Rhyme & Reason's Technical Manager, Colin OKell, shares why you can be proud to use Rhyme & Reason packaging...
We all know that plastic pollution is a problem which is why at Rhyme & Reason we have worked tirelessly to design our packaging responsibly, ensuring that our plastic packaging is part of the solution, not the problem.
Through industry leading innovation and circular economy thinking your Rhyme & Reason packaging truly delivers guilt free haircare.
The Circular Economy
We have used the principles of the circular economy to guide our packaging design. Historically our global economy was based on a linear model, where new materials are used to make products and these materials end up as waste at the end of the products useful life and wind up in landfill or even worse in our oceans. In a circular economy the value of materials are retained, rather than ending up as waste the materials we use are recycled or repurposed at the end of their useful life. By making our bottles and caps from 100% recycled materials and ensuring they are recyclable our packaging is truly circular.
Our Eco Journey
From the outset we had one simple aim for the packaging on Rhyme & Reason – to use as little new plastic as possible and we’re proud to have achieved this. I joined the R&R brand part way through the development and when the team shared the bottle and cap designs with me with the “100% recycled” claim stamped on them; I have to admit the hairs on the back of my neck stood up! Other brands use recycled content, but 100% is a huge challenge but is clearly the right thing to do for our planet. I could see we were going to be doing something that would shake up the industry and make a positive change and that’s really exciting….and important.
Rhyme & Reason has Bottle
Our eye-catching bottle was designed with our planet in mind as the rectangular shape fits perfectly together to ensure efficient use of space in transport saving energy – our bottle is 18% more space efficient than a cylindrical bottle. The bottles are made of recycled material and we’ve pushed this as far as is possible using 100% post-consumer recyclate - even the additive we use to colour the bottles is recycled which is very unique. Sure, because they are 100% recycled there are speckles in the bottle; these are bits of colour left over from the bottles previous life and we love them all the more for these imperfections!
Our supplier also uses a special manufacturing process that ensures that the waste plastic that is trimmed off the bottles can also be recycled; the process used by some bottle manufacturers taints the plastic so it can’t be used again and ends up getting incinerated or going to land fill.
And to cap it all off…
Our 100% recycled cap is one of the innovations that we are most proud of. Caps are normally made of a plastic called polypropylene which has the specific flexibility properties caps require; brands do not use recycled polypropylene as the recycling process reduces this flexibility. However, our teams have worked with huge determination to engineer a cap design which allows for the properties of the recycled material. Our hope is that we will lead other brands into using recycled caps which will send a positive shockwave round the circular supply chain and encourage more recyclers to make more high quality recycled polypropylene available.
Speaking with our Expert’s Circle member Andy Donnelly from the Galapagos Conservation Trust, he shared with us that bottle caps are a big problem when it comes to marine litter so he was delighted to see we were making our caps from recycled material. The more need there is for the cap material, the more they will get collected and recycled and the less they will end up in our oceans.
And when you’re through, you can easily recycle…
Recycling is a trickier to define than it might first seem. In order for you to recycle a bottle, not only must it be technically recyclable, but there needs to be a recycling infrastructure in place to collect and reprocess the materials. We’ve chosen to use polyethylene for our bottles which is widely recycled across our global sales regions. Our job does not end there though - we have made sure that the colours we chose and the combination of materials used are compatible with the requirements of the recyclers. For example, did you know that a lot of black plastic packaging is not recyclable? This is because the carbon in the black pigments prevents the sorting machinery from doing its job and that a bottle cannot be recycled if the label is too large and made with the wrong material. We’ve taken care of all these details, so you can throw our packs straight into the recycling.
The Future of Rhyme & Reason…
We continue to look for new and innovative ways to apply circular economy thinking to our packaging. We’re looking at industry leading new materials for our labels and looking further ahead at re-usable packaging systems. Whatever it takes we’ll continue to deliver our incredible natural products in packaging that you know is doing the right thing.