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We all need to reduce our plastic consumption. That’s a no brainer and we’ve all heard the message. Unfortunately, the stars haven’t all properly aligned just yet.
If you’re an avid oil enthusiast you’ll have noticed by now a pattern across most oil brands that looks a lot like an amber or dark blue glass bottle. There is a very logical reason for this and it’s not because we think they’re pretty. The darkness of the amber glass helps to protect the oil inside from bright sunlight which can deteriorate the volatile constituents that occur in natural essential oils.
Glass is used as it’s a thick-walled safe environment for the oil to live in, locked up tightly from the huge expanse of oxygen that floats around us every day. Oxygen, just like sunlight, deteriorates the essential oil over time. So, science has given us a solution for storing oil in small volumes. But what about larger volumes?
If you’ve purchased 500ml and up from us you’ll note that essential oils come in Aluminium canisters, specially designed and lined to store these volatile natural beauties and keep them in the best condition possible. Aluminium cannisters are also lightweight for transportation, sturdy, and… you guessed it, recyclable.
Unfortunately the same cannot be said for carrier oils. Carrier oils are pressed oils from nuts and seeds and have a totally different make-up to essential oils. There are no volatile constituents, just a range of fatty acids.
We transport our small bottles (100ml sizes) in glass, no problem. However, larger sizes like 500ml and 1L, which are more often the sizes that are purchased, should not be stored in Aluminium. The reason for this is that aluminium reacts with quite a few of the fatty acids and oxidises the oil.
Further, choosing to store and transport carrier oils in glass comes with a high cost in the glassware and massive risk of damage in transportation. No one likes a soggy delivery.
So where does that leave us? Not with a lot of options. Due to the nature of our products, quality-keeping is critical in selecting packaging. Most companies use high-grade plastic to transport large quantities of carrier oil and even some essential oil. This particular HDPE or BPE plastic is thick and sturdy enough to prevent light and air from manipulating the product inside and still light enough to ensure that transporting it with couriers or in the post doesn’t lead to breakages, spills and postal bills that cost more than the product itself.
So what do we want? We want all parties to come together to revolutionise the storage and safe transport of essential oils and natural plant ingredients. This means the postie, the packaging manufacturer, the essential oil chemist/alchemist, the innovator and the government.
We want a solution that is sustainable, made from sustainable ingredients, keeps our products safe, is lightweight, sturdy and reliable. So we’re putting it out there, if you know anyone who could help… send them our way.
Clearly, nothing magical is going to occur overnight so we need an interim solution. Luckily for us, we live in the age of thinking outside the square and in a time where young minds are striving to make better choices through innovation.
Plastic can and should be, reused, reimagined, reconditioned, recycled and this is what we’re on board with.
You send back your used plastic that you no longer have a home for (refer to our helpful guide for useful second lives for plastic bottles and packaging), and we’ll clean it, get it reconditioned and made into recycled plastic containers that we can buy back and use again. Anything that can’t be made into these recycled plastic containers gets sent to companies who break the plastic down and turn it into awesome real-world stuff like playground equipment, public benches/seats, street art and more.
Check out our favourite companies who are leading the way in this space:
First, read our full returns policy here.
1) Fill a medium to large box (roughly 30x30x40 or the size of an archive box) with your semi-cleaned used packaging.
2) Tape it up to seal it.
3) Click on the link below or the PACKAGING RETURNS link from inside the My Account page once logged in
4) Pop in your details and print out your label
5) Take your box to a post office or Australia Post drop-off centre - that's it!
That’s it, we’ll take care of the rest.
There is much to do in this space and making this program a part of our One Good Thing fund allows us to put some money into the cause and get some research going. This not just helps us but the world, find a solution to plastic packaging for plant-derived ingredients.