Are Aveeno products biodegradable? (7 sustainable agricultural practices by Aveeno)

This article will explain the biodegradability status of Aveeno products. Other aspects that will be shed light on are:

  • Are Aveeno products natural?
  • Are Aveeno products biodegradable?
  • How are Aveeno products made?
  • Can Aveeno products be reused?
  • Can Aveeno products be recycled?
  • Is Aveeno manufacturing ethical?
  • How eco-friendly are Aveeno products?
  • FAQs

Are Aveeno products biodegradable?

Aveeno products are made from oat extracts, a natural and plant-based material, and therefore, Aveeno products are considered biodegradable. However, the Aveeno product bottles are not biodegradable but are recyclable instead. 

The production of Aveeno products is done while considering environmental impact. Many practices such as crop rotation, low heat farming, and crop optimisations are done to ensure that the yield is maximum but the impact is minimal. 

As regards the ingredients, many harmful ingredients are avoided such as triclosan or formaldehyde-releasing preservatives. Most of the products that make up Aveeno products are natural. But some, such as acrylates, fidget the eyebrows as these are considered non-biodegradable. 

Are Aveeno products natural or non-natural?

Aveeno products are claimed to be natural because they are made from plant extracts (oat extracts). However, when it comes to consumer products, the discussion should not only be about consumer products. 

Related aspects such as the packaging materials, agricultural practices, and is cruelty-free or not should also be dealt with. 

As regards the products, there is some relief because the manufacturers of Aveeno assert that the products are made from naturally-extracted materials and harmful substances such as triclosan or parabens are avoided. 

However, the bottles or containers in which Aveeno products are stored, carried or transported are not natural. In fact, these containers are made from plastics. Plastics are notoriously famous for being non-biodegradable and not eco-friendly. 

Are Aveeno products biodegradable?

Biodegradability is the breakdown of waste into simpler materials by the action of microbes. These microbes include bacteria, fungi, algae, protozoa, and even yeast. 

There is a general understanding concerning biodegradability that natural materials or products made from natural materials can easily and readily be degraded by microbes as compared to non-biodegradable. 

The reason why natural materials are more prone to be degraded by microbes is that these materials have natural and nutritional content in them which can be used as food by the microbes. 

To determine if a product is biodegradable or not, there are two factors that need to be considered: 

  • The time taken by a product to degrade in a natural setting
  • The environmental impact of that product 

Since it has been established that Aveeno products are made from natural materials, it can be claimed that Aveeno products are biodegradable. However, the same can not be said about Aveeno bottles as those are made from plastics.

These plastic bottles may be made from conventional plastics such polyethylene or polycarbonate. Most of the plastics usually require hundreds of years to degrade. 

The problem is not only with biodegradability, the problem also is with the health implications caused by plastic bottles. Although there are safer options as well, the following are the general health impacts caused by harmful plastics: 

  • Hormone disruption
  • Developmental issues
  • Neurological issues
  • Cancer 
  • Damage to the foetus 

How are Aveeno products made? (7 sustainable agricultural practices by Aveeno)

If the eco-friendliness of a product is to be assessed, the production process can be analysed because it gives us a fair idea of how green and sustainable the approach of manufacturers is. 

In the case of Aveeno products, there is some relief because the manufacturers of Aveeno products take a number of health steps that make the company one step closer to being sustainable and eco-friendly. 

The following efforts are done to ensure sustainable agricultural practices for Aveeno products: 

  • Use of non-GMO products
  • Use of food-grade ingredients
  • Use of eco-friendly practices such as crop rotation
  • Use of low heat during production 
  • Careful expenditure of energy during logistics 
  • Optimisation of crop growth and yield 
  • Partnering with eco-friendly suppliers 

It is claimed that the materials used to make Aveeno products are extracted from oats that are non-GMO and food grade. Further, oats are grown in cooler areas that use low heat. This is done to optimise crop efficiency. 

Also, those areas are selected to grow the oatmeal where there is a required amount of temperature, humidity, and other external conditions; this is done to ensure maximum optimisation of the process and minimum environmental impact. 

A number of uses and beneficial agricultural practices are also used such as crop rotation. These practices lead to a number of benefits such as: 

  • Decreased soil erosion
  • Decreased use of pesticides and insecticides
  • Increased organic nature of crop
  • Reduction in plant diseases 

When it comes to farming practices, one aspect that needs to be discussed is the energy required to transport the yield to factories and production centres. 

Most of this energy is derived from petroleum-based products that are responsible for increased carbon footprint and environmental anomalies such as global warming, unprecedented weather changes, deforestation, et cetera. 

Although the production of Aveeno products also depends on non-renewable sources, there are some efforts done to reduce the impact. This includes the use of both rail and truck to minimise energy use. 

Can Aveeno products be reused?

Reusing is an important element because it ensures smart and optimised expenditure of energy and resources. 

As regards the question, yes, Aveeno products can be reused. The company has enabled the reusing of Aveeno bottles in selected cities and stores. 

This has a number of advantages for the people and also the planet. These advantages can be summed into the following points: 

  • Better waste management
  • Better resource management
  • Less use of raw materials
  • Decreased carbon footprint
  • Decreased use of agrochemicals and fertilisers
  • Decreased GHG emissions

Can Aveeno product bottles be recycled?

It has been stated that Aveeno product bottles are made from plastics. This means that there is no possibility of biodegradation or composting. 

In that case, recycling is the ultimate messiah. It is not only possible but also asserted that Aveeno product bottles are recycled. The company itself makes most of its bottles from recycled material. 

Before 2022, more than 80% of Aveeno bottles were recyclable. By the end of 2022, 100% of Aveeno bottles will be recyclable. These steps reflect the company’s commitment to green development and sustainability. 

Also, it is further claimed that by 2025, all the packaging of Aveeno products will not only be recyclable but also biodegradable and compostable. It is to be seen how much Aveeno keeps up to its commitments. 

Are Aveeno product manufactured ethically?

This is another very important yet forgotten question. Many of the present-day consumer products are made in developing countries where the workers are subjected to the victimisation of injustice and deprived of rights. 

Aveeno products ensure that its workers are not subjected to any of these injustices. That is why the producers of Aveeno products carefully select their suppliers after ensuring that there are no human rights violations in any way. These violations may be in the form of: 

  • Unequal treatment 
  • More working hours 
  • Unfair wages
  • Harassment 
  • Torture
  • Gender inequality 

This is also in line with the SDGs (Sustainable Development Goals) of 2050 that assert the following goals: 

  • No poverty (goal number 1) 
  • Good health & well-being (goal number 3) 
  • Gender equality (goal number 5) 
  • Decent work & economic growth (goal number 8) 
  • Reduced inequality (goal number 10) 

How eco-friendly are Aveeno products?

To know this better, one needs to carefully assess the materials used to make any product. In the case of Aveeno, the following are the products that are used: 

  • Water
  • Glycerin
  • Sodium benzoate
  • Citric acid 
  • Fragrance
  • Acrylates
  • Sodium Lauroamphoacetate
  • Cocamidopropyl Betaine
  • Guar Hydroxypropyltrimonium Chloride

It must be commended that Aveeno products do not include the use of harmful ingredients such as triclosan or formaldehyde-releasing preservatives because there are a number of degradative effects of such ingredients not only on the skin but also on the environment. However, the list of ingredients does raise a number of concerns. 

For example, the producers of Aveeno products have not given any details on the ingredient Guar Hydroxypropyltrimonium Chloride which is used to maintain viscosity. It may be possible that this ingredient may have an environmental impact. 

Further, the use of acrylates also raises concerns. Acrylates belong to a class of synthetic polymers that are non-biodegradable. The ingredients may cause the issue of pollution and toxicity and therefore, the manufacturers must address these concerns to have the full faith of the buyers that have a special regard for eco-friendliness.

Conclusion

It is concluded that Aveeno products are made from oat extracts, a natural and plant-based material, and therefore, Aveeno products are considered biodegradable. However, the Aveeno product bottles are not biodegradable but are recyclable instead. 

The production of Aveeno products is done while considering environmental impact. Many practices such as crop rotation, low heat farming, and crop optimisations are done to ensure that the yield is maximum but the impact is minimal. 

As regards the ingredients, many harmful ingredients are avoided such as triclosan or formaldehyde-releasing preservatives. Most of the products that make up Aveeno products are natural. But some, such as acrylates, fidget the eyebrows as these are considered non-biodegradable. 

As regards the packaging, it is not biodegradable but is rather recyclable. Aveeno products bottles can also be reused which is a great step. It is claimed that by 2025, all the Aveeno products’ packaging will be reusable, recyclable and even compostable. 

Frequently Asked Questions: Are Aveeno products biodegradable?

Do Aveeno products harm wildlife?

Yes, as of now, the production of  Aveeno baby wash is not associated with the Forest Stewardship Council to ensure no harm is done to the wildlife. However, it is claimed that by 2025, the association will also be made. 

Are Aveeno products cruelty-free?

There is no stance by the company regarding being cruelty-free or not. However, since Aveeno is also sold in China, it is assumed that it does test its products on animals as China does allow and rather supports animal testing. Another reason is that Aveeno products are owned by Johnson & Johnson, a parent corporation that still engages in animal testing in 2022.

References 

  • Brede, C., Fjeldal, P., Skjevrak, I., & Herikstad, H. (2003). Increased migration levels of bisphenol A from polycarbonate baby bottles after dishwashing, boiling and brushing. Food Additives & Contaminants, 20(7), 684-689.
  • Gibson, R. L. (2007). Toxic baby bottles. Environment California Research Centre & Policy Centre, Los Angeles, CA, USA.
  • Singh, N., Hui, D., Singh, R., Ahuja, I. P. S., Feo, L., & Fraternali, F. (2017). Recycling of plastic solid waste: A state of the art review and future applications. Composites Part B: Engineering, 115, 409-422.
  • Tokiwa, Y., Calabia, B. P., Ugwu, C. U., & Aiba, S. (2009). Biodegradability of plastics. International journal of molecular sciences, 10(9), 3722-3742.
  • SDG, U. (2019). Sustainable development goals. The energy progress report. Tracking SDG, 7.
  • Ethical Elephant. (June 6, 2022). Is Aveeno cruelty-free and vegan? Retrieved from: https://ethicalelephant.com/is-aveeno-cruelty-free/

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