been going on for years. For solvent based products such as tinctures (with alcohol) we have to use glass bottles. For the rest it is either food grade HDPE (high density polyethylene), PP (polypropylene) or PS (polystyrene). Some of this is out of our control, for instance some of the double wall cosmetic jars are all PP and #5 to recycle, some are a #7 because the inner is PS and outer is PP. But typically a #7 doesn't necessarily mean the "evil" category, most of the time it refers to an object made from more than one type of plastic. You can stomp on a jar and it will separate into inner/outer. BPA's haven't been used in North American plastics resins for decades; this is a common misnomer by consumers that all plastics contain BPA.
Some of the reasons why we aren't using glass jars vs food-safe plastic are:
• 3-4X the weight = higher shipping costs (more fuel to transport - to us and then to the customer)
• 3-4X purchase cost = higher product price
• Uses 2X energy to manufacture and 7X more greenhouse gases
• breakage during transport which requires more packaging protection (ie. bubble wrap, cardboard dividers, etc)
• metal containers have similar higher energy issues, and in general unless it's a high quality of stainless steel metals (corrosion resistant) it can leach into the product. Of course breakage is less than glass. But for what we do, glass is not really practical. Typically glass is crushed after one use.
For more on glass vs plastic click here: http://www.hardydiagnostics.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/05/Glass-vs-Plastic.pdf

We are making some changes - 6 of our most popular neem products (cream, shampoo, conditioner, toothpastes) will go into cosmetic soft tubes at the end of February. As we streamline our process, some of our other products will also eventually go into soft tube packaging.

Main considerations are:

• much less handling with date/lot code in the seal
• no labels to apply
• no shrink seal to apply - built in safety seal
• no dust cover or lid
• more hygienic to apply creams - no fingers in a jar
• soft tube <½ the weight of equivalent 120ml double wall cosmetic jar
• recycled under #5 for the cap and #4 for the tube
• they look beautiful!
• durable to ship
• 100ml tube allowed for air travel

Unfortunately for GMP (good manufacturing practices) we cannot reuse previously used containers as there is no way for us to sterilize them. As you know, we are using non-toxic preservatives in our products so starting with sterile packaging is very important.

We do have a recycling program at our facility, so if you are unable to recycle #4 and #5 plastic you can certainly send us your empty containers.

So we hope that answers a few of your questions.

{photo credit James Cousins}


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