The Problem with Plastic Waste

It’s Time for a Little Plastic Surgery

The problem with plastic waste and how we’re helping out

These days, plastic is everywhere. Worse, it’s in everything. It’s clogging our rivers and our oceans. It’s invaded delicate and important ecosystems across land and sea. It’s in most of the food we eat and the water we drink. It’s even in our blood.

It’s way past time we put plastic under the microscope and worked out not only how we can prevent its spread, but how we can cut it out of our lives altogether.

Here’s why.

We got ourselves a situation...

  • If you’re in the mood for a toxic cocktail, then add a little plastic to your drink (actually, we already do this, just unwillingly). Plastics can contain up to 10,000 different chemicals, many of them associated with diseases like diabetes and cancer.
  • Since its invention in 1907, scientists estimate we’ve produced so much plastic that, were you to pop it all on a scale and weigh it, you’d discover it weighed twice as much as all the animals on Earth! Even scarier, more than 75% of it has become waste.
  • Only a small percentage – 10% - of all plastic waste is recycled globally. That means the PET bottle you place in the bin, thinking it will soon shape itself into another plastic bottle or similar, is more likely to wash up on a riverbed or coastal shoreline.
  • Plastic waste takes hundreds, even thousands, of years to completely degrade. In the meantime, it slowly breaks apart, disintegrating into microplastic elements that are increasingly contaminating vital ecosystems, as well as our food and drinking water, posing risks to our health. 
  • The situation has become so bad, that a recent study conducted by Amsterdam’s Vrije University found microplastic particles in the blood of almost 80% of test participants, whilst they have also been found in the placentas of unborn babies. Worrying, much?

  • When it comes to plastic waste in our waterways, we’re in way too deep...

    Our oceans and rivers are ‘downstream’ of plastic waste, the end of the line for plastic pollution. It’s a disaster for marine animals and for us, and it’s something we desperately need to fix.

    Here’s why.

    • Virtually every species of marine animal, from fish to seabirds, is affected by plastic pollution, either through ingestion or entanglement. Exposure is increasing with every passing year and the threat to all marine life has become shockingly real, with plastic-associated health issues, including tissue damage, neurotoxicity, growth retardation, and behavioral abnormalities, all now routinely documented.
    • Globally, on a per capita basis, human fish consumption is more than 20kg in live weight equivalent, whilst in many societies, it accounts for more than 40% of total protein intake. Given that almost all this fish is tainted by plastic, the health effects for us, whilst still not quantified, are truly troubling.
    • An estimated 8-12 million metric tons of plastic enters our oceans annually. That’s the equivalent to dumping at least one garbage truck of plastic into the ocean every minute.
    • There are an estimated 171 trillion plastic particles afloat in the world’s oceans, some of which have been in our seas for decades. If you were to sift through the Great Pacific Garbage Patch, for example, you’d soon discover plastic debris from the 1990s, whilst the oldest piece of plastic found there dates from the 1960s!
    • The amount of plastic pollution entering our oceans is doubling every six years. If this continues, the total weight of plastic pollution will exceed the total weight of all fish in the ocean by 2050

    Okay. We have a problem. Here’s how we’re helping out.

    When it comes to plastic pollution, the beauty industry is, sadly, a serial offender. Incredibly, 120 billion units of beauty packaging is created annually, enough – were you to stack all those packages end-to-end - to circle the Earth 270 times!

    What’s worse, most of that packaging is single-use plastic, quickly discarded and rarely recycled.

    As an industry, we have a responsibility to clean up our act, and for us, that begins with cleaning up our waterways! 

    Ahoy there! We’re getting on board with Seven Clean Seas.

    When we met the team at Seven Clean Seas (SCS), we knew we’d found the perfect partners to help us play a part in ridding our oceans of plastic waste!

    Based in Bali, SCS work across Indonesia, and – more recently – Thailand, to clear clogged waterways of plastic waste. This is incredibly important, given this area is one of the global hotspots when it comes to plastic pollution and a rapidly degrading marine environment.

    We love the passion everyone at SCS brings to their project, from founders Tom and Ben, through to the hard-working clean-up crews who have done so much to bring life back to local coastlines and rivers; waterways that were in danger of drowning under a sea of plastic.

    The attached pictures tell their own story, but here’s a few facts and figures that further explain why we’re so excited to partner with SCS.

    • In a few short years, SCS has removed well over 2.6 million kilos of plastic from the ocean.
    • As part of its work, SCS has created nearly 100 jobs for collection crews, not only helping resurrect coastal communities blighted by plastic waste, but also bring a measure of economic and social freedom to its workers.
    • SCS not only helps clean up ocean coastlines but riverways as well, including the River Bengkong in Indonesia and the Chao Phraya River in Thailand, which is one of the top plastic-emitting rivers globally. Given that rivers are the arteries that carry plastic to the sea, this encompassing approach to cleaning up is vitally important. Also, we love SCS’s new HIPPO Project (High Impact Plastic Pollution remOval) – an automatic, solar-powered, state-of-the art vessel designed to collect riverine plastic at scale.
    • By 2025, SCS aims to have cleared over 10 million kg of plastic from the ocean.

    That’s something to get on board with, right? It’s why we’re so proud to be working with SCS and why we’re committing to removing the equivalent weight of 5 plastic bottles from waterways for every product we sell! 

    By the way, if you want to find out more about the work SCS is doing, then check them out at

    Cleaning up the mess we’ve made is super-important, but it’s only the start...

    If we want a healthy, functioning marine environment, which – for our planet’s sake, as well as our own – we absolutely do, then we all have a role to play in cleaning up the mess we’ve made.

    But that’s only the starting point. If we’re to truly make a difference, and end the plague of plastic pollution, then we need to acknowledge that ‘downstream’ measures like clean-ups, and more effective recycling programs, are only part of the answer.

    Upstream preventative measures are also vital.

    Put simply, we need to minimize our use of plastic. We need to put an end to single-use plastics where we can, and we need to look for more innovative, environmentally friendly packaging options in the future.

    That’s why our packaging is presented in 100% recyclable aluminum tubes or glass jars. It’s why we present everything in recycled forestry card or eco-pulp outer shells, and it’s why we’re committed to minimizing our plastic footprint at every point in our production chain.

    More, we want to be a stand for ending plastic pollution. We know there’s no single, quick fix, to the problem, but by keeping you informed of news, developments, and innovations in this sphere, we hope to play our part in a much-wider movement: one dedicated to a world free of plastic waste.   

    Welcome aboard, everyone!