Being part of nature and living on this planet means taking reasonability for what we use and how we dispose of the things we consume. Aker is dedicated to delivering you great skincare in the most sustainable way possible.
When storing and creating products to be used on the skin, it is challenging to beat plastic's properties from a weight, supply chain and cost perspective, especially as a smaller brand. Unfortunately, only half of the population recycle plastics from their bathroom (compared to 90% that recycle kitchen plastics) and a lot of plastic waste ends up in landfill and in our oceans. Even plastics that individuals
responsibly recycled do not get recycled as the process only really happens when it is underpinned by profitability. In 2018 only 9% of the plastic
in the UK were recycled.
Unfortunately, a large amount of what we think happens with the plastic we recycle isn't correct. The narrative, widely propagated by the oil, gas and plastics industry in the 1990s that all plastic that goes into a recycling bin gets repurposed is a false one
Plastic is an incredibly cheap material to manufacture and so for the economics of recycling to work, recycled plastics must be less expensive than new (known as virgin) plastics. All plastics can be recycled but picking them up, sorting them and melting them down is costly. Smaller plastic items can usually only be sorted by hand. Due to the cost of processing the majority of waste plastic, over half of the plastic waste created by richer countries is exported to regions where labour is cheaper.
We currently have millions of tons of waste plastics being shipped on mass worldwide to some of the world's poorest countries who do not truly have the infrastructure to cope with it. Plastic recycling is broken and the best way to reduce plastic waste is to reduce the amount of plastic we use.
We have opted to use glass jars for our products wherever possible. Glass is much easier to sort and recycle and therefore is much more likely to be recycled. As our products are relatively low weight, the additional CO2 emissions from transporting a slightly heavier glass product are negligible.
We are currently moving away from plastic labels to printed jars to reduce our plastic footprint further. The lids on our jars are the only plastic we use in our products as these are a necessary evil for keeping the cost of our products down and the product inside our jars sealed well. We have opted not to include a shive (an internal plastic lid) with our jars as this is precisely the kind of single-use plastic we want to stay away from. It is also the reason we do not offer free sample sachets.
Our external packaging is entirely plastic-free. We use cardboard and paper from recycled and sustainable sources and opt for kraft stock cardboard for our postage boxes that create considerably less waste during production and recycling.
We are always looking to reduce the materials and packaging used to transport our products to you and you will likely see aspects of our packaging either disappear or be refined as we continue to explore this. If you have ever received a parcel that contains packaging peanuts from us, feel free to run them underwater and watch them disappear as we have opted for a fully biodegradable option made of starch over plastic.
As much as we let nature guide our formulas, we let it guide our ethos. We believe that no animal, big or small, should go through chemical testing for cosmetic reasons. The EU spent 238 million euros on research for alternative testing methods to animal testing and we put that well spent to money to good use. Testing on animals has been fully outlawed in the UK and EU since 2013
We work with manufacturers in the UK that are fully aligned to these regulations to ensure zero animal testing in our supply chain. You can be sure that the products we supply you are made without causing harm to animals.
Despite the introduction of regulations, animal testing is still an occurrence in the world of skincare. Make sure you choose products that have been manufactured and produced in areas with strict regulations (like the EU), or your products have been verified to be cruelty-free by an animal protection organisation.