By Serina Tatham
When trying to live more sustainably, plastic is a constant topic of conversation. With the focus predominantly being on how to reduce package waste in the kitchen, our beauty routines run the risk of being overlooked. But, with the cosmetics industry being responsible for around 30-40% of landfill waste, it’s really not something we can afford to forget about.
Luckily there’s so much innovation taking place within this industry, so keep reading to discover some of the most exciting solutions and brands that are championing responsibility.
There have been multiple drives encouraging people to recycle, but they’ve clearly not worked. With only 9% of plastic recycled globally, it’s something we as consumers need to tackle head on. Shockingly, eight million tonnes of plastic are dumped into our oceans each year so we need to work together in making changes and calling for companies to adjust their practices.
With a recent study reporting that plastic was found in a third of UK-caught fish, the pollution in our oceans has a direct impact on our health as what ends up into the water inevitably ends up on our plates. Further research has also estimated that by 2050 the oceans will contain more plastic than marine life. Clearly this is something that needs to change, and needs to change now.
With the cosmetics industry – an often overlooked culprit in the plastic crisis – producing 120 billion units of packaging each year, it is here where innovation is most needed. As research by Garnier has found, 56% of Brit’s don’t recycle their cosmetic packaging – largely due to inconvenience. Anything that brands can do to make it easier for consumers to recycle, then, is going to be a step in the right direction.
Refillable beauty is one of the most promising and exciting solutions. Some stores like Holland & Barrett allow customers to bring empties back to store so they can wash and re-use them. There are also so many brands like L’Occitane that, once you’ve bought a bottled product, sell refills in eco-friendly packaging which are also more cost-effective.
With the fashion industry moving towards a more circular economy and creating products out of already existing materials, the idea of re-fills can play a big role in applying this circularity to beauty. So, when you next run out of mascara or shampoo, do some research before replacing it. To help you start making the switch to a more sustainable beauty routine, we’ve rounded up some of our favourite make-up, hair, skin and body re-fills to get you going.
Our top tips to make the transition to a more natural and sustainable beauty routine:
- Start small: when something runs out, rather than replacing it with the same product, do some research and choose a more eco-friendly alternative
- Use a cotton face cloth or muslin cloth to remove makeup
- Look for logos: try to pay attention to certifications such as B Corp, Leaping Bunny, and Cradle to Cradle as these care more about the impacts of their products than they do about profit
At a consumer level, it’s about small consistent changes. Educate yourself and learn about how you can make your routine a little more eco-friendly. Whether that’s by swapping from cotton pads to a muslin cloth or by learning about how to properly recycle your beauty products, there are so many places to get going.
If you’re just starting out on your skincare journey and are still learning, our simple step-by-step rules to achieving an envious summer glow are a great place to start. We’ve also put together a list of that will help you indulge in a bit of much needed self-care, so be inspired here.
If you’ve enjoyed this article, comment down below and let us know if you’re making the switch to re-fillable beauty. Or, tag us on Instagram @keiseimgz to show us your sustainable beauty routines.