Plastics & Fossil Fuels

2 min read


Here at SBTRCT we talk a lot about plastic pollution. All those pumps, lids, tubes and bottles that the beauty industry is responsible for and that end up in landfill or our natural environment.

We tend to focus on this because a) it’s terrible, but also b) because it’s a very tangible and visible part of a bigger problem.

But something we haven’t spoken about before is that the beauty industry’s addiction to plastic packaging doesn’t just cause packaging pollution.

It is also responsible for the growth in the demand for fossil fuels that is driven by the production process.

Fossil fuels are major feedstocks in petrochemicals, which are used to produce plastic.

Significant amounts of energy have been used and CO2 emitted before the plastic packaging manufacturers even end up with a shape and form that we are now so familiar with.

Indeed according toa report by Frederik Bauer, head of environmental and systems studies at Lund University in Sweden, emissions associated with petrochemicals have doubled in the past 25 years due largely to growth in demand for plastic and fertilisers. Not only that but countries with large fossil fuel reserves are investing in the expansion of fossil-fuel-based petrochemical production.

So you see, it’s not only what comes off the end of production line and our inability to dispose of it that is so problematic, but also the production process itself.

Our planet is on fire (quite literally) and so we have to change our approach. Some of your power is in the choices you make about the businesses you choose to buy from and the products your choose to buy. Small choices that can cumulatively make a big difference.

We read a lot about the environmental tipping point, that point at which the damage caused will be simply irreversible.
But there’s another tipping point and one that if we can just reach it first, we can get to a good place. It’s the social tipping point. The point where enough people understand the problems and how their lifestyle choices can help solve them.

If you follow SBTRCT and buy our products the chances are you want to be part of this change. Our job now is to convince others. We can all make a difference. We just need to reach that social tipping point. And fast!