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A common theme from the beauty industry’s sustainability efforts is collaboration. For Burt’s Bees, its efforts extend to unlikely partners: Arizona State University students.
In April, Burt’s Bees released its 2020 Impact Report, which spelled out sustainability accomplishments completed from 2012-2020 and goals for 2025. Among many details in the report, one of its 2025 goals includes investing further in U.S. recycling infrastructure. As more brands pledge to adopt post-consumer recycled plastic materials, brands and their manufacturing partners will face a shortage and prices will increase. According to the Consumer Brand Association, in 2019, there was only enough recycled plastic in the U.S. to meet 6% of demand. This underscores the need for collaborative efforts to improve the likelihood that a product is recycled by both consumers and recycling facilities.
With the need to improve recycling efforts and reduce virgin plastic usage, Burt’s Bees looked to Arizona State University, which operates a group called The Sustainability Consortium. It was jointly formed with the University of Arkansas in 2009 as a global organization dedicated to improving the sustainability of consumer products.