I don’t know about you but I absolutely love Burt’s Bees lip balm. Maybe it is only my slightly concerning addiction talking but I think it is a fantastic company. From just first glance you can see that the outer packaging is made from 100% recyclable cardboard, something many companies fail to provide by using plastic coated cardboard which is not recyclable. Along with its many other loveable qualities, Burt’s Bees is setting an example for all leading marketing brands to take a step towards a more sustainable future in business to further influence customers to take action in living a sustainable lifestyle.

Burt’s Bees sells multiple forms of product whether that is classic lip balms, hand lotions, makeup removers, and even some makeup products and much more. Taking a closer look at these plastic packagings, they are made out of recycled material. Such as the classic lip balm, it says directly on the plastic tube that it has been made out of 50% used plastics beforehand as well as the printing of the label being vegetable based inks. Not only is the product made from all natural ingredients, they are an animal friendly company by the Leaping Bunny certification therefore creating a positive image towards all customers and competitors. Along with all this, on the Burt’s Bees website, customers are able to request a free shipping label to their own recycling program, TerraCycle. After disposing of leftover product from the containers and shipping the products to Burt’s Bees, customers are ensured that these plastics will be used again and will not be going to waste! Burt’s Bees stands as an influence to other companies that limiting packaging and creating an open environment for trustful recycling is beneficial to not only their own company but our environment as a whole!

Unfortunately, products that are typically either no-waste or even plant based are more expensive than regular plastic wrapped bottles or tubes and avoiding that is inevitable. As well as the unfortunate reality that our planet is being killed by humanity’s unplanned decision to not properly dispose of reusable waste until the 1970’s. Luckily for our generations, we are initiating bigger steps since our sciences are advancing and people are inclining towards more education on these issues to be able to make these changes we couldn’t make years ago. Taking such impactful companies such as Burt’s Bees as our guide to a better future in sustainable packaging can normalize the use of more recycled products and take steps to ensuring products are being used again and not further polluting earth’s wonderful sights. As well as other companies being influenced by Burt’s beneficial recycling programs, customers can be inspired as well! Taking these steps as a large brand shows how simple it may be to think smarter about where everyday waste in packaging may go.

Taking a look at the big picture, our society has been improving in production of sustainable packaging in more ways than we have ever seen before yet there is still much we can improve upon in creating healthier ways bestowing products amongst their packaging. Taking Burt’s Bees as a simple example in how to start creating a more welcoming environment of friendlier packaging can create a brighter future for us all!

Essay by: Merritt Heinle
Desert Ridge High School

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