Axiology lipstick tubes got a new year makeover. Now made with 100% post-consumer recycled plastic, our tubes use plastic that is already on the planet - turning an environmental threat, into a positive impact.
Plastics have created a huge ecological and environmental problem. They produce toxic pollutants that damage our land, water, and air, and can take hundreds or even thousands of years to break down. Now, imagine if there was a way to repurpose all that nasty plastic so that it wouldn’t end up in our landfills, harming the planet. That’s what post-consumer recycled plastic is!
"We finally created a lipstick tube made out of recycled stuff and it truly took years! We've been searching for a more sustainable tube since the company began. Thanks to our customers who truly care about the planet and have been emailing us daily asking for a better alternative to the standard lipstick tube, you guys really pushed us. We're super excited!" says Ericka Rodriguez, founder of Axiology.
An environmentally sustainable solution, post-consumer recycled (PCR) plastic reuses materials that would otherwise end up as waste in our landfills, oceans, and streets. To put that into perspective - of the 8.3 billion metric tons of plastic that have been produced, 6.3 billion metric tons have become waste. By 2050, an expected 12 billion metric tons of plastic will be in our landfills. (That’s 35,000 times as heavy as the Empire State Building.)
With so much plastic already produced and even more being made each and every day, that’s a huge abundance of resources we can leverage. By using what we already struggle to get rid of - we can significantly reduce our carbon footprint.
Unlike the process of producing plastic from virgin materials, repurposing plastic is extremely energy efficient and does not use fossil fuels as raw materials. In fact, recycled plastics contain over 25% less greenhouse and carbon gas emissions than their virgin counterparts.
Our old tubes were made from virgin aluminum, which is one of the easiest materials to recycle. 75 percent of all aluminum that has ever been produced is still in use to this day. And recycling aluminum uses 95 percent less electricity than virgin aluminum. Which is huge when compared to plastic! (Only 9 percent of all plastics ever made have been recycled.)
But in recent years, the demand for aluminum has been reshaping the chain of supply. More long-lasting products, like cars, are being made with aluminum - resulting in less recycling. And more disposables, like ketchup packets and coffee pods, are being mixed with plastic, making them significantly more expensive and difficult to recycle. We ran into this issue with our previous tubes. Not very many recycling centers are willing to take mixed recyclables (aluminum + plastic). And those that are tend to be extremely expensive. Like plastic, we’re starting to see a lot of recyclable aluminum end up in our dumps.
If aluminum products aren’t being recycled - it’s no longer a very sustainable or eco-friendly solution. Virgin production of aluminum is quite destructive. It involves an open-pit mining process that leads to deforestation and can result in toxic red mud lakes that can overflow into nearby water sources.
While we’re definitely proud of the recyclability potential of our aluminum tubes, our PCR tubes take us one step closer to our ultimate zero-waste goal. Because even though recycled aluminum -may solve one problem - less new plastic - it doesn’t address the environmental impact of all the existing plastic.
Our previous lipstick tubes also had quite a large defect rate. The tubes were often faulty due to the push-pull (click-in) mechanism. Because of this, we had a lot of defective tubes that ended up creating even more waste than necessary.
While plastic waste has always been a burden to the environment, it’s become an even bigger problem for the US since China stopped accepting low-grade plastics for recycling. For decades we relied on shipping the bulk of our recyclables to the country. Since their restrictions went into place, the price to get rid of recycling in America skyrocketed. The financial burden, unfortunately, led many to choose the alternative - throw it all away.
A shocking 91% of plastic isn’t recycled at all. So while our nation might be happy that over 97% of our packaging is recyclable, the hard truth is that much of it is ending up in the landfill, as waste. We realize this could often, unfortunately, be the case for our aluminum tubes. By using PCR plastics - we can be sure we’re not creating more waste.
Using post-consumer plastics makes sense! We’re passionate about our new post-consumer recycled packaging and are excited to continue on our journey to zero-waste. We know that we are not perfect, but our commitment to making steps toward environmental sustainability is fierce.