BBE partnered with rePurpose Global to be plastic neutral. This means that for every 1 lb of plastic our company generates in packaging and distribution, we remove 1 lb of plastic waste from the natural environment. (Or our "plastic footprint") Read on as we break down our new responsibility to tackle plastic waste.
What Does "Plastic Neutral" Mean?
As BBE partners with rePurpose Global, the world's leading plastic action platform, to go plastic neutral we are funding the removal of the same amount of plastic pollution from nature that we generate in packaging and distribution.
Plastic is an incredibly durable and light-weight material that guarantees product quality and improves shelf life. It also reduces carbon footprint in transportation compared to glass or metal. However, we recognize that we as a world have utterly mismanaged the plastic we do use. That’s why we decided to take action.
All About rePurpose Global
rePurpose Global, the World's First Plastic Credit Platform, is dedicated to making environmental action accessible for companies worldwide. Their one-stop solution empowers anybody—but especially businesses— to go Plastic Neutral by financing plastic pollution management and mitigation projects worldwide.
Since inception, rePurpose Global has created environmental impact for people across 26 countries and 100+ purposeful brands, ranging from up-and-coming SMEs to global Fortune 500s. In doing so, the coalition is positively impacting the lives of 9,500+ marginalized waste workers and community members worldwide.
Beauty By Earth's Project
BBE with rePurpose Global is plastic neutral through our support of Project Neela Sapana in Chennai, India. They employ marginalized waste pickers/workers to ethically reclaim kilograms of low-value plastic waste.
Project Neela Sapana (नीले सपना)
In Hindi, नीले सपना means Blue Dream. Over the past few decades, plastic pollution has devastated the coastlines of Chennai. The once Blue Dream is now more-so a plastic ocean.
Challenge: Environmental and Social Impact of Plastic Waste/Plastic Pollution
In urban cities of India, multi-layered plastic (MLP) makes up more than 50% of plastic pollution. There is no collection of MLP because the material has no commercial value and lacks collection infrastructure. This includes soft, flexible types of packaging such as candy wrappers and chips packets.
Often, in urban centers, harder types of plastic like PET that are easier to recycle. They have a recovery rate of over 60-70% because of its economic value. However, low-value materials like MLP have a recovery rate of less than 5%. They are also most likely to leak into the natural environment and pollute our waterways..
Solution: Project Overview
Project Neela Sapana (नीले सपना), in its first-of-its-kind project, entails the recovery and processing of low-value, single-use plastic waste. (Like multi-laminate plastic (MLP).) MLP is typically either dumped into nature or burned and leads to the pollution and contamination of our environment.
Instead, rePurpose Global is partnering with local waste management pioneer Waste Ventures India, to create a new model of waste collection. This project leads to the ethical collection and permanent disposal of hazardous MLP waste.
Following the collection of MLP, waste workers separate, clean, and transport the plastic to cement kilns for co-processing. Energy is recovered from the plastic and the remaining waste is effectively disposed of without putting anything into the air. Waste workers are also able to take minerals in the waste and use them in the creation of cement. This disposes of unrecyclable plastic waste without sending them to landfills or river dumpsites. It also reduces the use of coal in creating cement, thereby reducing greenhouse gas emissions.
100% Additionality Promise
Every piece of plastic that rePurpose Global gives BBE credit for would not have been removed from our planet otherwise. Plastic credits empower businesses to finance desperately needed systems and finally turn the tide on waste. So, rePurpose Global engages and speeds up the adoption of the circular economy through plastic credit financing.
On the Circular Economy— As stated by the Ellen MacArthur Foundation, "In our current economy, we take materials from the Earth, make products from them, and eventually throw them away as waste – the process is linear. In a circular economy, by contrast, we stop waste being produced in the first place."
100% of the plastic recovered on BBE's behalf is "Ocean-Bound". So, as BBE partners with rePurpose Global to be plastic neutral, the project focuses on the collection of plastic waste in a 100km radius from the coastline. (As defined in the Verra Plastic Standards.)
For the future sustainability of our planet, we need to face the plastic problem—especially as businesses contribute to it.
But, as consumers, here are some suggestions for reducing your own plastic footprint:
- Know how much plastic you waste? Take rePurpose Global’s 3-Minute Plastic Footprint Calculator and break down your annual plastic footprint. Once you know your pain points and how much plastic you're consuming, it’s much easier to solve the problem.
- The best way to cut down on plastic is to avoid using single-use, disposable items - choose durable, reusable ones instead. This might be a tough habit to kick. Join the global coalition of people going Plastic Neutral to get started.
- Properly dispose of your recyclable products! We have a great guide for recycling Beauty By Earth's products here. Be sure to check out recycling ordinances in your area as well. (Pst. you can also upcycle your empties! The glass bottles we use for our Glow Oil, for instance, are great for propagating.)
BBE is proud to be among other people and companies dedicated to reducing waste, reviving lives, and restoring nature's balance. For our customers, for our communities, and for the future of the planet, let's face our plastic footprints.
How are you improving your plastic footprint? Want to know more about sustainability, plastic neutrality, the environment, etc? Let us know in the comments!
Clean beauty, clean environment.