News / Climate change
Do you agree? Here are some positives for an optimistic outlook today 💚💚💚
1- Parts of the Great Barrier Reef are showing the best signs of coral recovery in 36 years!
2- There are now enough solar panels around the world to generate 1 terrawatt of electricity.
3- The world’s largest offshore wind farm in Yorkshire is now fully operational and will help to provide renewable energy to more than 1.4 million homes in the UK.
4- Hawaii closed its last coal power plant to focus on greener energy options, removing 1,5 million metric tons of greenhouse gases per year.
5- In the space of a year the number of monarch butterflies 🦋 in California grew from 2’000 to nearly 250’000!
In these times, we all need to hear some good news too
True organic of Sweden
Organic and natural skincare products made in Sweden in sustainable packaging. True Organic of Sweden is a multi award winning brand for people who want effective skincare that is kind to the skin and the planet.
When my son was born I had just finished a degree in science of natural health. My son had diaper rash and I had sore breasts from breastfeeding. I searched for any ointment relief, even the organic certified ones had ingredients that I would never use on my son. They could have as little as 5 percent organic ingredients and the rest could be anything. How can this be?
I was living in Switzerland at that time, and when I moved back to Sweden, my home country a few years later, I started looking around for how to actually produce skin care. I found a wonderful organic and natural skin care guru. Together we created the first product: All you need is me balm. Two weeks after launch, All you need is me balm won its first award of many. It’s 100% natural and 95% organic in a compostable tube made of sugarcane. I was very happy and content with my accomplishment of such a unique, pure and effective balm but then people started to ask me “What is your next product “? Next product ?! I asked. After this I followed by producing my own wish list of my dream skincare products. True organic of Sweden skincare brand was born. True organic of Sweden skincare products are with as few ingredients as possible, as high in organic content as possible and ingredients that you recognize, at the same time very effective products that bring results. We have 7 products today and developing more.Our customers are loyal, we have a 60% return rate. http://trueorganicofsweden.com
Now we sell all over the world, to distributors, retailers and directly to consumers.
Starting as a one person company has been a challenge. Both financially and time wise. I have never wanted to employ lots of people but instead used freelancers and distributors responsible for their areas. The distributors have bought in bulk, have exclusive rights to their country but in return also been responsible for getting the products into retailers and conduct marketing, sales and PR. Some distributors have been better than others but as a small unknown brand it’s even difficult to get a distributor to look at your products. So if the distributors ignore their obligations there’s not much you can do other than remove the brand from them but then you might not fin anyone else willing to take your brand in that market.
Another challenge has been in the sourcing of ingredients and creating products that are efficient, as high in organic ingredients as possible, 100% natural using only planet friendly ingredients in sustainable packaging. Not all ingredients can be found grown organically. Most products have water and water can never be organic. This brings the organic level down. Organic produce is grown without synthetic fertilizers, genetic engineering, irradiation or pesticides. The plants need to grow at a certain distance from any farm that is not organic so the bees cannot fly in between. Our mission statement is to create top quality skincare products with the highest levels of organic ingredients. We are committed to protect the planet, its resources and all those who populate it.
The skincare business is big and competition is fierce but the more of us organic and natural skincare producer there are, the better it is for our environment.If natural, organic products in sustainable packaging become the norm, the better it is for all of us, our children and the planet.
Looking towards future opportunities there is a very positive awareness that there is no planet B and everyone needs to do their bit.
With so many natural disasters around the world it’s difficult for even the most climate change deniers to ignore facts. People are looking for ways to do their bit to help our planet. More are turning to organic and natural products. We are becoming aware of sustainable packaging and getting upset when an item is packaged in far more plastic than needed. Luckily we see that innovation is buzzing and sustainable solutions are presented in every field.
With the pandemic we had to rethink like everyone else and concentrate our efforts more to the online business instead of retail stores. Our distributors who had mainly retail stores were suffering while the ones with online businesses were thriving. http://trueorganicofsweden.com
A business is a living thing and one needs to nurture it and be flexible because change is constant. Wether it’s a pandemic, war or inflation. Being a small business it may be easier to make a quick change. We for example had Rosewood essential oil in our deodorant Undercover agent. I found out that rosewood is endangered so we could quickly change to ho leaf essential oil instead with a similar scent.
Talking about being flexible and change, I have decided to take on a partner in the business. It’s one of our distributors who has more economical muscle and is an established skincare distributor. Together we will be able to create new products faster and more cost effective. If you take on a partner it’s important that you have the same vision and values. For me it’s not an unknown partner, I know and have worked with this company for several years.
The advice I can give anyone wanting to start a business is just do. You can have market research, plans and preparations for years but I say just start. Take a first step and then the next one. I have to say, everything takes much longer than you think and more expensive than you thought.
If you go ahead, do something you are passionate and interested in, feel the excitement and have fun! That’s what I always have said, I will do it as long as it’s fun
Let it grow, let it grow, let it grow. 🌱
A new world record was recently set in tree planting in Addis Abeba in Ethiopia. During one day 350 million trees were planted in 12 hours. The aim is to increase the forest areas and in this way help to prevent the climate change. They are planning to plant a total of 4 billion trees before October.
Go, go Ethiopia! 🌱🌳🌿 Source @svdjunior
Here at True Organic of Sweden we look at the full picture when developing skin care products. For example All You Need Is Me has a tube made out of sugar cane. Here comes words from MJ Deschamps on why it is important!
By Mj Deschamps
Green packaging developments and demand are on the increase in the beauty industry MJ Deschamps discovers
With waste regulations becoming increasingly tight worldwide, and consumers’ environmental consciousness growing, the global personal care products industry has taken note of the lean towards ‘green’, and is starting to reduce packaging complexity.
This is despite leading organic products marketing research firm Organic Monitor recently releasing a not-so-optimistic report on sustainable packaging in the beauty sector – saying that although packaging has the highest environmental footprint within the realm of cosmetics products, it appears to be largely ignored when beauty companies look at sustainability. Indeed many cosmetics companies, both large and small, seem determined to disprove that claim.
Greater consumer awareness about waste disposal and more stringent government regulations will, according to market research group Global Industry Analysts (GIA), drive the global market for sustainable packaging to US$142.42bn in size by 2015. The GIA’s 2010 report, Sustainable (Green) Packaging: A Global Strategic Business Report, identifies the cosmetics and personal care industry as being a key driving force in growing sustainable packaging.
The report says that together Europe and the US account for more than 70% of the global sustainable packaging market and in the US alone recycled material accounts for the largest packaging category, contributing nearly 90% to the total demand.
Meanwhile another recent report from Colorado-based Pike Research goes further by suggesting that the sustainable packaging market is growing much faster than the general packaging industry. Its size is expected to double from $88bn last year to $170bn in 2014, says Pike. Market research firm Mintel has also identified that recycling and eco-friendly materials will play a major role within the beauty industry in 2011, having seen new skin care products with environmentally friendly packaging increase 5% last year, compared to 2009.
“In general terms, all cosmetics manufacturers are looking at packaging which is sustainable and has fewer environmental effects,” says Paul Crawford, head of regulatory and environmental services at the Cosmetic, Toiletry & Perfumery Association (CTPA) in the UK.
One popular sustainable material being used in the green packaging sector today is recycled polyethylene terephthalate (PET). PET has been a favourite choice for personal care product packaging due to its similarities with glass, and because it is a 100% recyclable material.
Natural ranges need packaging sympatheic to the product message – Luxsit Organic Care chose M&H Plastics for its Naturligt Vis line
With a predicted CAGR of 6.5%, the PET packaging industry is tipped to be worth $42bn by 2015, according to Pira International, the worldwide authority on the packaging, paper and print industry supply chains.
The National Association for PET Container Resources (NAPCOR) came out with a study in 2010 that provides lifecycle inventory (LCI) data for recycled PET and high density polyethylene (HDPE) plastic resins. The study’s LCI report indicates that incorporating recycled PET resin in the manufacture of a package significantly reduces the environmental footprint of that package in terms of production energy required and greenhouse gas emissions.
The study also found that recycled PET actually requires less energy to produce than the equivalent tonnage of virgin PET resin. The corresponding saving in greenhouse gas emissions amounts to about 1.1 million tonnes of CO² equivalents, according to the study.
Although there is growing research in bioplastics packaging, there is still a challenge to creating these materials for the cosmetics industry, since high heat sensitivity and water permeability prevent such packaging being used for products such as creams, lotions and shampoos, according to Organic Monitor.
Several companies are paving the way though, including US-based Mirel, which is currently developing bioplastic materials to replace petroleum polymers such as polypropylene (PP), high-density polyethylene (HDPE), acrylonitrile butadiene styrene (ABS) and polycarbonate (PC). Another is one of the UK’s leading suppliers of packaging containers, Johnsen & Jorgensen, which recently entered into a distribution deal with Artenius PET Packaging UK to release an environmentally friendly range of recycled PET bottles for the cosmetics industry, which use 25% post-consumer recycled PET material. UK-based Neal’s Yard Remedies is also currently using ‘post-consumer regrind polyethylene’ (PCR) terephthalate bottles for a number of its natural and organic personal care products.
Also, US-based Banana Packaging, another worldwide supplier specialising in biodegradable cosmetics packaging, has recently introduced a new biodegradable product line called EcoBlendz, where packaging products are made from a special additive that when blended with many plastic-based resins such as PE, PET, PS, PP, PVC and PETG, renders them 100% biodegradable.
Brazil-based Braskem has also recently developed a sugarcane polyethylene packaging material that is garnering an increasingly high profile in the beauty industry on account of the fact that it is compatible with a variety of liquid formulations.The material is already being used by key Brazil cosmetics player Natura for a cream hand soap product, while Procter & Gamble (P&G) has included it as part of the packaging for products in its Pantene Pro V hair care range as well as its CoverGirl and Max Factor colour cosmetic ranges. True organic of Sweden uses this for their products.
DuPont sustainability study identifies packaging challenges
The need to package food, consumer and industrial products in a more sustainable and affordable way dominates the worldwide packaging industry, according to DuPont’s global survey of consumer packaged goods companies and packaging converters.
To identify the top issues facing the packaging industry, DuPont conducted an online survey of packaging professionals in March 2011. More than 500 packaging professionals were surveyed and over 40% cited sustainability as the toughest challenge while 33% named cost as a major factor.
“Sustainable, cost effective solutions that reduce packaging’s environmental footprint are a top goal across geographies,” said Bill Harvey, president, DuPont Packaging & Industrial Polymers.
Meeting sustainability challenges requires multiple strategies. Of those respondents working on sustainable packaging:
65% say their efforts are focused on design for recyclability or use of recycled content
57% are focused on weight reduction
41% rely on renewable or biobased materials
25% say they are focused on compostable materials.
“These survey results confirm that there are many pathways to improving packaging sustainability,” said Harvey. “It starts with close collaboration throughout the value chain to spark innovation.”
In a bid to respond to requirements, DuPont Packaging & Industrial Polymers says it offers customers a number of ways to enhance the sustainability of their products. For example, DuPont Fusabond resins are modified polymers that help bond dissimilar polymers to help facilitate recycling. The high-performance characteristics of the company’s Surlyn ionomer help reduce the total amount of material in packaging structures. And DuPont’s Biomax Strong modifier is designed to helps bio-based PLA (polylactic acid) products gain more widespread use by enhancing performance attributes that limit its acceptance. Meanwhile Biomax PTT resin, with up to 35% renewably sourced content, can replace petroleum-derived polyesters to help reduce dependence on fossil fuels and net emissions of greenhouse gases without compromising performance, according to the company.
Robert Richman is the chairman and manufacturing head at US company Be Green Packaging, whose packaging products are made up of blends of plant fibres and 100% compostable and recyclable materials. He says Be Green recently produced new packaging in the UK and Europe for Procter & Gamble’s Gillette Fusion ProGlide razors, and that the main green packaging innovations his company and others are currently moving towards incorporate plant fibres and eco-friendly coatings. “These [ProGlide] packages have a major reduction of PET and plastic resins,” said Richman. Be Green’s products are blends of plant fibres and are 100% compostable and recyclable.
EcoBlendz by Banana Packaging has an additive that renders materials 100% biodegradable
In the same vein, US-based cosmetics company Urban Decay partnered with HCT Packaging to create the brand’s Sustainable Shadow Box, a compact made from bamboo. And America’s Tarte Cosmetics developed a reusable Spring Greening palette made from recyclable, sustainable straw. It also uses soy ink on its labels, which contains non-toxic soybean oil that can be easily stripped from paper during the de-inking and recycling process. Tarte has also created a system where consumers can even send their empty containers back to the company and get a discount off their next purchase.
In Italy, Leoplast, the country’s specialist in botanical-derived packaging for decorative cosmetics, recently decided to put together cardboard and bioplastics, two renewable raw materials, to design a line called Compostable Make Up. Cardboard is used for the base and cover while plant-derived plastic forms the internal mechanism and the cups containing the powders, resulting in a 100% plant-derived and biodegradable packaging.
“It is a unique combining solution for a sustainable pack from raw material made from vegetal and renewable origins,” says Marie-Laure Viellard, PR and communication manager at the Leoplast Group.
Twistub – let’s twist again
Twistub – created as a refillable environmentally friendly alternative to pump dispensers – has evolved, according to its makers. The original Twistub’s USP lay in its combining the financial and environmental benefits of a refill with the glamorous look and feel of traditional high-end packaging. Featuring a dispenser plus a refill pack, the system is operated by twisting the base to dispense a precise amount of cream or lotion. Once the product has been used, the consumer can buy a new refill and reuse the dispenser again and again.
Now, the team behind Twistub says it has improved the handling of the packaging by introducing a nozzle, meaning that the dispenser can be used for different types of cosmetic creams and lotions. The basics, however, remain the same, as do the main benefits, which include savings in both manufacturing costs and material usage when compared to traditional pump dispensers and airless systems.
“Eco-friendly retail is becoming increasingly cool, with consumers looking for different ways to play their part, while manufacturers are all facing unprecedented pressure to reduce plastic waste from their processes,” said Stephen Eldred, a founder of Twistub. “The latest developments for Twistub make it even more attractive to both customers and cosmetic companies. We are still keen to engage with as many cosmetic companies as possible now to give us the best chance of getting Twistub to where it belongs – on the shelf and in people’s homes.”
Economics & Innovation
Viellard admits that while companies are looking towards moving to green packaging it is not always easy, especially post-recession. “The interest is there and companies are trying to invest in R&D but it’s expensive,” she says. But Viellard adds that despite cost, Leoplast has been investigating green packaging solutions since 2004. “Global demand for [sustainable packaging] is driven by single use packaging building up in all of the world’s environments,” she says. “From plastic bags blowing in the wind to the huge garbage slicks in the oceans, package awareness is growing everywhere.”
From this summer, in western Europe, P&G will use sugar-based HDPE from Braskem to package its Pantene Pro-V Nature Fusion hair care products
Be Green’s Richman agrees, adding that while recovery from the recession is now underway, rising prices in recycled materials are not of great concern to his company. “We are finding that business is better than ever as the world is now more aware of sustainable packaging,” he says. “[Be Green] is receiving many calls from new cosmetics companies all the time who want to move away from foam and plastics,” he says.
Viellard says that while prices for recycled materials are rising, the price of fossil plastics are rising as well. Because of this, companies are often actually getting more bang for their buck by developing bioplastics and recycled materials for their packaging, she explains.
UK company Curtis Packaging has recognised this and announced a boost to its R&D programme at the beginning of 2011 to concentrate on bringing the latest eco-friendly technology to beauty packaging while retaining consumer appeal.
“Last year, we installed a new system which reduced our waste collection – all for recycling – by 80%, as well as sophisticated systems through our sister company, 3D Creative – to create samples and trial runs which substantially cut the environmental impact, and indeed costs for many clients,” says Steve Mallet, sales director at Curtis.
A recent Curtis project was with UK designer Orla Kiely, who last year introduced a fragrance range. The product’s sustainable cartons were printed on the reverse of an FSC (Forest Stewardship Council) accredited material, using vegetable-based ink and a water-based coating.
Looking for sustainable solutions to packaging certainly opens up the door for a lot of innovative, eco-friendly solutions. The Twistub, for example, uses a revolutionary and environmentally aware packaging/refill concept for cosmetic creams. The package comes in two parts, a dispenser and a refill pack. Twisting the base of the pot dispenses a precise amount of the cream through a small aperture in the top of the refill, and when empty, the Twispak can then be replaced and the dispenser reused again and again.
Companies great & small
US-based Burt’s Bees has long made a firm commitment to only use packaging made from recycled materials and recently pioneered the use of TerraSkin Wraps, an alternative to paper packaging for soaps that is a treeless and bleach-free paper alternative. TerraSkin is mineral-based, with 80% of its calcium carbonate base being derived from post-industrial building material waste such as limestone scraps.
Meanwhile, UK-based Lush pushes the envelope by delivering more than half of its products (55%) without any packaging at all. Lush saves nearly 6 million plastic bottles globally from selling shampoo bars alone; 90% of all packaging material the company does use is recycled.
Compostable Make Up by Leoplast uses 100% plant-derived and biodegradable packaging, while Curtis provided cartons from FSC accredited material for Orla Kiely and used vegetable-based inks and a water-based coating
Although every little bit helps with smaller cosmetics companies moving towards sustainable packaging, it is nice to know that some of the biggest market players have jumped on the environmental bandwagon too. Estée Lauder’s Aveda has reduced its carbon footprint by recycling an estimated 37 million polypropylene caps to ensure that all its packaging is now made up of at least 80% recycled materials. According to Organic Monitor, Aveda is the largest user of PCR plastic in the industry, and its new environmental push is predicted to save an estimated 1 million tons in virgin plastic every year.
Meanwhile Procter & Gamble recently announced a major shift to plant-derived packaging for some of its leading global cosmetic brands, and is using sugarcane-derived plastic from Brazil’s Braskem.
L’Oréal also recently helped reduce the environmental impact of its packaging by introducing two new assessment tools to its package design process: its ‘sustainable packaging scorecard’ (SPS) and ‘packaging impact quick evaluation tool’ (PIQET).
SPS is a proprietary assessment tool that the company developed and piloted in 2010, the purpose being to evaluate the environmental sustainability of the company’s product packaging and to assess each new product under several criteria to determine how environmentally friendly its packaging is.
PIQET is an online tool that identifies and reviews actions to reduce the environmental impact of packaging, particularly at the design development stage.
P&G has announced the first year results of its Environmental Sustainability Supplier Scorecard programme, designed to track and encourage improvement on key environmental sustainability measures in the company’s supply chain. The first year focused on assessing whether P&G would receive clear data to measure future improvements and jump-start innovation, and the company found that most suppliers could not only track the requested sustainability measures, but that the process of innovation sharing had begun.
Deployed last year to nearly 400 strategic suppliers, P&G’s scorecard is designed to measure performance in three areas: enhancing supply chain collaboration; improving key environmental indicators; and encouraging the sharing of ideas and capabilities to deliver more sustainable products and services to consumers.
“Working with our external partners is clearly critical to realising our long-term environmental vision as a company and this scorecard is a helpful tool to facilitate that collaboration,” commented Len Sauers, P&G’s vp for global sustainability.
Under the scheme, suppliers are evaluated and scored from 1-5. Those that show exceptional performance are rewarded, while for partners that score poorly, the scorecard forms the basis for joint sustainability improvement plans. The list of participating suppliers has been expanded to approximately 600 and an upgraded version of the scorecard has been introduced for 2011 (www.pgsupplier.com), with changes including a more transparent and consistent rating methodology.
Looking to the future, nanotechnology might bring significant advances, so long as concerns about the migration of nanoparticles can be dealt with. While the European Cosmetics Association Colipa lists nanomaterials as being present in much ‘intelligent’ food packaging, the technology has only really made its way thus far into the actual beauty products themselves and can be found in sunscreens, skin care and toothpaste.
This slow uptake in nanotech packaging might be due to the cost of developing the new technology, according to Viellard, who says that while companies are trying to invest in R&D, such research is “very expensive”.
Crawford says he is optimistic, however, that the technology will soon make its way into cosmetics packaging as further research into the arena is conducted.
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“Nanotechnology is regarded as having the potential for enormous innovation across many industrial and scientific sectors,” says Crawford. “It should not automatically be regarded with suspicion or as not being green. New sustainable technologies depend on scientific innovation and nanotechnology may be able to play a role.”
Eco tube – a vision in green
A US-based biodegradable packaging specialist is currently seeking licensees across the globe for its eco friendly packaging solution for lip balms and other cosmetics formulated for packaging in a tube. Eco Vision’s Eco Tube is made from 100% certified post-consumer waste paper, biodegradable adhesives and coating, and may be printed with soy inks.
Eco Vision was recently issued a patent by the US Patent and Trademark Office for the Eco Tube – formally named ‘Paper Tube Packaging with Open End and Coated Cap’ – and received a Green Packy Award at 2010’s Natural Foods Expo for the product.
All You Need Is Me has a tube made out of sugar cane, have you tried it?
At true organic of Sweden we are committed to sustainable, green packaging.
Love your skin, love our planet
As global temperatures rise, the organic matter in forests appears to break down more quickly, which is accelerating the release of carbon into the atmosphere, according to new research.
A new study by a team researchers including U of T Scarborough Professor Myrna Simpson reveals that as global temperatures rise the organic matter in forests appear to be breaking down more quickly, accelerating the release of carbon into the atmosphere.
Credit: U of T Scarborough
Forests can store as much as 45 percent of the world's terrestrial carbon, making them a critical part of the process of regulating climate change.
As global temperatures rise, though, the organic matter in forests appears to break down more quickly, accelerating the release of carbon into the atmosphere.
This surprising conclusion comes out of a long-term study that was intended to find means to mitigate global warming, not exacerbate it.
"Our question was, 'How much carbon can the soil hold?'" says UTSC professor of environmental chemistry, Myrna Simpson. "But in our experiments, we found that soil was not the limiting factor. We couldn't even get to the carbon saturation point."
Since 1990, a team of international scientists have been running experiments in Harvard Forest in Massachusetts, testing the effect of adding (or removing) varying amounts and types of "litter" -- leaves, twigs, seeds, roots and other organic material -- above and below ground. Simpson joined this work in 2010. She contributed specialized expertise in nuclear magnetic resonance (NMR) spectroscopy to the mix. NMR allows researchers to scan every type of organic material in soil, molecule by molecule.
"The scientific community widely accepts that soil organic matter chemistry is tied to inputs," she says. "But we were surprised to see that all of our litter manipulation resulted in accelerated breakdown of organic matter."
Climate change could lead to "more productive" forests -- bigger trees and more vegetation. This productivity would naturally increase the amount of litter, and therefore the amount of carbon sinking into the soil in the form of organic matter.
But in a paper published recently in the journal Biogeochemistry, Simpson and her co-authors describe how they simulated this change by doubling the amount of litter in sections of the forest in the hope that the soil could absorb more carbon. Instead, the increased litter stimulated bacterial and fungal activity. Organic matter broke down more quickly, eliminating any carbon storage benefit and releasing more CO2 into the atmosphere.
"Altering the litter did more harm than good," Simpson says. "Ours was a human manipulation, but it could as easily be altered through climate change."
Simpson's experiments continue both at the Harvard Forest and at other experimental forests around the world in collaboration with a large network of ecologists and soil scientists. In each case, local plant species, climate and other factors might lead to different results. Also, litter is just one consideration in how long carbon stays sunk in a forest -- Simpson is testing the effects of nitrogen and other variables that could affect forests' abilities to store carbon.
Soil breakdown is further complicated because plants create many products -- from cellulose to lignin -- each of which is affected differently by changes in soil content and environmental conditions. What accelerates one form of decomposition might slow down another.
"I want to emphasize that this was just one forest. We don't know if this is a global phenomenon," she says. "We're looking now to see how vegetation, temperature, moisture in different regions affects the process. These results just suggest that for forests like the Harvard Forest, adding extra litter is not a way to mitigate climate change and enhance carbon storage."
The above post is reprinted from materials provided by University of Toronto. Note: Materials may be edited for content and lenght.