Our hygiene and beauty routines are, for the most part, synonymous with plastic packaging. From shampoos, soaps, scrubs, oral care products, to deodorants, and much more - it all comes packaged in plastic. Deodorant, an important part of our daily routines, is not something many of us would like to give up or would like others to give up, but the waste from its packaging continues to have a growing ecological impact. So it’s time we take a deeper look at this plastic staple of our morning, its history, production, and new plastic-free alternatives that are available.
History of Deodorant
Deodorant has quite an interesting history and was not always a common part of individuals daily bathing routine. The first deodorant, a product called Mum, was trademarked in 1888, with the first antiperspirants following about fifteen years later. Back then, the solutions to body odor were either ignore it, bath more, or douse yourself in perfume - sometimes all three. However, with a bit of time as well as some targeted marketing, the concept of deodorant began to catch on, and consumers became more interested in the product. What started off humbly quickly grew into an $18-billion industry today. As time went on and consumer demand grew for the product, the packaging began to evolve closer and closer toward the plastic-packaged deodorant that we commonly see on our local store’s shelves today.
Can Deodorant Containers Be Recycled
One of the unique characteristics of deodorant packaging that makes it stand out from other personal care products is that there are multiple components involved in the packaging, all of which are made of different types of plastics. A stick of deodorant should be thought of as more than a container, but also as an adjustable tool allowing the consumer to apply the correct amount of product. The packaging complexity generally requires the use of multiple different types of plastics like polyethylene and polypropylene to construct the complex moving parts. While plastics, such as polyethylene and polypropylene, are, in most areas, recyclable products that use multiple types of plastic fall into the mixed-material category and therefore can not be recycled in one piece. This complexity and need to deconstruct the product reduces the likelihood that it is recycled at all. The amount of plastic waste that is produced by empty deodorant containers coupled with the rising demand for plastic-free alternatives has led a number of organizations to begin to develop a new future for deodorant.
Deodorant, an important part of our daily routines, is not something many of us would like to give up or would like others to give up, but the waste from its packaging continues to have a growing ecological impact.
The process of reimagining deodorant and supporting sustainable living is by no means a small task. However, as demand for eco-friendly products continues to increase existing deodorants as well as new brands are taking up this challenge. And, as a plus many new aluminum-free natural deodorants are becoming available too.
There are currently two main approaches to reducing the plastic waste from deodorants. The first is to create reusable containers and supply refills. The second eliminates plastic waste completely by using a biodegradable materials, such asFSC® certified paper or post-consumerrecycled paper to create deodorant tubes. Both approaches have their benefits and challenges, but importantly they are developing new solutions to help reduce waste.
How Can We Make A Difference
Switch to a plastic-free deodorant is an easy way to further reduce our ecological and carbon footprint over the course of our lives. By making the change you will not only be preventing more plastic waste from accumulating in landfills, but will also help further support the production of eco-friendly products.
While zero-waste deodorants can not yet be found on shelves at every drugstore, at Lochtree we’ve done the hard work for you and supply Zero-Waste Natural Deodorant by PAPR. As a zero-waste store, Lochtree makes it easy for you to purchase great eco-friendly products, like zero-waste deodorant, and have them delivered directly to your home with carbon neutral shipping.
Written by Henry Palmer