When it comes to protecting our ocean, we know how important it is to reduce our plastic consumption and consumer waste.
Every June 8th, World Ocean Day brings us an opportunity to consider how our choices, as consumers and creators, impact marine environments. A few years ago, World Oceans Day dropped the “s” in “oceans” to remind us that we are all contributing to one, united World Ocean. That sentiment really resonates with us.
As Aleph founder Emma Peters believes, we are all connected through nature. It’s impossible to feel and be healthy if you’re eating unhealthy food, putting plastic-filled products on your face, or swimming at a polluted beach. If we choose to be kinder to our environment, it will be kinder to us.
Too much plastic
Globally, the beauty industry creates more than 146 million tonnes of plastic every year from packaging – and less than 9% of that plastic gets recycled or repurposed. Many plastics can’t be recycled, and others are so small you don’t even realise they exist.
Microplastics are classed as particles under 5 millimetres in diameter. In the beauty world, microplastics are littered everywhere – in mascara, facial washes, and foundation. They’re found not just in the packaging and microbeads, but within the products that go on your face. Microplastics are often hidden in the ingredients list and too small to see with the naked eye. Water filtering systems aren’t designed to sift out these tiny particles, so nearly all of the microplastics used in makeup end up going down the drain and into the ocean, harming birds and marine life.
While microbeads have been banned in New Zealand, many leading makeup brands still use microplastics in their products. Just a single shower using everyday beauty products can put over 100,000 plastic particles into the ocean.
With plastic, it’s not just a problem with single-use products accumulating waste. It’s also about how these items are produced. 99% of plastics worldwide are created using fossil fuels.
What can we do about it?
Plastic products simply can’t be a part of our future if we want to protect our planet. Our stance at Aleph is to create quality makeup that is also people, planet and animal friendly. Eliminating plastic waste is one of our core missions – which is why we consciously stand against using microplastics in our formulas and we choose eco-friendly and plastic free packaging wherever possible.
Luxury doesn’t have to be harmful. In fact, we often find that seeking out eco alternatives inspires us to become better in every respect. Designing our glass jars and aluminium lids began as a way to avoid plastic packaging, but the result has also been a high quality container that feels so much better to use. A beauty experience is more enjoyable when it doesn’t rely on needless waste – from the moment you pick up ethically-made packaging to being able to use your foundation to the very last drop.
Sustainable change isn’t about sacrificing comfort. It is also an opportunity to uncover beautiful new ideas.
We saw this displayed earlier this year at the Whale Tail Art Trail in Auckland, where we supported artists to develop sculptures and raise awareness for WWF. Beauty inspired by sustainability – that’s what conscious design is all about for us.
Creating lasting quality in place of plastic and microplastic-free products is just the beginning. We also need consumers and other beauty brands to make better choices for our planet and our wellbeing.
Celebrate World Ocean Day this year by shifting one everyday choice that will be kinder to our ocean and your health.
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