Sustainability is the buzzword right now. However, being eco-friendly with our beauty choices is more than a trend – it’s for the future of our planet
Many of us love treating ourselves to a new beauty product and wait eagerly for the delivery day to try it out. But how often are we shocked by the amount of packaging that comes with one little bottle of foundation?
Statistics report that 120 billion units of packaging are produced every year by the global cosmetics industry, including lids and cellophane, much of which is superfluous, non-recyclable and ends up in our landfills and in our oceans. It’s estimated that 8 million tonnes of plastic makes its way into our oceans each year. A trend, which if continued, will mean we’ll have more plastic in our oceans than fish by 2050, according to the United Nations.
Now is the perfect time to take a look at the beauty cabinet and make some simple swaps to reduce the amount of plastic we use in the packaging of our beauty essentials.
Tessa Clarke, co-founder and CEO of the UK’s top free sharing app OLIO, comments: “The fact that the beauty industry creates so much waste is shocking, and it’s easy to make a difference by making a few simple swaps.
“It’s also worth looking at the products we no longer use. Instead of binning them, why not try giving them away via the OLIO app? The shampoo that doesn’t work for you could be perfect for someone else, and those old eye shadows could be just the ticket for a craft project. By giving things away, rather than throwing them away you reduce waste and help a neighbour out.”
Switch shower gel for a bar of soap
Hand washing has taken on a whole new importance during our pandemic era. Many believe that soap dries out your skin but it’s simply not true – there are some great, moisturising soaps available. Buy a big box of soap in bulk to reduce packaging through multiple orders, and why not make it enjoyable with a soap bar from luxury British fragrance house Miller Harris?
Get rid of disposables
Use either a safety razor or a reusable razor with disposable heads. Try Freedom Razor – you will never have to buy a new handle again because once the investment is made you will only have to purchase replacement blades – economical for the wallet but also the environment. Also, replace your plastic toothbrush with a bamboo one instead, such as a Matana toothbrush. If you have an electric toothbrush, there are also bamboo replacement heads.
Reuse the container
Choose a moisturiser which comes in a glass jar or metal tin. There are lots of different brands available and once you have finished it’s easy to recycle or reuse the jar. And it’s not just moisturisers, but face serums, foundations, and many other cosmetic essentials. Have a look at the brand Ethosa, which launched its Powder-to-Gel Body Wash Blend Your Own Home Kit which includes a reusable aluminium bottle, shower powder, and oil-based fragrances.
It’s estimated that 1 billion lipstick containers end up in landfill each year, so it is best to buy refillable make-up and beauty items wherever you can. Charlotte Tilbury does a fantastic refillable lipstick range. Great for those that care about sustainability, New Wash shampoo comes in a handy subscription so you can sign up for regular refills at a frequency of your choosing. Imagine never having to pick up a bottle of shampoo, ever again?
Go slowly, you don’t have to become a green machine overnight!
If you’re not ready to give up your bottled shampoo and conditioner, don’t fret. Natalie Elliott, campaigner and global speaker on toxic beauty, and founder of SAKRID self-care products offers some advice. She says: “Make small changes at first. Change your shampoo and conditioner or your facewash and moisturiser first and see how your body responds to this change.
“You may find you experience small break-outs in acne at first as the body can finally effectively detox itself of all of the toxins that have been building up. But it usually only takes one to two weeks for the body to love the changes you have made.”
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