February Easy Eco Swap
31st January 2020
Who's excited for our very first easy eco swap?
There is so much information about how we all need to making changes to help the planet, but doesn’t it all feel a little overwhelming? We have been living our lives this way for a long time now, its hard to just make a load of changes overnight and expect us to stick to them all at once, right? Also, unless something is being advertised to us on Instagram, where do I find these eco companies?
This is where we had the idea of swapping one thing per month, letting us get used to this swap before taking the plunge to swapping something else. Before you know it its 2021 and you’ve made 12 swaps, 12 steps towards helping the planet.
We are teaming up with 12 companies to bring you the perfect solution to a swap each month, wherever possible we are supporting small businesses who are making a difference towards our planet, and we want you to support them too. Each company has gifted us a product to review, at the end of each month we will also run a competition over on Instagram to win their product.
Enter stage right Soaked, a brilliant small company changing the way we buy shampoo and conditioner...
Let's first get some facts...did you know one million plastic bottles are produced every minute, 80% of which end up in landfill and our oceans? Plus in your lifetime, if you use just 6 bottles of shampoo per year, you could throw away 426 plastic shampoo bottles? And this is just shampoo! Each of these 426 bottles of shampoo will be around for up to 1000 years if they are thrown away.
But I always recycle my bottles... well, Soaked have some information for you:
Around 40% of household products are recycled currently in the UK. It's a process that has been promoted by the government and manufacturers. However, it has become clear that recycling is not an entirely logical system when it comes to different material groups. For example, recycling aluminium cans works, as they become other aluminium cans, but the recycling of cosmetic bottles is more complicated, and the logic is more unclear.
Unfortunately, the residue left from personal care products means that they cannot be recycled to become other bottles. Only bottles containing drinks can be recycled into other bottles. So your shampoo bottle gets turned into something like a road traffic cone. In other words, it’s not recycled, it’s ‘down-cycled’. And when this new product comes to the end of its life? It can be downcycled no further and ends up in landfill.
The sad fact is: almost every plastic cosmetic bottle ultimately goes to landfill – and that’s not something you would imagine happens from looking at that neat little recycling logo.
So when a bottle is made from recycled material, the material used is usually either ‘pre-consumer’ waste (in other words un-used bottles) or former drinks bottles. Milk bottles are often used as they provide a consistent source of material with little contamination. This means that a recycling logo on a home cleaning product bottle does not stop the manufacture of another home cleaning bottle the next time you buy the product. It’s an illogical system and we can do so much better.
I know, I was just as shocked as you... but they have a solution!
Emma & Mike, husband & wife, homebodys, although not ones to shy away from adventure, we created Vincent Trading with a passion for traditional methods, beauty in imperfection and our planet.
We live by the sea in South Devon and find ourselves listening to the waves after long days creating, we love nothing more than a cosy night by a fire with our little Cyprus rescue dog Lola.
Soaked's mission is to remove single-use, ugly plastic bottles from bathrooms everywhere! They do this by providing a no-nonsense, simply designed, high quality Forever Bottle to go in your bathroom, which I might add looks beautiful on the side of my bath!
The products are all 100% biodegradable, vegan, cruelty-free, almost entirely natural and smell incredible... plus they have made my hair feel ace!
I have to add a confession in here... I no longer shampoo my hair! For over 6 months now I have been washing my hair with conditioner, in the same way I'd use shampoo, rubbing it in all over and into my scalp, massaging it in for a few minutes, leaving it in while I get washed then rinsing it out as normal. I do this once per week, and my hair feels brilliant, especially using Soaked! It does take a little getting used to, I have only washing my hair once a week for years, it took around 3 weeks for it to not feel greasy by day 5ish, but now, I'd never go back!
Mike still uses shampoo so we choose to test both products, he thinks it smells ace and loved the idea of the glass bottles, Soaked do a plastic for life version too if glass worries you.
So, how does it work? Soaked send you a pouch as a subscription or on demand service, you refill your bottles and save your pouches until you have a good stash before sending them back in with pre-paid postage.
But aren't these pouches just plastic anyway? Pouches use 70% less energy to produce than rigid packaging. They also weigh much less.
Soaked spent months finding a pouch that is produced using as little energy as possible. They aren't the most beautiful things in the world, but you have to love them for what's on the inside. They are currently working with several innovators in plastic-free packaging to find a pouch that is produced with as little energy as possible and is entirely biodegradable (don't be fooled by biodegradable plastic - it can only be broken down in very specific temperatures, and often biodegrades into micro-plastic), but until this innovation exists in the commercial world, they have found the best possible solution in the most environmentally-friendly way.
The story doesn't end here... Pouches are rarely recyclable in normal recycling, hence why you save them up and send them back. This is because of the mixed material used to ensure ease of use. However, Soaked have discovered that if you collect them in large quantities, it becomes highly efficient to reprocess them to become other products. Send them back and they will pass them on to a reprocessing partner where they are broken down into hydrocarbon feedstock. This highly efficient process has a very low carbon footprint (much less than traditional recycling) and the outcome is a variety of highly versatile products that can be used to fuel homes, run cars or can be reprocessed back into plastic products. Unlike traditional recycling, where mixed waste plastics that are considered too contaminated or mixed for traditional recycling methods are currently disposed of via landfill or incineration, this process enables the plastic to be continually recycled, whilst retaining the value of the material.
For me, and I'm sure lots of other people, using shampoo and conditioner bars are not the solution, especially since stopped the shampooing, every bar I have tried has just felt dry... I honestly feel like Soaked is the perfect solution for my hair...
Now how to purchase? Simple, head over to Soaked using this link and get a fab £5 off your first order, order you forever bottles, and choose a on demand or subscription service then excitedly wait by the post box!
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