Let’s just say that the beauty industry doesn’t have a good rap when it comes to sustainability. That’s why we’ve been particularly interested in any brands that are looking to buck this trend.
Some beauty businesses are making changes from the inside out. Others, like Terracycle, are offering services geared up for the beauty industry to help consumers and brands to stay responsible and accountable for their waste. Here’s what you need to know.
What is sustainable beauty?
Did you know that the beauty industry accounts for 120 billion units of packaging across the globe, every year? Yikes! And that problem is put into greater context when we say that 79% of that waste ends up dumped, or in landfill.
So, plastic waste is a huge, or indeed, mountain-sized problem. But it’s not just this inordinate amount of plastic that’s causing a problem for our environment, both land and sea, we hasten to add. It’s also what’s inside those bottles.
Your average exfoliator, day creams and everything in between are packed full of microbeads or synthetic polymers. Just like plastic bottles and containers, these do not break down. They last forever. Worse still, these tiny pieces of plastic can travel, ending up in our water, absorbing into our bloodstream, and so on. Suffice to say, they are a major health hazard and damaging to our planet to boot.
The good news is that there is a new wave of skincare and beauty brands who are trying to address this imbalance through clean, natural products using eco-friendly ingredients. As a consumer, you can enact a big change by simply choosing the products you use wisely and looking out for brands that champion this.
How to recycle makeup
Here’s a question, do you know what happens to your bits of mascara, blusher and such like when you throw it away? Just like the other waste we’ve talked about; it sits there and doesn’t biodegrade.
Recycling makeup is perhaps one of the trickiest things. Even big brands that accept empties back through a recycling scheme can’t do much with things like leftover nail polish or makeup brushes.
But again, there are some options here. Some trailblazing beauty brands are developing eco-friendly makeup brushes, mascara wands, nail varnishes and biodegradable formulas. And you can also post and recycle your beauty products through Organa and Terracycle.
Making conscious choices with your products is one step towards sustainability, but you can also help manage your beauty waste. It is as simple as following three guiding principles:
- Reduce – cut back on the amount of product you’re using. This means two things, choose to not buy new products until you’ve used your old ones up completely. And use less of those products on your skin. Often, we only need a dab of cream, or serum, rather than a smothering!
- Reuse – there are options out there for refilling your beauty containers and reusing them. Easy!
- Recycle – recycling beauty products is as simple as finding a company that can help. Terracycle is one example, with the free recycling program designed to make it quick and easy for you at home.
Introducing the simplified shelfie
How many of you have a load of half-used beauty products in your home? You are not alone! It’s really common to stock up while you still have product left, or buy something on a whim, even though you don’t need it. All sounding familiar so far?
Thankfully, you can weed out your empties, dispose of them responsibly, and turn over a new leaf. It will be liberating, we promise!
Here’s what to do:
- Collect all your beauty and skincare products and pile them up. Take stock of how big that pile is!
- Sift through to find expired products, and products you no longer use.
- Send the items to be recycled to Organa to use the Terracycle recycling scheme.
- Start a new chapter, where less is more. Reduce the number of products you and the amount to apply to your skin. These simple tweaks can and will make all the difference.
If nothing else, this process may well shock you into making different choices in the future. It’s amazing how many people have reported changing their buying habits after seeing how much hoarding they’ve been doing with half-empty products.
The amazing thing is that all these actions are completely within your reach. They are not hard to do, and it is good for the environment and your bank balance.
As you’re going through this process, take time to think about the kinds of products you’re using too. Do you need to have all those steps in your skincare routine? Do, you need to wear the makeup you do?
This is where things can get interesting and liberating, because you may well find that you don’t need or want to apply all those products to your skin any more, and your skin may well thank you for it.
Our beauty products recycling program
But wait, are you still wondering exactly how the Organa and Terracycle recycling scheme works?
In a bid to help people recycle responsibly and protect the planet, we got hold of a Terracycle Zero Waste BoxTM. We ship the contents of this to Terracycle regularly. You simply need to order a prepaid envelope from our website to take part in the scheme. It will be delivered to your door, you fill it, post it, and we take care of the rest.
Once Terracycle has your empties, they transform the packaging into plastic granules, then into new products ready to be filled. That way, they save plastic waste from piling up in landfill or our oceans and make use of the materials we already have in the form of new containers.