Christchurch-based Aú Natural Skinfood has become the first brand in the world to deliver a complete skincare range without any single-use plastic packaging.
Packaged in 100 percent reusable, compostable or recyclable material, the range is “seven years ahead” of international brands like L’Oréal and Unilever which recently committed to ensuring all their plastic packaging will be reusable, recyclable or compostable by 2025.
Aú Natural Skinfood CEO and founder Tony Ahern says ‘Reuse, Reduce and Recycle’ is the philosophy behind the brand and the mantra that he, and his team, keep in mind on a daily basis.
“We want to help people understand that small day-to-day decisions, such as choosing eco-friendly skincare, can really have a positive impact on the environment. Making these small changes on a mass scale, will help solve the plastic pollution problem our world is facing.”
Therefore in a bid to help reduce its use of single-use plastic, “one of the most pervasive products threatening the environment today with over 480 billion new bottles piling up in landfills each year”, the company began developing a packaging system for its skincare that “puts the planet before human convenience”.
The Aú Natural packaging is based around “a clever system of plant-based eco-refills and reusable containers that reduces packaging size and eliminates the need single use plastic”.
Ahern says the system is revolutionary because “instead of encouraging people to just recycle plastic containers” it is reusable and refillable.
In brief, the skincare products are packaged in reusable and refillable aluminium containers while top-ups of the skincare are delivered in plant-based eco-refills.
In addition reusable tin containers are used for external packaging, standard internal disposable cardboard packing is replaced by reusable cotton shopping bags, and orders are delivered in a 100 percent compostable courier bag.
Ahern proudly adds that the decision to abolish single-use plastic packaging has reduced the brand’s products by a dramatic 75 percent.
“Not only have we cut down the use of raw materials, but they also reduced their carbon footprint along the supply chain by creating smaller, and lighter products to store, distribute, ship and courier.”
Ultimately the company’s move away from single-use plastic packaging will enable its customers to make a big difference to their impact on the environment.
Ahern says that most skincare users are probably using at least “24 single-use plastic containers” a year (roughly 1400 plastic containers over a lifetime) but Aú Natural subscribers receive a Starter Pack containing an eight-week supply of four core products (cleanser, PH balancing skin lotion, day serum and anight cream) packaged in aluminium containers and then receive eco-pouch refills every eight weeks.