Why is shower gel/liquid soap such a problem for the environment?
Energy: It takes about 5 times more energy to produce shower gels or liquid soaps and 20 times more energy to produce their packaging.
Plastic Waste: Shower gels often have much more packaging than a bar of soap but the main problem is single use plastic, in the UK each year we buy over 200 million shower gels and body washes. Even if you are an avid recycler, 91% of single use plastic is not recycled, all of those discarded bottles end up in landfill sites and in our oceans.
Carbon Footprint: Due to the high water content of shower gels and the size of product they weigh a lot more than bar soaps and so their transportation carbon footprint is much higher.
Usage: We tend to use a lot more of the shower gel product itself, around 7 times more per wash, mainly due to way the product is dispensed but also because it is easily rinsed away or even spilled.
What can be in shower gel that is so harmful, surely it cant be that bad?
Chemicals: Our body absorbs nutrients through our skin, (as well as through our digestive system and the food we eat) Over 50% of the substances we put on our skin, will eventually be absorbed into the bloodstream. Our amazing skin allows us to absorb vitamins and minerals but it will absorb harmful chemicals we put on it too.
What harm can it really do?
The chemicals which we are absorbing can disrupt our hormones, cause allergies, reproductive issues and increase risk of some cancers.
There are 3 key additives in shower gels and liquid soaps that we really need to avoid.
Fragrance. Usually synthetic chemicals and "frangrance" does not need to list what each of those chemicals are so we never know what we are putting on our bodies.
Parabens. These are oestrogen mimickers, they enter the bloodstream, and the body mistakes them for oestrogen. When the body thinks there is an abnormally high amount of estrogen present in the bloodstream, it reacts in various ways: decreasing muscle mass, increasing fat deposits, causing early onset of puberty and spurring reproductive difficulties in both men and women.
Triclosan. This chemical is most often found in antibacterial soap. Recent studies discovered this actaully promotes the growth of bacteria resistant to antibiotic cleansers. It also creates Dioxin: Known as a persistent environmental pollutants (POP), dioxins can remain in the environment for many years. A carcinogen that has been found in high levels in human breast milk. Dioxins have disruptive effects on the endocrine system and negatively affect thyroid functions.
Soap bars harbour bacteria and spread germs don't they?
Recent studies took 16 panelists who were instructed to wash their hands as they would normally, the soaps they were provided with had been introduced to bacteria. After washing, none of the 16 panelists had detectable levels of the test bacterium on their hands. These findings, along with other published reports, showed support for the frequent use of soap and water for handwashing to prevent the spread of disease.
Why are Chapel House Soaps better for the environment and me?
We only source our soaps from local producers, we focus on local to cut down our carbon footprint and to ensure ethical production methods.
We ensure our manufacturers and suppliers adhere to our strict environmental and animal protection values. We insist our soaps use natural ingredients and every ingredient is listed, no hidden nasties.
We aim to have the least amount of packaging for our products and shipping. All of our tissue paper and packaging boxes are made from recycled material and are eco friendly and recyclable. We are always striving to remove plastics where possible.