CO2 Not emitted
The strong propensity to a sustainable development led us to make further investments in renewable energy sources and we are proud to report that two new plants, respectively of 200 and 100 KWP, have been operational since summer 2011.
The energy which is necessary for our offices, warehouses and decoration equipment, is now provided by solar panels. In winter, when the sun light is not enough to ensure our energy independence, we are supported by Repower as a supplier of energy from renewable sources.
We achieved ISO 14001 certification in 2013, which is increasingly important in Europe and it establishes the environmental management system of the company, with the aim of a progressive impact reduction on the environment.
A virtuous choice has been undertaken for company cars too: we are progressively replacing traditional motors by hybrid , electric and gas ones.
Taking into consideration the huge weight in the supply-chain, packaging companies should definitely care about the environmental impact of their products. In this section we would like to clarify the concept of ecology and to list the relevant technical terms with a short explanation, for our mutual benefit.
This means the capacity of some products to be recycled. PE,PP, PET, PVC bottles are recycled, but they must be separated from accessories if those are made of different materials (e.g. pumps or metal caps).
Warning: even if something is made of recycled material, it does not mean that we can turn it back to the original product, but recycled material is often used to make different products such as water supply pipes by Polypropylene (PP), ore pile fabric by PET. Glass is one of the easiest materials to recycle: it can be used to produce wine bottles and sometimes bottles and jars for creams.
This is the capacity of chemicals to degrade in nature, with no negative effects on the environment. Some materials are biodegradable like paper, some others are not biodegradable at all (or they are over a long term period) like glass or usually plastic.
This is the capacity of a material to degrade in a 6 months time in certain conditions, according to the European regulation EN13432. Composting is technically a biological aerobic process controlled by man, which starts the production of compost from vegetable and animal residues combined with the action of bacteria and fungi. Compost can be used as a fertilizer. Compostable packaging and products are identified by the certification mark.
This is a private body that certifies organic products in some industries such as food and cosmetics. It is not possible to confirm if a bottle is "organic" or not, for this reason Ecocert simply issues a packaging conformity certification whenever it complies with Ecocert’s own standards for natural and organic cosmetics.
In which way can packaging be ecological?
BIOPLASTIC comes from renewable raw materials, or they are biodegradable, or both. There are different kinds of bioplastics but none of them is suitable for the cosmetics industry, nor to be used to make bottles. PLA is a compostable bioplastic, with aesthetic features similar to PET, but with a limited shelf-life which makes it hardly compatible with the cosmetic supply chain. GREEN PE is a bioplastic made from renewable sources. It is actually a common polyethylene obtained from sugar cane instead of oil and it is not biodegradable. Being a simple polyethylene, it can be recycled by urban waste recovery. This is currently the most common solution chosen by several brands such as P&G, L'Occitane, Johnson & Johnson, Danone, who use it at 100% or less. Advantages: no oil extraction.
Disadvantages: high cost of raw material.
BOTTLES WHICH ARE MANUFACTURED USING RECYCLED MATERIAL are made from regenerated raw material, coming from urban plastic waste. The plastic waste chain currently supplies material to produce regenerated PE and PET, but not PP accessories.
Advantages: no oil extraction.
Disadvantages: original material is grey colored and not natural, which means the final colour results can change from the original target. Perfume is not neutral.
How do we understand what is really more ecological?
The materials we mentioned are to be considered "eco-friendly" in certain ways. This means each of them has a limited impact on the environment if compared with virgin raw material. It is difficult to certainly determine which is the more ecological technology, except by LCA (Life Cycle Assessment). This is the analysis of the product life cycle, to calculate the total consumption of resources and the quantity of harmful chemicals generated during the entire life of a certain product. How much water did you use to make a product and how much oil to distribute it? Are you using renewable raw materials? Which kind and how much gas do you emit in the atmosphere? How much soil are you consuming? The result of this analysis will be the final value that manufacturers should disclose to final consumers at the end of the chain.
Unfortunately it is an expensive and complex process, even if it has already been implemented by some companies. A document with the name of "Recommendation 2013/179/UE", was issued by the EU in order to inform companies about this procedure, which will become law in the near future.