It's actually not that long ago that refills were commonplace. In the past, nobody would have thought of throwing away an empty milk bottle or not using a jam jar several times to make their own preserves. And spending money on still water in plastic bottles when there are taps everywhere - an absurd idea that mankind came up with because plastic suddenly became available. Wait a minute... rewind please! Because in order not to damage our planet further, we need a comeback of refills and Co. - especially in the cosmetics industry!
TOO MUCH PLASTIC IN OUR BATHROOMS
The bad news first: According to the Federal Environment Agency, more than 220 kilograms of plastic waste end up in the bin every year. Every kilo one too many. It doesn't matter whether it's tubes, bottles or jars - every day, these packaging materials alone create huge amounts of waste in our bathrooms. Last year, the beauty industry alone produced more than 120 billion plastic packaging.
But the problem isn't just with the end product – waste – but also with the production of the packaging. For example, in order to produce one kilogram of plastic, you not only need the limited resource of oil, but also 10 liters of water and over 80 megajoules of energy (that is as much energy as cycling briskly for 25 hours). And energy consumption unfortunately also means the emission of emissions, namely around 3-5 kilograms of CO2 equivalents. Ergo: Per person 220 kg of plastic waste x 4 kg of CO2 equivalents = 880 kg of CO2 equivalents. This means that just for the production of the plastic, which we turn into plastic waste, almost one tonne of greenhouse gases ends up in the atmosphere per person every year.
THE GLASS IS ALWAYS GREENER?
Of course, if you want to avoid plastic, the first idea is to simply replace it. Paper and cardboard are not (yet) suitable, at least for liquids and creams, due to their nature. So just sell everything in glass containers? Nice idea, but with one condition: use it multiple times. Because glass is heavier during transport, so the CO2 emissions are relatively high. From an environmental point of view, this only pays off if you don't constantly throw away empty glass packaging and buy new ones, but simply refill them instead. So it all comes down to the same thing: Please don't throw away the empty packaging, but refill it! This applies equally to plastic and glass.
GIMME MORE, GIMME MORE!
Fortunately, we've all known for a long time that refills are a good thing. In some areas, the demand for packaging-free alternatives and refill options is therefore increasing enormously, and we naturally keep refilling everything from reusable bottles, thermos mugs, soap dispensers to pretty little things like salt shakers. With a classic soap dispenser (200ml), for example, a refill pack with 2 liters saves at least 40% of the plastic compared to the amount of plastic in individual bottles. For a larger refill pack with 5 liters it is even more than 60%. So: the bigger the refill pack, the better. More content - less packaging. Sounds pretty good, doesn't it?
And what soap can do, cream can do too. Why throw away the cream jar when it's empty? Facial care is now also available in refill sachets, which can save around 80% on plastic.