The Plastic Problem

Abigail Scott

Even though the conversation around plastics has changed in the last few decades, the personal care products industry has not caught up. It’s one of the worst perpetrators when it comes to utilizing single-use plastic packaging. People are fine eliminating straws to save the turtles but they’ll draw a hard line when it comes to parting with their favorite mascara, shampoo, or deodorant. Even if that waste ends up contributing to the 8 million tons of plastic that make it into the ocean each year. 

When did the plastic push begin? 

Think about your grandma’s beauty products that sat tastefully on her bathroom counter - delicate glass perfume jars, bar soap, a jar of Pond’s Cold Cream. Pre-WWI, personal care products were way less ubiquitous, and what few products existed were packaged in metal or glass. 

According to this National Geographic article, the government began to really push personal hygiene during World War I to decrease the spread of illness and disease amongst the troops packed closely in trenches and bunkers. Shaving, teeth brushing, and washing were encouraged, which was a great advancement for humankind. However, the plastic products these soldiers brought home with them were not. 

It Goes All the Way to the Top

As America’s economy experienced a post-war boom, people had more money to spend on themselves and personal care product companies, like Unilever, were more than happy to oblige. In fact, Unilever even ran an ad declaring body odor to be detrimental to one’s professional and social life. Middle-schoolers everywhere can relate. 

As Hollywood movies became prolific, women and men saw depictions of beauty in a much different light. The entire idea of what was attractive and what was not began to change. The U.S. Government even declared that the cultural practice of wearing lipstick was a favorable war-time effort that could boost soldiers’ morale. So put your lipstick on ladies, the government says so. 

Life in Plastic Isn’t So Fantastic 

It’s only been half a century since the personal care products industry, and the plastics that go along with it, have exploded into colossal markets. There’s no way that the original bath and body product manufacturers could have predicted that their progeny would one day create 120 billion units of plastic packaging each year. But even if they had known, would they have cared? 

It’s a question we’re facing right now. Out of the tens of thousands of beauty and personal care product companies, who actually cares about the detritus they leave behind? Who only cares enough to commit to the bare minimum so they can display their eco-friendly attitude on a label?

It Starts with Us

Plastics is the third largest industry in America and it’s not going anywhere fast. However, the majority of us would agree that the way in which we’re consuming and disposing of goods now is just not sustainable, unless we all want to live in homes made from shampoo bottles and food wrappers. 

Can we be straight with you? It costs more money to be kind to the environment. There’s no way around that at this point in time. We could make your favorite Pit Liquor deodorant in a way that decreases the price by implementing single-use, plastic packaging, by sourcing ingredients from bulk-manufacturers located many states, or even countries away. That’s why planet earth has taken a turn for the worse. It’s cheaper for companies large and small to opt for inexpensive, plastic options, saving their customers money while spoiling the environment in the long run. 

Peace Out Plastics

But we’re not going to cut corners and cut costs in order to make a buck. Unlike our personal care predecessors, we’re in the know about the power of plastics and how their misuse is quickly damaging our planet. We never even considered plastic packaging because there wasn’t a great way to do it ethically. Not only did we decide to dig our heels in and go glass, but we also found better ways that you can get our deodorant over and over and over again. 


Buy your favorite Pit Liquor Refill scent and send the glass bottles back when you’re finished. Repurpose the pretty glass bottles to hold a delicate room spray, DIY carpet cleaner, or hand sanitizer. Not a big DIY-er? Save up five glass bottles and ship them back to us to get a discount code. 


Sustainable, glass bottles matter to us, and we won't compromise on what we believe in. We know you would too. 

 

Comments

  • Posted by NJ on

    Hey, PitLiquor! I really enjoy your products (and also think we should ditch plastic), but might I suggest not using ableist language like “lame” in your work? It’s hard to get ableist words out of our vocabulary, but it’s worth not perpetuating stigma against disabled people. Thanks!

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