It’s no secret that the beauty industry use a ton of plastic–we’re talking 129 billion units worth. What’s even more shocking is that the plastic pumps, tubes, and applicators you use today will probably still be piled up in a landfill in 2519. Ready for another unbelievable prediction? The Ellen Macarthur Foundation predicts that by 2050 there will be more plastic in the ocean than fish. Let’s just say a prayer for our little fish homies and their habitat.
What makes personal care plastics a little different from regular household waste is that most of them aren’t recycled. In fact, 91% of plastic doesn’t get recycled. Why? Only certain types of plastics are recyclable and the plastic used by the cosmetics companies isn’t. Cosmetic companies have become aware of this issue and have made their packaging from recycled material or/and recyclable material. Thus, the “no-waste beauty” movement was created.
Adopting a no-waste beauty habit means that you are not sending anything to the landfill by recycling, upcycling, and reusing products. A no-waste beauty routine can be extremely difficult considering the fact that it requires you to shake up your lifestyle, but it isn’t impossible. Here are a couple of ways you can cut down on your beauty routine’s impact on the environment.
Don’t Throw Away Empty Packaging
Skip the trash when you’re getting rid of your empty packaging. Instead, send them to a company that recycles cosmetic and beauty product plastic. We love TerraCycle’s recycling program because it makes recycling your empties a breeze. All you have to do is print out a pre-paid shipping label provided by TerraCycle and ship off your clean empties. What’s great is that they recycle all of those hard-to-recycle plastics and turn them into raw material which is then used to make things like playground sets, park benches, and bike racks. How dope is that?
What we also love about these programs is that you can even earn rewards for recycling. MAC, for instance, has a system in place where you bring in six empty containers to one of their counters you get a free lipstick of your choice. If that doesn’t make you want to recycle, I don’t know what will!
Use Products with Recycled or Recyclable Packaging
Since reducing plastic is the reason behind the no-waste beauty movement, opting for cosmetics and personal care products is always a great way of reducing your impact on the environment. Aside from using glass containers, many brands have begun packaging their products in biodegradable material. Laura Napier packages and makes their face toilettes with recyclable plastic, and they are manufactured with solar energy. Not to mention, Laura Napier is black owned. Talk about reducing your carbon footprint and supporting black businesses!
Reuse and Refill Your Empties
If you’re like me, you grew up in a household where the butter cookie tin also doubled as a storage container once all the cookies were gone. Well, do the same thing with your empty beauty product containers. A brand that allows you to reuse their packaging as food storage is Loli. Their cute little jars are perfect for fruit preserves! Another idea for upcycling your empty beauty product containers is to use them for DIY skin care, you’ll be saving the environment and saving money. Who said recycling couldn’t be economical.