We have all seen the disturbing images. Our planet is drowning in a literal sea of plastic pollution. Scientists estimate that nearly 8 million tons of plastic enters our oceans each year, and if we do not collectively act now, there could be a pound of plastic for every three pounds of fish in the ocean within the next decade.
It is estimated that the global Beauty Industry creates 120 billion units of packaging each year, and beauty products, hair care and cosmetics packaging including plastic bottles, envelopes, cosmetic compacts and dispensers, bubble wrap, molds, cellophane etc. is the number one contributor to plastic production in the world and a leading offender for plastic waste pollution. In 2015, research found that packaging accounted for 146 million tons of plastic produced every year. The good news is that many large beauty brands have recognized the urgent need to contribute to a plastic free planet. Hairstory has eliminated plastic bottles across its New Wash range in favor of more environmentally friendly pouches. Natural skincare brand BYBI‘s products are placed in sugarcane-derived bioplastic tubes which are completely biodegradable and Lush launched three packaging-free ‘Naked’ stores in Milan, Berlin and Manchester, allowing customers to buy hair care, skin care, bath bombs and shower gels completely package free. However, until all major beauty brands collectively commit to integrating plastic alternatives into their packaging, the crisis will unfortunately only continue to grow.
As a Southeast Asian based environmental company, TONTOTON, a plastic neutralization program, is sharply aware of the urgent need to close the tap of plastic pollution being funneled into our waterways, and one of the immediate solutions a company may implement is to neutralize its environmental plastic footprint by supporting the collection and treatment of non-recyclable plastics. Through their certified “Plastic Credit” system, similar to “Carbon Offsetting”, TONTOTON works directly with companies to calculate and then collect a predefined amount of ocean-bound plastic equivalent to the participating company’s overall plastic consumption, therefore reducing the company’s plastic footprint. IE: 1 TONTOTON credit = 1 ton of rescued non-recyclable or “Orphan Plastic”. If a company purchases “Plastic Credits” equal to the total amount of plastic that they produce, then they will achieve a certified plastic neutral status, and plastic neutrality is the key to balancing plastic consumption. In addition to the enormous environmental benefits that this program provides, the social impact within local communities is equally as remarkable, as TONTOTON provides low-income workers, primarily female, with sustainable earnings, personal protective equipment, and primary health insurance benefits. As Vietnam is the 4th largest contributor to marine plastic pollution globally, with an estimated 2,500 tons of plastic waste discharged daily, the TONTOTON activities are currently focused on the poor waste management areas of North and South Vietnam, and they are planning an expansion into other Southeast Asian countries by 2022.
“Plastic credits allow companies to make an environmental and social impact and create significant added value to their business activities. TONTOTON’s Plastic Credit is used to create non-recyclable plastic treatment systems. These are the materials that companies produce but cannot recycle which cause most of the plastic pollution. It is a tool for companies to influence and reduce their plastic footprint and support a cleaner environment.”
– Barak Ekshtein, CEO, TONTOTON