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ShiKai packaging change = search for new lotion


I've been using a cucumber melon hand and body lotion from ShiKai for a year or two now and have liked it. Nice scent, and it doesn't leave me feeling like an oil slick. But I haven't been fooled by its 'All Natural' claims either since its ingredients include dimethicone and phenoxyethanol. Yum. Tasty goodness. (It really bugs me that manufacturers can slap that All Natural label on just about anything.) But you know how you get comfortable with a product and that testing out others can be both expensive and frustrating? Like with lotion, you generally don't know if you're going to like it until you slather it on your body. And if you hate it, then you're stuck with it. This is why I haven't bothered to change lotions. But ShiKai has just made it really easy for me: they changed their packaging from an easily-recyclable lotion bottle to a difficult-to-recycle #7 tube that could be leaching bisphenol-A. Most communities can recycle #2 bottles with necks. How many of you can recycle one of these tubes? I emailed the company and asked why they switched, and to their credit they responded quickly:

Our research and development team were coming up with packaging solutions for our hand & body lotions and the tubes were favored more so we changed the packaging. The number for the tube is 7, which is usually the problem number. Some recycling facilities accept it, but many do not. The president of our company personally explored other options for tubes (post-consumer resin was one), but found that the technology is at least 5 years away from being usable. You are not the first person to ask why we use #7 plastic in our tubes. I can assure you that we are keeping our eyes open for better options.

Hey, I have a suggestion for a better option: go back to using the #2 bottle! Is it because you couldn't make the graphics as pretty as on the #7 tube? Obviously. If you are really a company whose mission is to "provide you with the safest and most effective body care possible," then why did you switch to a notoriously bad plastic when you could have stuck with a good plastic (well, a better one anyway)? What is the bottom line here?

I realize these types of tubes are widely used by most manufacturers. But in looking through my bathroom drawers and medicine cabinet I found just three: a couple of old sunscreens and a tube of hydrocortisone cream. I guess I have just stopped buying products that come in tubes like this: maybe they tend to be mainstream products? I don't know -- but I'm now aware of it and will avoid them. I guess I just took a baby step.

In Portland, once the Master Recycler Plastics Round-ups resume, I could conceivably recycle this tube. But we're a rare exception. On principle, I'm abandoning this brand and am now motivated to find a better alternative. I think I might have it: jojoba oil. I've been using jojoba oil as a moisturizer on my face for a year now and I love, love, love it. It absorbs quickly into your skin with no oily residue, and a little goes a long way. This 1.7 ounce bottle (glass) from Aveda has lasted 10 months, used twice daily. I've never used it on my hands or legs, but I think it's worth a try. And one less plastic bottle in the house -- hooray!

Oh, you're probably wondering why I bought the ShiKai tube since I'm so opposed to it. I bought it online with my groceries, and the photo was still of the old bottle. I didn't know about the change until it landed on my doorstep. I'm returning it.

Do you think about packaging waste when you purchase products? Does it impact your buying decisions? Do you have many of these nasty tubes in your collection?


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