Join CCUK in our webinar on 30th Sept: Traceability & Sustainability in Cosmetics
To find out more about this exciting topic, read this contribution by Dr Barbara Brockway, Hon Education Sec. Trustee, Fellow & Hon. Member, and Past President of the Society Of Cosmetic Scientists.
Consumers choose to buy sustainable products because they want to make a difference and logically, if say for example, ..... everyone only purchased sustainable palm oil, then there would be less pressure to destroy rainforests to create yet more unsustainable plantations. Our choices would go a long way to saving the Orangutans' home. But sadly that is not the case. Even with the RSPO's best efforts, the rate of rainforest destruction continues unabated. The dark economy is driven by profit and does not care about rainforest habitat, human rights nor for climate change. The worrying thing is their products are not piling up, unsaleable in warehouses. These materials are readily finding their way into supply chains, despite the numerous audits being carried out and even with extra layers of checking by the various certifying bodies.
So how can you be sure that the materials and products you buy are genuine? The thriving dark economy is proof that trust and belief in your suppliers' supply-chain security is not working. If you want to make a difference then you need to know for certain that, say, .... the material you buy as Organic certified, is Organic and not been exchanged or adulterated. Chemists can do wonderful things but they cannot quickly and easily distinguish between Organic materials and their counterparts or whether the palm ol came from a sustainable plantation or not.
One way to be sure is to tag your material at its source. Just as you know the suitcase on the airport luggage baggage reclaim carousel is yours by checking the luggage label, technology exists that allows you to use molecules to label raw materials. These molecular tags can carry code and so behave like barcodes that carry as much information as you need. They can, for example, contain information on the place, date and by whom a material was harvested or for synthetic materials, when and where it was made. For complete security, these codes can be included in Blockchain secured documents and so linking the secure physical material with the secured accompanying documents, say, export-import customs papers, specifications, certificates of origin, MSDS and the proliferation of other essential documentation. The tags can also be read and reported as your materials travel to you through supply chains allowing you to see in real time, how your material and products are progressing.
This is not the future but today's technology. If you want to really make a difference then find out about the technology that makes it all possible and then let the UKCC know your feelings.