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Health & Beauty, Life & Style

Why More & More Brands Are Switching To Glass Packaging | AD

This post on glass packaging is paid-for content in association with Friends Of Glass.

Back in 2017, David Attenborough’s Blue Planet 2 shocked us all into taking action on plastic pollution. After heartbreakingly watching turtles tangled in plastic netting, and albatross parents feeding plastic to their chicks, collectively we decided enough was enough.

The resulting global campaign to reduce plastic waste became one of the fastest-growing environmental causes ever mounted. We saw zero-waste shops popping up all over the place and campaigns against pointless single-use plastic.

Yet despite this, it hasn’t been quite enough to make a dent in the growing volume of discarded plastic that ends up in our seas and waterways. The amount of plastic that has ended up in our seas has grown and is to set to grow.

Plastic waste in the sea.

One of the biggest reasons for this increase is that whilst the public is on board with reducing plastic, progress has been severely hindered by a lack of commitment from global leaders. It wasn’t until March of this year that leaders from 175 countries agreed to a legally binding global treaty to end the plastic pollution crisis by tackling the material’s entire supply chain. Work now begins on how to implement the treaty by 2024.

What’s Causing The Plastic Problem?

A big part of the problem is that brands keep producing more and more plastic. It’s cheap to produce plastic, and it’s even cheaper to make products from virgin plastic rather than recycled plastic. Many brands claim that it’s ok because plastic is recyclable.

However, it has never been clearer that we can’t simply just recycle our way out of the plastic waste problem. According to the OECD (the Organisation for Economic Co-operation & Development), globally, fewer than 10% of plastics are recycled.  Of the plastic that isn’t recycled, 76% ends up in landfills and then the rest is incinerated. This causes toxic emissions as well as releases carbon dioxide (CO2) – a greenhouse gas that contributes to climate change – into the atmosphere.

The Brands Switching To Glass Packaging

A person holding a glass jar of moisturiser with a blue text box that reads why more and more brands are switching to glass packaging. It's also marked as an AD.

The good news is that a growing number of forward-thinking and environmentally conscious brands are switching away from plastic packaging to bring about positive environmental change. Instead, they are choosing 100% and endlessly recyclable glass jars, which are encouraged by Friends of Glass, an advocacy group that promotes the environmental, health and safety benefits of glass packaging.

Switching to glass packaging from plastic is one way that brands are helping to foster change. It’s also an effective way for brands to easily communicate their eco-friendly and health-conscious credentials.

And as well as switching to glass, some brands are also offering refill options so that customers can refill their glass jars to reduce waste and encourage packaging reuse.

These include:

Elemis

Luxury beauty brand Elemis has recently introduced its own refill scheme. Customers can return their empty packaging to a participating retailer, either in-store or by post. The packaging is then cleaned and sent back to the retailer, either pre-refilled or ready for an in-store refill.

The packaging is made using steel, glass and/or washable plastics, and has a “smart tracking “system so it can be scanned across the value chain.

Beauty Kitchen

The Scottish beauty brand, Beauty Kitchen, packages all of its skincare products in recycled glass jars. When you are done, simply return the jars to Beauty Kitchen via post or any Holland & Barrett store, and Beauty Kitchen will wash and reuse them.

Chanel

Chanel has recently launched its ‘Revitalising Cream’ – the firm’s first refillable beauty product. Packaged in a glass pot, the cream sits in a bio-plastic based inner pot. This inner pot can be switched out with a refill that costs £13 less than the initial product. Refills will be sold online and in stores.

Brushd

Brushd, the eco dental company, make a range of plastic-free dental hygiene products. This includes toothpaste tablets and mouthwash tablets that come in glass jars.

When your toothpaste or mouthwash jar is empty, there’s no need to put it in the glass recycling. Instead, you can buy refill tablets that come in a cardboard container. Simply empty that into your glass jar, to help protect the tablets from moisture in your bathroom, and you’re good for another month.

What’s So Great About Glass Packaging?

dried fruit in glass jars

Glass is a much more sustainable choice than plastic for a whole host of reasons.

According to Friends of Glass:

  1. Glass has an endless life.  It is 100% recyclable and can be recycled infinitely without loss of quality. It can take just 30 days for your bottle or jar to return as a new bottle or jar to the store shelf.
  2. Even if glass does end up in the sea, it will ultimately turn back into harmless sand.
  3. Glass is non-toxic. Unlike plastic bottles, it does not contain harmful chemicals that may migrate into food and drink or your health and beauty products.
  4. Modern glass bottles and jars are typically up to 40% lighter yet stronger thanks to new manufacturing processes.
  5. Recycling glass saves energy and reduces CO2. We can reduce harmful emissions and save on raw materials by using recycled glass to make new bottles and jars. In fact, for every tonne of glass that is recycled, this saves 580kg of CO2 emissions. Meanwhile, recycling a single glass bottle can save 36.9 W/H of electricity. This is enough to charge your phone over six times.

Due to the many benefits of glass, 2022 has also been designated as the UN International Year of Glass. This year-long global celebration pays homage to the essential role that glass plays in society.

What Can You Do To Help Support This Movement?

To help support the switch to glass, if you can, choose glass packaging where it is available to show brands there is a demand for products housed in glass.

If there are no glass options available, you can ask your favourite brands to switch to glass. After all, glass reduces waste, protects the environment and safeguards your health.

The Friends of Glass community believes that many families and retailers are unaware of these benefits of glass, and so want to spread the word.  Follow Friends of Glass to find out more about glass. You can also help by joining the ever-growing number of glass advocates on Facebook, Twitter and YouTube to help add your voice and to join the conversation.

Energy Saving, Home and Garden

Here’s How The Loop App Can Save You Money and Carbon | AD

This is paid-for content in association with Loop.

With energy prices sky high and set to rise by a further 40% in the autumn, it’s never made more financial sense to save energy where we can.  And with climate scientists telling us that it’s imperative to act now to limit planetary warming, it’s never made more environmental sense to reduce our household emissions.

Right now it’s impossible to switch providers to get a better energy deal.  All suppliers are charging the capped price. Meanwhile, the few deals on offer to fix the price are more expensive, not less.  This means the only way to reduce costs and energy usage is to save energy where we can.  But just how do we go about saving energy? Step forward Loop.  

What Is Loop?

Person using a smartphone with a blue text box that says here's how the Loop App can save you money and carbon.  It's also marked as an advert.

Loop is a clever free app, from Trust Power, that’s available on both iOS and Android. This app helps people to reduce their home’s energy consumption and impact on the environment, while also saving money. 

What’s so clever about the Loop app is that it integrates with your smart meter.  A smart meter is an energy monitor – it doesn’t help you save money on its own.  However, when you pair it with Loop its power is magnified.  

Pairing it allows Loop to analyse your energy use. From there, the Lopp app then shows you easy and personalised ways to use less energy in your home.  In fact, Loop says that on average, app users can cut their energy use by 10%.  That’s a healthy saving just by downloading the app, and the best part is that it’s completely free to sign up!

Loop app gas dashboard.

It takes 5 minutes to set up an account. Loop uses your bank card to prove your identity and confirm your address, but that’s all it’s used for. Loop doesn’t take any payment and can’t take any payment in future.

Once you’ve done that, you’re good to start saving energy.

Loop’s Handy Carbon Calculator

Should you be in a position to do more, Loop’s handy Carbon Calculator is another key feature of the app.

This calculator takes you on a net-zero journey – using your current home energy use and transport choices to calculate your starting point.  To start with, it asks some basic questions about your home.  These include the number of bedrooms you have, how you currently heat your home and the type of car you have.  

The calculator then shows you the impact – in carbon emissions – that various energy-efficiency and renewable options would make to your home, to get it to net-zero.  This includes measures such as insulating your home, going solar, going electric for your heating, and switching to an electric vehicle.  

How The Loop App Can Help You Go Solar

Solar power is now making more financial sense for people. After April’s price cap rise, Loop says the payback time on a typical solar install has reduced by 30%.  If you are considering solar panels, but are not sure if it’s the best option for your home, then the Loop app also has a useful solar simulator and solar playground to help you out.

In the solar simulator, you can test how solar panels and a home battery would work for you before you invest.  Using your energy data from your smart meter, alongside details about your house and weather information, Loop can cleverly show you the actual difference solar power could make to your monthly bills and your reliance on grid energy.  

Once you’ve tried out the solar simulator, and understood the daily, weekly and monthly view of what solar could do for you, you can progress to Loop’s solar playground.  Here you can see just how self-sufficient your home could be with different sized solar arrays and home battery combinations.

Example of Loop's solar playground.

My Experiences With The Loop App

I gave the Loop app a try.  It was super simple to set up. After I put in our address details it automatically knew our smart meter code, and immediately started pulling in our energy usage data.

It took about 24 hours to pull together all of our data. From there, I really appreciated the ability to track our energy usage to see where savings could be made easily.  The handy dashboard tells you if your energy usage is up or down, compared to both your average day and week, so you can take action accordingly.

The dashboard also handily lets you know what your current phantom load is. This is the energy used in the background, such as when devices are left on standby, or consciously kept running, such as your fridge freezer or router. As well as letting you know what this phantom load is costing you each year, Loop offers you handy hints and tips to reduce this figure.

I was also able to see our last five months of energy use in one place. I found this helpful to identify patterns in our household energy use.  Because of Loop, I’m now conscious that Sundays are high energy use days for us. It’s handy to know this to allow us to try and be more mindful of the energy we consume on a Sunday.

Loop dashboard showing monthly view.

Beyond saving energy, to be honest, I was sceptical about what Loop could offer me. We have already upgraded a lot of our home when we renovated it.  We installed serious amounts of insulation in the loft, walls and under the floors, and draught-proofed what we could. 

We’re also quite limited in further changes we can make.  We don’t have a driveway so installing an electric vehicle charger isn’t possible.  And from what I understand the roof of our tiny terraced cottage is too small for solar panels.  

However, what surprised me was the difference that switching to a low carbon alternative for our heating source could make to our home’s carbon emissions.  As such, I’m really keen to investigate further switching to a low carbon alternative, such as a heat pump, once we have the necessary funds saved up.  As we’ve already insulated our home, it feels like the hard part is already complete! 

How You Can Get Started

Ready to start saving money and energy? Download the free Loop app today and start saving!