It’s not just the Fashion industry that must be approached from a sustainable standpoint. Your beauty routine can be kind to the environment, too. According to reports by L’Oreal Paris, an estimated 32.8 million people do not recycle their personal care products. Despite this, Zero Waste Week found the beauty industry responsible for producing over 120 billion units of packaging each year.
How can you do your bit? Read on to discover the achievable changes you can make and the ethical beauty brands to assist you in turning your routine green.
Although extremely important, recycling does not tackle the root cause of waste. Sustainable beauty packaging and containers should be considered life-long companions instead of single-use purchases. Rather than buying a new beauty product each time it runs out, opt for reusable designs that come with refillable options. Start by switching products that get the most use, like shampoo and body wash.
Lots of brands have started to make this shift, including some big corporate names like Aussie, Herbal Essences, Head & Shoulders and Pantene, who, as of this year, will be available in reusable aluminium containers and accompanying recyclable refill pouches.
Steering consumers away from single use-plastic, Kankan London’s refillable containers are a stylish, sustainable alternative. Liquid soaps and body washes come housed in attractive aluminium refill cans that are then dispensed into glass ‘Forever-Bottles,’ designed to be kept for the long-run. Everything is hand made in the UK, and there are a variety of vegan-friendly, plant-based formulas to choose from.
A commonly used personal care product, deodorant is known for its negative impact on the environment. As well as containing harmful, polluting chemicals including aluminium, they are stored in non-recyclable plastic containers. Wild Deodorant's eco alternative is both natural and reusable. They come in colourful reusable aluminium cases with compostable refills. They also work on a convenient subscription basis, saving you time and money.
Bars are the most effective way to eradicate your waste because they work on a circular system that does not create any. Solid shampoos, conditioners and other naked products leave no trace of their existence once used.
Determined to change consumers views on beauty bars,Foamie are another hard-working brand. They offer a range of hair, face and body products made from a vegan, soap-free blend, formulated without sulphates, parabens, silicones and most importantly, palm oil. Creating a solution to the grip issue (bars become slippery when wet), each one has an integrated cotton string that can be secured to your wrist.
Ethical beauty brand Ethique’s impressive sustainable ethos runs throughout their entire company. All solid bars and packaging are 100% plastic-free and the company boasts a carbon-neutral footprint. One conditioner bar is the equivalent of five bottles and Ethique have saved over 10 million plastic bottles from entering landfill thus far.
Lush’s naked range is unrivalled within the beauty hemisphere. 50% of their products are package free and their naked range has saved an incredible 90 million plastic bottles of shampoo since 2007. The amount of Lush shampoo bars sold globally last year is equivalent to 500 million hair washes (that didn’t come from a plastic bottle). Everything from naked skincare, haircare, body care and makeup is available at incredibly affordable prices.
Consumers must stop relying so heavily on plastic. Other, more sustainable materials include aluminium - the basis of UK based Nereus packaging. Their BPA free aluminium bottles are reusable and recyclable. Everything else they produce is eco friendly, from the recycled card boxes right down to the biodegradable wood-pulp labels. Their partnership with Plastic Bank sees 1kg of plastic cleaned from the ocean for every product purchased. To date, they have removed over 20000 plastic bottles of ocean-bound plastic.
Luxury skincare brand Tata Harper utilise glass containers for the majority of their products. In instances where tubes are necessary, 100% recyclable bio-based sugarcane plastic is used. All packaging is paper originating from sustainably managed forests and pointed with non-toxic, biodegradable soy ink. As a small-batch beauty brand, the need for outsourcing is eliminated and the process is in house from conception through to production.
Daye are tackling plastic period waste one tampon at a time. According to their research, the average woman uses between 11,000 and 16,000 tampons and pads in their lifetime. This contributes to the 200,000 tonnes of period waste generated each year in the UK. Their innovative designs include 100% organic cotton biodegradable tampons coated in bio-used sugarcane applicators and water-soluble paper wrappers.
Knowing what can and cannot be recycled is imperative, or you risk causing more harm than good. Everything must be thoroughly emptied, cleaned and non-recyclable elements must be separated. The small, multi-compositional fitments on products, such as metal springs, bottle pumps, flexible refill pouches, flip top caps, spots, trigger heads, makeup mirrors are not recyclable.
However, brands like Kiehls and Garnierhave programmes with TerraCycle that help take the confusion out of recycling. Drop off anything not accepted by the council, such as hair colourant kits, flexible plastic wipe packaging, flexible single-use mask packaging and plastic roll-on deodorants.
Kiehls’ Recycle & Be Rewarded Scheme has recycled over 11 million empty jars and bottles. They accept waste from any brand and you will give you a stamp in return for each full-sized product. Once you have collected five stamps, you will receive 5% off a Kiehls’ product of your choice. Collect ten and you will receive 10% off or a complimentary travel product.
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