THE damaging effects that plastic and waste have on our planet have been well-documented – and it doesn’t take a scientist to work out that the beauty industry is partly to blame.
Did you know that a shocking 1.3 million discarded beauty tools from salons are sent to landfill in the UK each month alone, contaminating the soil and groundwater with harmful chemicals and micro-organisms?*
It’s time to clean up your act – these genius reusable beauty products will help you cut down on packaging[/caption]
Or that by 2050, there will be 12 billion tonnes of plastic in landfills worldwide (the equivalent of 35,000 Empire State buildings)?**
If that isn’t enough to convince you to invest in eco-friendly bathroom goods, it’s estimated that globally, the cosmetics industry produces more than 120 billion units of packaging each year, most of which isn’t recyclable and gets buried in landfill or tossed into the ocean.**
Meanwhile, the cardboard packaging used to box your new perfume or moisturiser contributes to the loss of 18 million acres of forest per year.**
And recycling alone isn’t enough. Just 9% of worldwide plastic waste actually gets recycled, so the only solution to tackling the epidemic is to consume less of it.***
It’s not easy to change the habit of a lifetime, but if you’re not sure where to begin, there’s good news. Some beauty brands are working to make reducing plastic use as easy as possible, from reusable make-up remover pads to refillable foundations. One small step for you, but a hop, skip and jump for humankind.
Give a sheet
Remember when the beauty world went bonkers for sheet masks when they first hit shelves?
Not only do they infuse skin with a quick hit of glow-inducing ingredients, but they’re also an easier, less messy alternative to the traditional face mask. But let’s say we use two sheet masks a week.
That’s two plastic pouches, two plastic sheets (which are usually wrapped around the masks to protect them) and the masks themselves – none of which are usually biodegradable or easily composted. While some brands offer masks made of biodegradable materials such as cotton, it’s unlikely to go anywhere once it’s in the ground because of the synthetic ingredients it’s saturated in.
L’Oréal Paris Revitalift Filler Hyaluronic Acid Re-usable Silicone Sheet Mask is a game-changer[/caption]
- L’Oréal Paris Revitalift Filler Hyaluronic Acid Re-usable Silicone Sheet Mask, £19.99 – buy now
But L’Oréal Paris Revitalift Filler Hyaluronic Acid Re-usable Silicone Sheet Mask, £19.99, has totally changed the game, meaning that you can sheet mask to your heart’s content, without the guilt.
Exclusive to Amazon, this cult fave is packed with hydrating ingredients and now comes with a silicone mask that can be coated in product over and over again to reduce waste.
The material keeps the product close to your face, warming up both the formula and skin. The temperature then helps the product to absorb into the skin by opening up pores.
Lock it down
Hands up anyone who DIYs their dye job? Well, Bleach London is making eco waves by ditching as much plastic as possible from its at-home dye kits, from £8.
They now come with a reusable mixing bowl made of coconut, completely replacing plastic.
Regular shampoo, conditioner and styling products also equal a lot of plastic consumption, which often end up in landfill.
Even if the bottle is recyclable, the pump or lid sometimes isn’t, and if the bottles and lids aren’t separated, they can contaminate a whole batch of recycling, meaning it’ll end up as rubbish.
Bleach London has poured its hair care products in reusable glass bottles[/caption]
- Bleach London Shampoo and Conditioner, £14 each – buy now
That’s why we’re mega impressed with Bleach London’s endeavour to reduce single-use plastic.
Bleach London Shampoo and Conditioner, £14 each, are available in reusable glass bottles from salons nationwide. When you’ve finished the bottle, simply clean, then send back for a refill, from £14.
Power the shower
Body wash is probably one of your desert island products, because it’s one of the only beauty essentials that you use every day.
Yet, if you shower once a day you’re probably getting through at least one bottle every month.
Step forward affordable eco brand Splosh. Once you’ve finished a bottle of its Shower Gel, £2.40, you can order refills for £6.95. They arrive as a concentrate in a recyclable pouch, and just one of these will fill up your bottle three times once you add water.
We love the uber-luxe Ren Moroccan Rose Otto Body Wash[/caption]
- Ren Moroccan Rose Otto Body Wash, £20 – buy now
Beauty brand Ren is also launching six of its bestselling body washes cleansers, lotions and moisturisers in refillable form. Our fave is the uber-luxe Ren Moroccan Rose Otto Body Wash, £20.
Each can be purchased in a glass bottle and when you’ve finished with it, it will be collected from your front door and taken back to Ren HQ to be cleaned, refilled and delivered back to you. Each glass bottle can be used for more than 100 refills.
Using a make-up wipe to quickly clear grime away before flushing it down the loo might seem like a good idea after a tiring day.
But according to the Marine Conservation Society, plastic pollution and littering caused by flushed make-up wipes is on the rise. Research revealed that more than 14 wet wipes per 100 metres of coastline were found, an increase of 700% in the last decade.
In April this year alone, over 4,500 wet wipes were collected on just one 154msq patch of the Thames foreshore. As a result, marine creatures, from sea birds to whales, are literally choking on plastic and dying of starvation, their stomachs often found filled with plastic waste.
You can machine-wash Face Halo’s The Modern Makeup Remover 200 times[/caption]
- Face Halo The Modern Makeup Remover, £18 for three pads – buy now
Time to switch to Face Halo The Modern Makeup Remover, £18 for three pads, a reusable cotton pad that can be machine-washed up to 200 times.
If you’re worried that nothing will do the trick quite like your trusty wipes, think again.
The double-sided pads are made up of 100 fibres that are finer than human hair to ensure a thorough cleanse that only needs water. Genius.
Sources: *Navy Professional **Zero Waste Week ***Humankind
Stockists: Bleach London (Bleachlondon.co.uk), Face Halo (Beautybay.com), L’Oréal Paris (Amazon.co.uk), Ren (Renskincare.com)