True Sustainability only works holistically. Example: The Body Shop’s ‘fair recyclate’ initiative

True Sustainability only works holistically.

Example: The Body Shop’s ‘fair recyclate’ initiative

Thomas Reiner | 29.11.2019

The mere closing of cycles is an important step for more ecological sustainability. But sustainability involves more than just ecological considerations. It also includes economic and social aspects, going beyond company, process and packaging levels.

In cooperation with “Plastics For Change”, The Body Shop starts using Fair Trade plastic recyclates for the bottles of its hair care products. It is one of the world’s first programmes for the use of recyclates from tested Fair Trade plastic collections. As a result, the sustainability strategy focuses not only on ecological aspects but also on social implications.

In India there are about 1.5 million, mostly informal, waste collectors who collect and sort more than 6,000 tons of plastic every day. Plastic is a major source of income for a substantial part of these marginalised urban populations.

The initiative of “The Body Shop” and “Plastics For Change” aims not only to combat environmental pollution caused by unwanted plastics, but also to promote social change and make a better life possible for up to 2500 rubbish collectors from Bengaluru, India. As part of the “Community Trade Recycled Plastic Program”, waste collectors receive fair prices for the plastic waste they collect.

The 250 ml bottles used by The Body Shop – also for its best-selling products – are made of 100 percent recycled plastic except for the closures. 85 percent of the recycled material used comes from European sources. 15 percent come from the so-called “Community Trade Recycled Plastic Program”. The proportion of “fair recyclate” is to be continuously increased over the next few years.

The “Fairly Traded Recycled Plastic” initiative is an example of how consistently and far-reachingly sustainability can – and must – be thought through. Sustainability permeates all levels. It can and must be understood as a holistic issue.

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