You might be wondering, what’s Plastic Neutral all about?
With the holidays upon us we wanted to thank all of you for supporting ANTIDOTE’s plastic neutral certification. ANTIDOTE is proud to be among the first hair care companies to become certified plastic neutral - just one part of our Planet Positive mission.
We wanted to give you an update on how our plastic neutral efforts are going.
If you’ve been following us, you know that are mission is to make professional grade hair care products that are better for people and the planet. Your health and safety are most important to us. So while we hate using plastic, it’s currently the only material that exists that protects the natural ingredients in the formula and is safe to use in a shower setting. It means that we look to use as little plastic as possible – you’ll see that in our low-plastic caps and small, no labels, and no outer packs. We only use the most recyclable plastics and offer refills to encourage re-use.
Being certified plastic neutral means that we promise to remove the same amount of plastic used in every bottle of ANTIDOTE from the environment. That means the bottle and cap and any plastic that might be involved in the manufacturing process. For example, our ginseng root arrives in a plastic bag. So we calculate that and remove that amount of plastic, too.
What is the impact of being plastic neutral?
Removal of devastating low value plastic from the oceans. More than 50% of the plastic waste generated in urban cities is multi-layered plastic that does not get collected because the material has no commercial value and lacks collection infrastructure. This includes soft, flexible types of packaging such as candy wrappers and chip packets. The most at risk are those that have multiple layers of plastic along with a metal coating inside since it is almost impossible to separate the materials out in order to recycle them.
In some urban centers, harder types of plastic like PET and HDPE that are easier to recycle, have a recovery rate of up to 60-70% because of their inherent economic value. However, low-value materials have a recovery rate of less than 5%, and are most likely to leak into the natural environment and pollute our waterways.
Too much low value plastic is ending up in our oceans. That’s why our project focusses on stopping ocean-bound plastic waste from leaking into the Bay of Bengal along the eastern shore of India.
Another impact is jobs. ANTIDOTE’s plastic neutral work supports 18 waste workers. These are folks that create a collection point for low value plastic, sort, pack, and bale low value plastic into blocks. The project also provides benefits to the waste workers and a comprehensive health check-up camp. This included COVID support as needed.
Fuel to make Cement. Not only does this initiative dispose of unrecyclable plastic waste without sending them to landfills or river dumpsites, but it also reduces the usage of coal in the cement manufacturing process, thereby reducing greenhouse gas emissions.
How does that work?
Following the collection of low value plastic, waste workers segregate, clean, and transport the plastic to cement kilns for co-processing. As this type of plastic cannot be recycled, the best environmental option as prescribed by the United Nations Basel Convention is co-processing. That means that energy is recovered from the plastic and the remaining waste is effectively disposed of without harmful emissions. We are also able to extract some of the minerals in the plastic waste and use them in the creation of cement.
What does certification mean?
It means that our work is independently verified and that the work to offset our plastic footprint is managed professionally, at the highest standards in the industry. We chose to work with Repurpose Global, the most recognized plastic neutral certification provider. They are already working with established brands across the food, beverage, and personal care industries, so have the experience that we needed. They also commit to a “100% Additionality Promise.”
For every piece of plastic that rePurpose Global gives us credit for, it is a piece of plastic that would otherwise not have been removed from our ecosystems.
It also means that 100% of the plastic recovered on our behalf is "Ocean-Bound". What this means is that this project focuses on the collection of plastic waste in an over 60 mile radius from the coastline (as defined in the Verra Plastic Standards) that would otherwise have not been collected and would most likely end up in oceans. Essentially, it is an intervention to divert this plastic safely away from the oceans before it ever has a chance to leak into them.
How can you help?
While we are offsetting our plastic use by focusing on zero value plastic headed to our oceans, you can do your part by reducing, reusing, and recycling your own plastic use.
Reduce and reuse by taking advantage of ANTIDOTE refills. These not only mean less plastic, they also give you a roughly 25% discount per ounce.
For the plastics that you do use, look for ones like PET and HDPE that are easier to recycle. In the US, only 30% of these plastics are currently recycled. We get that your shower might be far away from your recycling bin or worse, you may not have a separate plastic collection stream in your community yet. The extra effort is worth it!
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