Why we switched from plastic to paper deodorant tubes

Why we switched from plastic to paper deodorant tubes

Stefanie Grant-Cassel

When it comes to packaging, the most ethical, eco-friendly solution isn't always clear. We know this as consumers, but let me tell you, it's especially true as a business owner!
Honestly, packaging and labels are the BANE OF MY EXISTENCE.  
On my minuscule budget, customizing anything is simply out of the question (unless I choose to do so with my own two hands, and let's be honest, I'm not that crafty...)
 so finding packaging that's the right size, material, price, and fits within my own personal set of ethics is to me, the most difficult part of this job.
(Actually, don't get me started on printing labels!) 
There's been much debate recently over the use of plastic vs. paper bags in the grocery store, with the general conclusion being that neither are good and you should just use a reusable canvas bag. 
Well, canvas isn't really an option for storing deodorant...
Many of the other "natural deodorant" brands use glass containers, which are great environmentally, but, you have to apply the deodorant with your fingers. 
Personally, I'm not opposed to applying deodorant with my fingers, but when I created my formula, it was important to me that my deodorant be as convenient and portable as possible. 
I believe that my customers are, like me, hovering somewhere between crunchy earth mamma and busy, slick fashionista... aware that our choices are making an impact on the world around us and wanting to make better choices, but also secretly hoping that we don't have to sacrifice style, luxury, or functionality. 
With that in mind, I tried a few different containers (options are extremely limited, btw!) when I was in the experimental phases of my deodorant, and, honestly, I didn't really like any of them. I don't love using plastic anything if I can help it, and aside from that, I simply wasn't happy with the quality of any of the packaging I tried.
But, like I said, *tiny budget.*
So I went with the least offensive, least expensive option, and vowed to upgrade on the next round. 
Of course, "the next round" came much more quickly than I was expecting, and here I am, still with the tiny budget and limited options... 
But I promised myself...
So I gave the paperboard tubes I had deemed too pricey a few months back a second look.
And the more I looked at them, the more adorable they seemed.
And biodegradable...
And not made from a non-renewable resource, with endocrine-disrupting chemicals... 
While it may be true that paper uses more energy to produce than plastic, I feel good about the fact that my paper deodorant tubes will biodegrade, even if you forget to recycle, where as plastic is never even truly "recycled," only "down-cycled.
There's just something about the paper that feels closer to nature. 
But also cute... 
And sturdy... 
Hence the whole "not wanting to sacrifice style or functionality" thing. 
So I went for it! 
I'm very happy with the look and feel of my new deodorant packaging, but I'm less thrilled with the fact that it's not as much product (not to mention profit margin) for the same price as before. 
However, I'm hopeful that my customers will acknowledge the benefit of using less plastic in their everyday lives, and that my luxurious, skin loving formula plus signature botanical-based fragrances will make up the difference. 
So... what do you think?! 
I'm dying to find out! 
(P.S. - I've reached out to my supplier to find out if this packaging is compostable, but they didn't *quite* answer the question, which I'm assuming means they don't really know, so I will try to do a little more digging and keep you posted!) 
-XO- Stefanie 

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