Both glass and plastic packaging create an environmental impact during their manufacture, transport, use and disposal.
Lots of us assume that glass is more sustainable, but, various factors like supply chains, manufacture and recycling levels all complicate this. To get a definitive answer, you need to do a detailed Life Cycle Analysis (LCA) for the specific product and its particular supply chain. A blanket answer is impossible and it really does depend on each product and its supply chain and use.
It's not always the case that glass is more eco-friendly. We need to be more thoughtful and critical when it comes to our packaging choices and not just assume glass is better.The best thing we can do to minimise our personal environmental impact is to reduce our reliance on anything single-use.
The real answer: move away from a “buy, use and dispose” model.
In an ideal world, we would have products which provide a storage for life system, with product replenishment that removes all single-use plastic or glass completely. This is known as "circular packaging" (because we carry on using the original jar continuously and never need a new one).
Bolt Beauty uses circular packaging. Our biodegradable skincare capsules can be purchased in a "jar for life" and then replenishment capsules come in fully compostable refill bags*. As a carbon neutral company, we use PET "jars for life" as the carbon impact is lower when compared to a glass alternative.
Just think of how many single use plastic or glass bottles or jars are used for skincare (and we need to buy them over and over again)... *shudders*.If we can all move to a refill system just for a part of our beauty regime we can make a real difference to the waste problem.
* We're really sorry that our Refill Bags have been delayed due to manufacturing being impacted by Covid-19. The safety of our team and supply chain are our first concern and so we made the tough decision to pause their production. We are working on it though and hope to launch these in summer 2020.