Reduce, Re-Use, Recycle
Minimising our impact on the environment is an intrinsic part of our ethics and hugely important to us. It extends right through from our support of organic agriculture, recycling and energy saving policies to the packaging we use. We have always strived to use locally made, recyclable and non-toxic packaging and as a small company we are able to react quickly to the introduction of innovative ‘earth-friendly’ materials which also meet our ‘reduce, re-use, recycle’ criteria and enable us to progress our goal quickly and effectively.
We don't take packaging decisions lightly. We're conscious of the impact of any packaging on the environment and take many things into account when choosing an Odylique product's jar or bottle.
These factors include how quickly a product is likely to be used up (e.g. shampoo vs a moisturiser), how far the packaging has to travel to us, its carbon footprint in onward transit, where the product is likely to be used (safety considerations), how best to protect the product, and ease of use.
We choose glass or plastic containers depending on the outcome of this.
But there is one overarching theme - every single bit of packaging must be entirely recyclable.
And wherever possible we use recycled material. For example, all our 200ml & 500ml bottles, 50g & 175g jars and deodorant roll-ons are made from a minimum 50% recycled plastic (can be up to 100% recycled material depending on the batch). More will follow soon. Our conditioner tubes are made from sugar-cane (bio) plastic.
When our products are finished, the pump dispensers can be fully cleaned in warm soapy water then rinsed, drained and allowed to dry and reused with the bottle around the home or can be recycled as general plastic waste in the bin designated by your local authority. (While a couple of our lotion have a small metal part, most authorities allow that to be included with the plastic).
Plastic vs Glass
How then does the cosmetic industry fare when it comes to plastics use, and why does Odylique still use plastic?
Some of you ask – very sensibly - why all our packaging can’t be glass.
Believe us, we’ve spent many hours agonising over packaging choices. And glass vs plastic isn’t such a binary choice as you’d think.
A major consideration is safety – we choose plastic over glass for shampoo and wash products because of the risk of glass shattering in showers and bathrooms.
Another consideration is transport weight – most good cosmetic glass containers come from outside the UK. That increases their carbon footprint, particularly for frequent use products. Our shampoo bottles and plastic jars are made just a few miles from our eco-factory in Suffolk, so travel very little to reach us. They’re also made from min. 50% recycled material.
Recyclability is very key – all of our packaging is recyclable, and recycling is crucial to cut the aforementioned pollution. There’s also the energy consideration – glass takes a lot more energy to recycle than plastic.
So all in all we use glass where it makes sense, but there’s careful cost/benefit thinking behind it.
Unfortunately we do not currently offer product refills. The most hygienic system for refills, and the one that generates the least emissions in packaging transport, is plastic pouches. We hope to offer this system in future, having sourced a suitable sustainable plastic pouch material and the equipment with which to seal pouches. In 2024, we intend to create bulk sizes of some products such as shampoo and conditioner, which will offer an improved plastic surface area to product volume ratio.
The white nuggets (called 'Flo') you'll find our products nestled in when your package arrives are biodegradable and even dissolve in water!
Reducing Our Carbon Footprint
To reduce the carbon footprint from transport of our raw materials, we source our packaging in Europe (currently 98% of our packaging is European-made and we're striving for 100%.
Almost half of our bottles and jars are made in the UK. Our product boxes are UK-made by certified carbon neutral printers. Our gift boxes are UK made from recycled card and not printed, so you can use them again and again.
We are proud to use wholly clean energy. Our factory in Suffolk has been powered by the solar panels on our roof, plus a top up when needed from renewable providers Ecotricity and Urban Chain since 2017.
In late 2022 we began monitoring our Scope 1, 2 and 3 emissions as a pilot company for the beta platform of NetXero. In the 12 months to November 2023 our carbon emissions were:
Scope 1: 0 tonnes
Scope 2: 0 tonnes
Scope 3: 172 tonnes
While we are constantly looking at ways we can tread more lightly on the planet, in 2024 we will be working with Ecologi to offset our Scope 3 emissions.