I could not be more impressed with Blueland. From their unique design process, reusable and recyclable packing, and Cradle to Cradle certification, it is easy to see that Blueland is a corporation conscious about their environmental and social impact. While right now they seem to be focused on the manufacturing and distribution side of sustainability, I look forward to their improvements with their tablet formulas to hopefully exclude SCS and have fragrance free alternatives and to discuss their manufacturing process and workers more on their website.
From the consumer side, Blueland hand soap is a bit pricey. This set of one bottle and three tablets costs $16, and one refill tablet can cost $2 (it decreases if you buy more). However, if one sticks to Blueland in the long run, I believe the initial investment is definitely worth the cost,, especially for such an innovative company.
Alternatively, maybe we should all consider using bar soap. Bar soap often needs fewer chemical ingredients (ie no SLS), less packaging, and has a lower carbon footprint. While bar soap has the common perception of being dirty once it’s opened on your counter, as long as you wash your hands well, it’s truly not an issue.
Blueland Hand soap is made without any triclosan, parabens, phosphates, ammonia, or VOCs. Blueland also has an ingredients list that states if the ingredient is synthetic, organic, or petroleum based, what the CAS number is, what the function is, and additional links the customer may want for further information. The CAS number is assigned by the Chemical Abstracts Service to identify chemicals specifically.
In this product, my main issue is with their use of sodium coco sulfate. Sodium coco sulfate (SCS) contains sodium lauryl sulfate (SLS), which is known to cause skin irritation if found in too high of a concentration. The primary function of SLS is to separate the oils on our skin, so by placing high amounts of SLS on our hands when washing them, we are breaking down the barrier on our skin that helps keep foreign bacteria outside of our bodies. In SCS, the amount of SLS allowed to be present remains unregulated, making me curious as to if the amount of SLS in this product is truly safe.
Additionally, this product offers no fragrance-free alternative, which can be a deal breaker for people sensitive to fragrances.
Initially, I was worried about Blueland because all of their products are ordered online and then shipped to your residence. However, Blueland products works differently from other hand soaps. Blueland will send you a bottle and a tablet. At your residence, you then add water to the line on the bottle, add the tablet, wait for the tablet to dissolve, and then your soap is complete. Because of their design, Blueland does not have to ship any liquid, decreasing their carbon footprint significantly.
As far as packaging goes, all of Blueland packing is recyclable. Their boxes and packaging can be recycled curbside, their tablet wrappers and pouches are compostable, and their bottles can be returned to them for recycling. Their refill tablet packets are also shipped in paper padded mailers made from 77% recycled fibers.
On their website, Blueland states where they develop and manufacture each of their product types. But, Blueland does not discuss on their website the treatment of their workers in their factories, the manufacturing process, from whom they are sourcing from for their chemicals, or just in general the people behind Blueland’s products. Instead, Blueland chooses to highlight their Platinum Certificate from Cradle to Cradle. This signifies that:
While having the Cradle to Cradle Certification is nice, I’d appreciate the transparency of having information on their own website about their worker treatment, instead of having to solely rely on their certification.