Interview with Beat Stettler – Partner & Responsible Quality & Operations at TOI Soins Naturels
What is your packaging strategy at TOI, specifically in a time in which plastics are under strong attack due to their negative environmental impact?
From the very start of TOI, it was clear to us that we did not only want the best performing and most natural hair beauty care products for our customers, we equally strived for them to be conserved and packed in a more sustainable manner. Being consistent and acting true to our brand values and promises – Engaging for a better Planet – we decided to explore the use of Bioplastics for all our products which are being used in the shower.
Why only for products used in the shower and why Bioplastics? Is it not a myth that Bioplastics are less harmful for the environment?
We are convinced that the highest-quality packaging for our products is glass. This due to its excellent barrier- and conservation functions and its recyclability. But using glass for products that are handled in the shower and can easily slip and break, was not a safe and consumer-friendly option.
Therefore, we started to discuss with our packaging partner on alternatives, on products that do not have the same negative environmental impact as cheap, traditional plastics, which you can find allover in retail and hair salon shelves today.
What we discovered were Bioplastics. Stable packaging solutions for liquid and pasty products, but with much less negative impact to the Planet.
Bioplastics are not made from fossil fuels, oils and potentially harmful additives, but natural agricultural raw materials such as cellulose, potato and corn starch. There are also first applications that do upcycle Food Waste into Bioplastics.
Was it easy to find a reliable partner that was able to implement your Bioplastic packaging needs for TOI?
To be very honest, it was a real nightmare at the beginning. Either the packaging partners did not offer their solutions in Bioplastic, or their pricing was not realistic. It took us more than 12 months to find our current partner, Premi close to Milano, being able to offer us a Bioplastic packaging solution that was acceptable. We still pay a premium of 20% today to use Bioplastics for TOI, but again, when you decide you make a difference, you stick to it, from start to end.
What are the advantages of Bioplastics?
To start with, the carbon footprint of Bioplastics is considerably lower than for regular plastics.
As they are made from natural agricultural raw materials, they do not involve the consumption of non-renewable raw material such as fossil fuels and oils, and their production reduces non-biodegradable waste that contaminates the environment.
Is Bioplastics the final solution for all issues we are having with plastics on this Planet?
It is certainly a very good alternative to what is traditionally on the market and broadly used by many companies. It is a preferred solution that is less harmful for the environment and therefore for all of us. Is it the final solution? No, we don’t think so and this is why at TOI we never stop looking at the next better alternative, new packaging solutions, re-fill options and many more.
Do not hesitate to reach out to us here at any time.