The Zero-Waste Lip Balm Tackling Our Big Plastic Problem
There’s no denying plastic waste is a huge global problem. It harms marine life, human health, food safety, and contributes to climate change. But it’s not too late to turn things around.
At Jimbo & Jules, we want to empower you to feel confident taking steps towards a better and more sustainable future. And that starts small. Really small. The size of a 6g zero-waste lip balm, in fact.
Now, you might be thinking ‘what’s a little lip balm got to do with a big environmental issue?’. Well, since over 200 million plastic lip balm tubes end up in landfills or the ocean every year, a lot more than you might think.
But before we go into the details of what makes our zero-waste lip balm unique, let’s zoom out a second and assess the plastic problem we’re contending with.
What’s the problem with plastic?
The problem with plastic comes down to a simple paradox: it’s constantly thrown away, but never really goes away.
Unlike food waste or paper, it isn’t biodegradable and sticks around for years after it’s been discarded. According to National Geographic, of the 8.3 billion metric tons of plastic produced, 6.3 billion becomes waste. Of that, only 9% is recycled. Instead, it clogs up landfills and makes its way into the oceans.
If present trends continue, there’ll be 12 billion metric tons of plastic in landfills by 2050 - that’s enough to fill up the empire state building 35,000 times! Researchers from the Ellen MacArthur Foundation also warn that if the volume of plastic entering the ocean continues to grow there’ll be more plastic than fish by 2050. That’s a world no one wants to see.
The good news is that trends can change and we can move towards a brighter future. National Geographic states that, with a fundamental shift in thinking about how plastics are made, used, and discarded, the problem is resolvable. Every person matters when it comes to making a difference. If you’re wondering what you can do to help tackle the plastic problem, consider how you can reduce plastic in your own life.
A good place to start? Your lip balm.
Why a lip balm?
Where you spend your money matters and we want you to feel confident shopping with intention. That’s why our holistic approach to sustainability infuses every part of our brand and every one of our products.
So why are we shining a spotlight on our lip balm specifically?
Well, let’s loop back to the scary statistic we started with: over 200 million plastic lip balm tubes end up in landfills or the ocean every year. This is a small part of an even bigger issue with the cosmetics industry, which produces over 120 billion units of packaging each year.
Our lip balm is packaged in a home compostable tube made from 100% post-consumer waste paper. It’s a simple switch that can reduce a lot of plastic waste.
To reduce waste, the aim should be to send as little to the landfill as possible. This may be designing products to be used multiple times, replacing single-use equivalents, or packaging made from materials that are more easily and readily recycled.
But the fastest and most effective way to tackle waste is to get to the bottom of the problem and cut down the amount created in the first place. This is where zero waste comes in: the goal of producing no waste at all.
Our glass bottles are plastic-free and easily recycled, our Relief Salve tins are made of steel, which is highly recyclable and manufactured in the USA. And any of our products that come with a plastic component are also available with a metal cap so you can refill it plastic-free forever.
Our eco-friendly lip balm, however, takes our sustainable packaging to a new level. When you are finished with it, it can be decomposed. Where most compostable packaging takes two months to decompose naturally, and even longer when they’re coated in wax, ours is gone within 2 to 3 weeks.
What’s ‘100% post-consumer paper’?
We’ve delved into the problem with plastic, but what about paper? What makes post-consumer paper better?
Let’s imagine a hierarchy with virgin plastic as the least sustainable, then post-consumer plastic, virgin paper, and finally post-consumer paper as the best option.
Virgin plastic is newly created from resources like crude oil. Creating new materials every time a product is produced contributes massively to pollution and overused landfills. Post-consumer plastic is made from a used, thrown away, and reprocessed product. While it diverts plastic away from the landfill, it’s not all that economical and, when it eventually reaches the end of its cycle, it doesn’t biodegrade.
Paper is much more readily recyclable and does biodegrade. But unfortunately, cardboard packaging that covers cosmetic products contributes to the loss of 18 million acres of forest each year. Using post-consumer paper (i.e. paper that has already been used) helps eliminate the need for harvesting more materials.
Our plastic-free lip balms are hand-packaged by our partners in California, using entirely repurposed paper. This not only reduces the need for virgin paper but supports the recycling market.
But does it actually work?
Yes! You shouldn’t have to choose between caring for yourself and the planet.
Our holistically sustainable lip balm contains natural ingredients with proven hydrating properties, such as coconut oil, marula oil, castor oil, cocoa butter and beeswax. The silky formula can be applied day and night, for a softening boost that lasts for hours.
Nurturing the planet doesn’t have to mean restricting your options either. We know everyone is different, that’s why we’ve created three versions of our lip balm blended with different essential oils.
Our peppermint version is perfect for applying first thing in the morning, to feel fresh and energized. You could pop the sweet orange version in your purse or pocket, to keep you glowing throughout the day. And why not try the calming lavender version as part of your bedtime routine?
We hope our lip balm brings you a smooth and silky smile, made even bigger knowing you’re doing your bit to help the planet.
A small switch for a big difference
Seeing the effect of plastic on the planet may leave you feeling helpless, but collective efforts add up and a series of small changes can make a big difference. It’s important to stay hopeful and think about tangible things you can do.
One easy switch to make is swapping your plastic-packaged lip balm for a sustainable alternative. We’ve carefully created our zero-waste lip balm with the health of the planet in mind at every stage.
And we hope you’ll love using it too! Why not try it for yourself and let us know your favorite scent in the comments.