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Why Glass Packaging is the Way to Go

When ORL chose to package its products with glass, it was an easy decision. But, as we released our line to the public, we started hearing that the packaging was catching people off guard. It wasn’t bad feedback; more that people found it a curious choice since the standard is plastic.

To be fair, we’re not concerned with the status quo and do a lot of things differently, such as our mindful choice to focus on creating a perfectly neutral 7.0 pH to restore balance and promote health and the inclusion of organic xylitol for its cavity-fighting power as well as vitamins and minerals for natural remineralization and plant-based essential oils for optimum health. There’s also the extensive list of ingredients we don’t include, focusing instead on what you really need in order to have a healthy mouth. Nothing more. Nothing less.

Our decision to go with glass containers is like that. It’s rooted in science for the sake of the environment and your health. We think it provides a better experience too. Here’s a look at the data.

There are Environmental Benefits to Glass

Glass is endlessly recyclable.

Recycling is a great way to protect the environment and keep waste out of landfills, but many materials degrade to the point they can no longer be used with repeated recycling. Plastic, for example, can only be recycled 7-9 times before it’s degraded too much to be processed again. Glass does not degrade at all when it’s recycled. The quality remains the same whether the materials are being used the first time or the millionth.

Glass gets recycled more.

Only about 9% of plastic ever manufactured has been recycled; the rest wound up landfills and the environment, wreaking havoc on vulnerable ecosystems. These days, only about 8% of plastic is recycled overall, but glass is recycled at a rate of 26.6%. That means 26.8 million tons of plastic hit landfills every year, whereas 7 million tons of glass does. Certainly, we can and should do better as a country, but the data shows glass is considerably less likely to wind up in a landfill, making it one of the most eco-friendly choices.

Glass is easier to recycle.

One of the big challenges that result in so much plastic going to waste is that packaging is often layered. Facilities can’t split apart the various types of plastic when it’s combined into one piece and recycle them independently, and so even pieces people try to recycle get tossed by the recycling companies. Plus, many types of plastic simply aren’t recyclable to begin with. These issues aren’t seen with glass.

Glass is less of an environmental concern.

The “Great Pacific Garbage Patch,” which is mostly made of plastic, is now three times the size of France. Researchers say one-in-three species of marine mammals have been found entangled in litter and a whopping 90% of all seabirds have plastic pieces in their stomachs. Issues like this simply aren’t associated with glass at all.

There’s a Health Case for Glass

Glass is BPA-free.

A while back, the CDC discovered 93% of people ages six and up have detectable levels of Bisphenol A (BPA) in their bodies. It’s a chemical used in the production of plastic that been linked to health issues in babies and children in animal studies, which is why it was removed from food packaging for children years ago. However, it’s also a potent hormone disruptor that behaves like estrogen, so it’s linked to reproductive issues, heart disease, diabetes, weight, asthma, and certain types of cancer. Although not all plastics leverage BPA, many do, and even food-related metals are coated in a BPA plastic lining sometimes too. Even though the government has not moved to ban BPA, the National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences released data showing there may be cause for concern and suggests those who want to avoid BPA use glass, porcelain, or stainless steel instead.

Glass is free of lots of other dangerous chemicals too.

Avoiding BPA-containing plastics only goes so far. There are lots of health concerns associated with plastic, including cancer and hormone disruption, and that’s true of BPA-free plastic too. Glass is inert, meaning it doesn’t react to the things it comes in contact with, and it’s impermeable. In this sense, it doesn’t contain the harmful chemicals to start with and won’t pick them up either.

Packaging Impacts Your Experience

Glass is the ideal storage for essential oils.

We’ve mindfully included a number of natural plant-based essential oils into our products. Each one serves a unique purpose. For example, coconut oil can help prevent cavities and gum disease and tea tree oil helps with inflammation. The “problem” is that essential oils are incredibly potent and they can break down plastic containers. That impacts the quality of the product you’re using and can result in more of the materials within the packaging leaching into the product you’re using. Researchers say glass is best for storage of essential oils because of this. So, in opting for glass packaging, we’re ensuring that the nourishing and great-tasting product we package for you is the same one you receive and will remain so as you continue to use it.

Glass is resilient.

Forget the great debate about whether you’re supposed to roll or squeeze the tube and skip those (plastic) clips designed to help you get the last drop. Glass lets you avoid all these hassles and doesn’t split at the seams like plastic or metal tubes do, so there’s less mess and no avenue for bacteria to enter the tube.

Make the Switch to Glass

If you’ve been looking for a natural toothpaste and other oral health care products that are made with mindful practices, try ORL. Our pH-neutral formula is fortified with organic xylitol, vitamins and minerals, and plant-based essential oils that allow you to rebuild and maintain your oral health as Mother Nature intended and without harmful ingredients, plus comes in an array of fresh flavors your whole family will love. And, you’ll only find them in glass packages. Visit our online shop for details.