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August 10, 2021

Why do we love August? Because we get to crunch the numbers and get specific about the tangible impact that SunButter is having on the planet. 

Everything we do comes back to our mantra: “Protecting People and Oceans”, and every purchase of a SunButter product helps us live out this mantra. When you buy sunscreen in a tin, for example, you’re reducing plastic use AND minimising the amount of chemicals in our waterways. How cool is that?

We’ve put together our Impact Statement to let you guys know what you’ve helped us achieve in the last couple of years (and why it matters!). 

SunButter reef safe sunscreen: A tin of SunButter sits on the sand as a wave wraps around it

1. Single-use plastic bottles of sunscreen diverted from landfill: 66,064 

This is huge! Convincing a manufacturer to make us a suitable aluminium sunscreen container wasn’t easy (or quick!), but it was one of our non-negotiables when we started SunButter a few years ago. Now, we’re proud to be able to say we are Australia’s first sunscreen packaged in reusable and recyclable tins.

As we talked about during Plastic Free July last month, plastic pollution is a huge issue for the planet — especially when it comes to the ocean. Currently, 8 million tonnes of plastic finds its way into the ocean each year. Plastic pollution is a disaster, but it’s a human-made disaster — meaning we humans have the power to turn things around through our purchasing, consuming and lifestyle decisions.

SunButter reef safe sunscreen: An image of a pregnant woman with an ocean wave drawn on her belly with sunscreen

2. Toxic chemical UV blockers diverted from waterways and oceans: 6,604 kilograms 

Imagining tonnes of chemicals flowing into our precious oceans and rivers isn’t a nice thought, and yet the reality is that a huge amount of chemicals end up in the waterways of the world each year. 

These chemicals come from a variety of places, but sunscreen use is a huge one: each time you slip, slop, slap and then go for a swim or surf, some of the sunscreen you’re using slips off your skin and into the water, where it can cause all kinds of damage to marine life. Oxybenzone and nanoparticles like zinc oxide are known for being particularly troublesome, but scientists are adding more ingredients to the list of known pollutants every year.

This is why SunButter sunscreen is formulated with all-natural ingredients and physical UV blockers, as opposed to chemical blockers. SunButter-wearers can play in the water knowing they’re not contributing to chemical pollution (also, it’s nice to know you’re not absorbing those chemicals into your own body). Go, team! 

SunButter reef safe sunscreen: A box of surfboard wax sits on a patch of sand with the blue sky in the background

3. Surfboards waxed with petroleum-free Native Dog surf wax: 542

The environmental effects of surfboard wax can certainly slip under the radar, but most wax is made out of petroleum and therefore toxic. To get more specific, surfboard wax is made from paraffin, which is a by-product of petroleum, and the methods used to process petroleum are pretty nasty. 

Around 95 per cent of surf wax on the market is made using petroleum products. On top of the effects of this, toxins from the wax leach into the ocean.

We stock locally-made Native Dog surf wax because it’s petroleum-free and all-natural, and we love that you guys are using it!

SunButter reef safe sunscreen: A woman swims underwater with a shark

4. Funds donated to charitable partners: $14,679

We’re a for-purpose business, which means that we prioritise purpose (“Protecting People and Oceans”) over profit — and that we donate our profits to organisations fighting for a better planet.

We are super pumped that so far we’ve been able to donate $14,679 to our charitable partners, including:

Living Culture (local legends here on the Mornington Peninsula who work to keep Indigenous culture alive);

Save Westernport (who are fighting to conserve the pristine Westernport Bay);

Seed (Australia's first Indigenous youth climate network); 

The Thin Green Line Foundation (which helps protect wildlife rangers across developing nations and within Australia’s Indigenous community);

Project Hui (Madison Stewart’s epic initiative to provide alternative incomes for shark fishermen in Indonesia in order to conserve the shark population); and

Sea Shepherd (the conservation society fighting illegal fishing activities).

Plus, we've also donated our time or products to projects such as the Australian Conservation FoundationHumpbacks and Highrises, Climate Force, Naru Surf Gathering and Bellarine Catchment Network. 

Once again, this wouldn’t be possible without our awesome SunButter community. 

SunButter reef safe sunscreen: A eucalyptus forest

5. Carbon offset through Greenfleet tree planting in Australia and New Zealand: 68.8 tonnes

From the start, our mission has involved not just being carbon neutral, but carbon negative. This means that we go further than offsetting the carbon emissions caused by our business activities: we take steps to ensure we’re absorbing even more carbon than we’re producing. We do this through an organisation called Greenfleet, which plants native trees across Australia and New Zealand. These forests also provide important habitats for local wildlife.

By the way, anyone can sign up to Greenfleet and start offsetting their business or personal carbon emissions — there are heaps of different options to offset certain activities like car or air travel. 

Thank you!

To every single customer or supporter of SunButter: Thank you! None of this would be possible without you. You make our dreams come true.

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