Updated: Dec 23, 2019
Unlike companies want you to believe, the tiny "recycle" symbol on the back of most deodorant sticks doesn't actually mean that you can recycle it. That symbol merely indicates the type of plastic that it is made of in case it can be recycled. In places like Portland and Seattle, for example, plastic deodorant sticks belong in the trash. Given that I put on deodorant (almost) every day, that can add up to a lot of plastic waste!
Although there are mail-in programs for recycling deodorant, the best option is to elect a plastic free version! I love making my own deodorant (which really works!) but sometimes you might want to have a back-up on hand or something that is easier to travel with. In those cases, Organic Essence has the deodorant for you!
This article was sponsored by Organic Essence. However, as always, all opinions expressed are my own and I only review products that align with my environmental values.
Organic Essence History
Organic Essence is run by Ellery and Gail, husband and wife. They began thirteen years ago, founding one of the first USDA Organic body care companies in 2006. At the time, they packaged their products in plastic. After seeing a whale beached on the ocean, dead from plastic digestion, the founders realized that they were part of the plastic problem and needed to change their packaging. Organic Essence began to focus not just on the product's safety but the safety of the container it came in as well. In 2008 they developed a paper jar for their products and then in 2009 followed suite with a paper tube - creating a model for other businesses to replicate!
Organic Essence now offers a line of skin care products, including their deodorant, in plastic free containers. Designed similarly to a "push pop", the applicators are paper and can be rolled or squeezed out as needed. At $14.50 a stick, it's definitely not the cheapest deodorant on the market but compared to many "plastic free brands", it is priced competitively.
Clean, Safe Ingredients Only
Organic Essence stands out compared to traditional deodorants because their ingredient list is straightforward and short. No need to pull out the dictionary to understand what you are putting on your body! For my favorite Lemon Tea Tree deodorant, here are all the ingredients:
lemon tea tree essential oil
rosemary essential oil
peppermint essential oil
Organic Essence's deodorants are not vegan, as they contain beeswax, and that's clearly labeled on the package. In fact, the ingredients mimic almost exactly the DIY deodorant I use, except that I use shea butter instead of beeswax, making it vegan. With Organic Essence, you get the same high-quality deodorant that's safe for your body - but without needing to make it at home!
How to Dispose of the Packaging
Even though the packaging is paper, it is still important to understand how to properly dispose of it once your deodorant is all used up. Sending paper to the landfill is not a good option, and it won't break down. If you have composting available at your home, that is the easiest way to make sure it gets processed correctly. Simply tear up the container and add it to your backyard compost bin!
Some municipalities may also let you recycle it in the curbside bins for paper. however you will want to make sure that the paper package is very clean and doesn't have any residual oils stuck to it. The best way to clean it would be to cut it open so you can access the inside.
What plastic free deodorant do you use? Or do you make your own?