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Our sustainability journey

Inline | minute read

At Inline, we recognise that sustainability is more important than ever. Consumers are more and more conscious of the environmental impact of their buying decisions, and the demand for sustainable beauty products, and sustainable manufacturers, is on the rise.

It’s important to note that we don’t claim to be a supplier of renewable health and beauty products, but we’re doing our part to make sure we’re making sustainable changes wherever we can. We know sustainability is a journey, and we’re dedicated to always improving and implementing eco-friendly practices wherever we can.

Today we’re looking closer at our sustainability initiatives, exploring the steps we’ve taken so far to reduce our carbon footprint, as well as what’s on the horizon for us when it comes to sustainability.

Our sustainability milestones

Our commitment to sustainability dates back to our early days, when we started implementing some simple yet impactful measures. We began to recycle cardboard boxes as early as 1997, and in 1998 we introduced waste monitoring in our production processes, setting a waste target of 0.5%. This marked the beginning of our journey towards an eco-friendly approach to business.

In 2010, we introduced waste elimination initiatives specifically targeting the ‘7 wastes’. These initiatives were designed to help us streamline processes, reduce inefficiencies and limit our environmental impact by cutting down on unnecessary waste. After this, we were able to set and meet clear sustainability goals for the future, including:

  • 2011: We conducted an environmental review to assess our impact on the environment and identify where improvements could be made.

  • 2013-2014: We made strategic investments in our waste management infrastructure. We invested in a bailer for cardboard and plastic, and a semi-automatic IBC cleaning system to control wash-out waste.

  • 2015: We switched to trayless to reduce cardboard consumption. We also introduced a cistern flush regulator system on the toilets which saved 12,000 litres of water per year.

  • 2016: We built a mezzanine to enclose the production area and reduce energy consumption.

  • 2017: We invested in new shrink wrappers to reduce the thickness of the film which has reduced overall plastic consumption.

  • 2018: We switched from a 28mm to a 24mm neck size on our bottles which saved around 2-3 tonnes per year in plastic consumption.

  • 2019: We switched to LED lights, both externally and internally.

  • 2021: We invested in an electric company car, promoting cleaner transport and further reducing our carbon footprint.

  • 2023: We made huge strides in our sustainability journey last year. We began re-selling our kegs and drums, extending their life and contributing to the circular economy. We cut 250 hours of energy from our heating batches by amending product formulations to contain low-heat or cold-mix raw materials.

    We also started recycling glassine backing paper from our labels. Glassine is made up from cellulose fibres from a wood pulp, which makes it easy to break down. That means it’s biodegradable and environmentally friendly, so can be repurposed and made into garden furniture. We fill between four and five boxes a year of glassine, recycling around 600kg per box.

A more sustainable tomorrow  

From the materials we use to the ingredients we source; we’re always striving to find new planet-friendly efficiencies. Today, we use recycled cardboard, poly liners and plastic shrink wrap in our packaging and source ingredients from the UK where possible to reduce our carbon footprint. But that’s not all. Looking to the future, we are constantly exploring new avenues to further reduce our environmental footprint.

In 2023, we had a resource efficiency audit funded by the West Yorkshire Combined Authority and conducted by Green Gain. This has given us some great direction to take our sustainability efforts to the next level going forward, and we’re eager to implement the solutions identified.  

Here are some of the future sustainability initiatives we’re excited to embark on in the near future.

Non-carbon black caps

Transitioning to non-carbon black caps is an important step we’ll be taking in 2024. Carbon black is often used in packaging materials like caps, but it presents issues when it comes to recycling. Its dark colour absorbs infrared light, making it hard for recycling facilities to detect and sort correctly. That means they’re often unintentionally sent to landfill. By changing to non-carbon black caps this year once our old stock is depleted, we can ensure our packaging is completely recyclable and contributes to the circular economy. Once we make the change, it will mean that 1,500,000 black caps on our Anovia haircare can be recycled and 6,750kg of plastic will be recyclable.

30% recycled plastic bottles

Also this year, we will be transitioning to 30% recycled plastic bottles. This will result in a substantial reduction in our carbon footprint, saving 11.7 tonnes of plastic waste from being sent to landfill each year and instead allowing it to be recycled. Additionally, the bottles are made using less plastic, saving a further 9 tonnes of plastic per year. Making this change minimises our reliance on virgin plastics and helps us contribute to resource conservation and waste reduction.

Solar film installation

We are looking into installing solar film on our windows, aimed at reducing solar gain in the summer months. By applying solar film, we can effectively reduce the amount of heat that’s able to enter our facility through the windows, effectively lowering the temperature inside and reducing the need to use the air conditioning unit – resulting in reduced air-conditioning costs.

We know there’s a long road ahead when it comes to our sustainability journey, but we’re committed to continuous improvement. Sustainability isn’t an overnight fix, so we recognise the importance of making small but effective changes wherever we can. We’re working with both internal teams and external partners to find new, innovative solutions that help champion sustainability, and will continue to take meaningful steps towards a more sustainable future.

Are you looking for a partner for personal care products? We create affordable, quality products through contract manufacturing and white labelling. Please get in touch to see what we can do for you. If you’d like to keep up with our sustainability journey, you can read about our sustainability efforts here.