Zero waste. Well that is a big fucking statement for just two words. What do we mean by this? Well it is pretty simple, all of our packaging is reusable or recyclable. Yeah cool, that plastic bottle that your shower gel is held in is recyclable right? Yes. How are plastics recycled? If we are recycling, why are microplastics being found in all parts of the world and what are their effects? Let’s get deep into this shit.
Recycling plastics is the done thing now, if you don't and throw it in the bin to end up in a landfill, you're a straight dick head. So when we recycle plastics what happens? Well, it is sent to a plant, sorted, stacked up, and then the majority is shipped to countries in Asia and Europe. From there it is recycled, mostly. China was a huge receiver of recyclable products, WAS. Since 2018 they have closed their doors to shipping of recyclable materials. Now other Asian countries are having huge intakes of these materials, a lot is sent to mills, organised, and broken down into pellets then sold. The output of waste is so high in Europe and the UK that there would be no way the home country can deal with it all. The Asian market and European market for these products can only deal with so much too, so there are low key businesses that are “shifty” and unregulated, meaning we do not know where these products end up. You can read a full article here. So lets imagine you throw away a plastic bottle, think about the amount of carbon output it takes to take it from your recycling bin, to the plant, from there to the shipping port, shipping ACROSS THE FUCKING WORLD, to then maybe be broken down by melting into pellets to be resold back to the European market. Starting to see the problem here? Yeah, it is fucked right.
Well that was interesting. Now let's get deeper… microplastics. These things are fucking terrifying. What are they? Plastics that are less than 5mm are classed as microplastics, and they break down to a microscopic level. They have been found in tea, salt, seaweed, milk, seafood, honey, sugar, beer, vegetables, soft drinks and have even been found at the top of Mount Everest. Tap water contains plastic. Bottled water contains even more. Scared yet? We are. How did they get there? Plastics break away from their original source over time, like tyre wear on a road. These plastics can then be transferred through soils, water waste and animals that move around in these areas. They are also found in cosmetics (not ours obviously) but they are prevalent. This means you could be washing your body in them, then putting them into the sewage system which eventually ends up in the oceans, then back into the ecosystem through sea life (which we eat) and rainfall which lands in our agricultural industry. It is a never ending cycle that unfortunately, doesn't seem to have an end date currently. They are there now and we can't get rid of them. This sucks all the dicks, but it doesn't mean we should keep adding to the problem.
Why are microplastics so bad? Shiiiiiiit this is a question. So the harm they cause isn't fully understood, because the studies haven’t been going for long enough, along with trying to isolate the issue of microplastics versus the other chemicals we are exposed to day to day, but with the amount of chemicals added to plastics which are classes as toxic, some highly toxic, it doesn’t take a plastic surgeon (lol) to be able to see the issue. These chemicals have been seen to kill cells in humans and animals, so by ingesting them at a high rate, we know that this is going to cause issues in the human body. For instance, male sperm count over the last 40 years has dropped significantly, this can’t be definitively linked to microplastics, but in the last 40 years the rate of microplastics found in humans has risen at an outrageous rate, so it directly correlates. We aren’t going to sit here and spit things that aren’t founded, science can’t show the harm, so we aren’t going to say that microplastics are causing the end of humanity, BUT they aren’t good, they are not going to be healthy. It is reminiscent of when smoking was a big deal in the early 19th century and a few decades later lung cancer went through the roof. It takes time and research to understand the effects but we can see and understand the correlation between these things with basic understanding and common sense. Science has to be non biased, so it needs to explore all options, this takes mad amounts of time, because they need to explore every single option. Time will tell.
What are we doing differently?
Well let's talk about a couple of our products and how we are trying to make a difference. First of all, soap. The alternative? Shower gel. It comes in a single use plastic bottle, that has left us scratching our heads as to what else you could use this for. These bottles are one of the products that will always end up creating a huge carbon footprint with the recycling option, or sadly in a landfill. What do we do? We give you an alternative option to shower gel which is better, longer lasting and comes in a small linen bag which can be repurposed. We have had customers wash these bags (leaving their washing smelling great) and then repurpose them as bags for small gifts, for keeping some small knick knacks in, for keeping bars of soap in for traveling. There are so many options with this and we LOVE to hear about them, so if you want to share your ideas, hit us up!
Next product….our Black Anchor Hand Soap, the mainstream option? Handsoap, with plastic pump tops in plastic bottles. Again these will end up in the recycling option or landfill. Our option is in a metal bottle, with a plastic pump…..woah Dirty Soap you hypocritical little bitches! Yeah calm them titties, we supply an option with all of our metal bottles to get a refill bottle which comes as you would buy a new bottle, but with a metal screw top, this allows you to pop off the metal top, put it in the recycling and take your plastic pump from your old bottle and put it on the new bottle. What do you do with the old bottle? Well anything you want, we use them for different spray bottles for fabric fragrance (like homemade febreeze, Google it). Again, if you reuse them for something different, hit us up so we can share the love to our customers. We just want to make an impact, we aren’t trying to preach, we just want to give people an option to make a difference. The more support we get, the larger we can grow, the wider our reach can be!
What have we come to understand from this wild Dirty Soap rant? The carbon footprint of a single recycled bottle is wild, the idea of recycling is great and well thought out and should not be ostracised, it just can’t be relied upon as a win for the environment. The potential impact of microplastics to the environment cannot be understated, also, although not fully understood yet, the impact that this is going to have upon the health of humankind cannot be overlooked. We cannot get rid of it yet. We have to just try and stop adding to the problem. If you do a bit of research, the forecast from our potential intake of microplastics is growing larger than can be understood. Dirty Soap is trying to give an avenue to help reduce the impact of waste and plastic pollution. We are trying, but need this impact to be larger, to even create pressure on major companies to do the same without making the consumer pay through the nose for the privilege of doing the right thing, because we know it can be cost effective. Every little step towards a better future is what everyone should be considering, unless you're just a massive dickhead, then I guess you just need to take a step back, clean your teeth cause you know your breath stinks, and just be better.