Bioblender (EcoTools)

overall rating:

0.5

planets

Eme Schwartz
11/5/2021
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In the beauty industry, a huge environmental problem is how to dispose of the many products that are contained in plastic containers that then fill up landfills. The company, EcoTools, tries to address the problem of cosmetic waste through its product the Bioblender. It claims that the Bioblender is the world’s first biodegradable beauty blender. This new innovative beauty product has taken the industry by storm and is now available in big stores like Amazon and Urban Outfitters. Let's see if EcoTools' environmentally friendly claims about the Bioblender hold up to the reality of the product. 

What it's made of:

0.5

The Bioblender beauty blender is only made of five ingredients- water, corn, bionanopol, natural preservative, and natural pigment. They say each ingredient is USDA certified organic, vegan, and cruelty free. While this is great, they offer no information on how these ingredients are sourced which forces me to assume that they are not sustainable. Looking at corn, if not sustainably sourced, planting corn usually involves monoculture farming which reduces soil quality and microbe diversity. Bionanopol is the ingredient that makes the beauty blender decomposable, however, a quick Google search of bionanopol will offer no information at all. So, it is impossible to know the environmental effects of bionanopol. Additionally, they offer no further information on what natural preservatives and pigment entails. EcoTools really lacks transparency over where they source their ingredients and instead just make greenwashing claims that they are organic, vegan, and cruelty free which all products should be.

Additionally, EcoTools advertises the Bioblender as biodegradable when that is not the truth, as they are just greenwashing. In order for the Bioblender to decompose, it must be placed in a composting environment, not just the trash. This of course is hidden in the fine print, as the company wants potential customers to think that the beauty blender will decompose in the trash, when that is simply not the case. Unfortunately, most consumers do not have available compost to properly dispose of the Bioblender. It also unfairly places responsibility on the consumer to make sure they properly dispose of the product, instead of on the producers who could just actually use biodegradable ingredients like advertised. 

How it's made:

0.5

EcoTools discloses that their products are mostly manufactured in Asia and they hold them to a high standard, making them go through an inspection and audit process. They make sure their suppliers do not have child labor, have fair wages, and give compensation for overtime. Additionally, they monitor the production process with their own trained quality control employees to conduct random inspections. While it is good that EcoTools holds their suppliers and manufacturers to some sort of standard, again, it seems like little necessities a company should do this day and age. Also, I wish EcoTools would offer more information on where there products are manufactured- saying just in Asia is very broad and lacks transparency with the public. It says that they make their producers follow the laws of the country they reside in, but do not tell us which countries. So how is one supposed to know what those laws are? Additionally, the travel involved from transporting products or supplies from Asia, as well as shipping product to various places across the country, increases the amount of greenhouse gases emitted.

Looking at the packaging of the Bioblender, it is made of FSC certified biodegradable paper printed with soy ink. The FSC certification confirms that any of the paper used is sourced from responsibly managed forests that provide environmental, social, and economic benefits. It is nice to see packaging that is sustainably sourced and biodegradable. Any plastic used in the packaging is made of recycled PET and can be recycled again. The company claims that while they have not been able to completely eliminate plastic waste in their packaging, they have been able to reduce the amount by 88% which is a good start. Their packaging is not perfect, but they are making a good effort and are on the right path. 

Who makes it:

0.5

Overall, I think the company EcoTools and the Bioblender are weak attempts at greenwashing. The company EcoTools is owned by Yellow Wood Partners and on their website they offer no information about their sustainability or diversity goals. Instead, on their approaches page it mentions topics like international sales expansion which could include possible exploitation of workers and the environment. In general, it would be nice for the company to expand their focus to include more environmental concerns. I think EcoTools could be Yellow Wood’s token “green” subsection that they can point to when they are asked what they are doing for the environment. While I do think that it is amazing EcoTools has made a product that can be biodegradable in certain environments, I think it is extremely misleading to label the Bioblender as biodegradable in general. Instead, I would more accurately advertise the Bioblender as compostable which would just make the company seem so much more transparent. In general, EcoTools needs to become more transparent, continue to work upon the sustainability goals they have established, and include more intersectional matters.