This week (20-26 September) is Recycle Week! In recognition of this, we’re taking a closer look at the issue of plastic pollution in the beauty industry. We explore how your favourite beauty products could be polluting our planet, before revealing five beauty products that are preventing plastic pollution…
Despite lots of beauty brands turning to more eco-friendly packaging options, the beauty industry still relies heavily on plastic. This is clearly visible in supermarkets and pharmacies, where we often see just one small section of eco-friendly, plastic-free beauty buys, amidst a whole ocean of plastic packaging.
However, consumers are now displaying a keen desire for this to change. According to Inside Packaging, 71% of consumers believe that beauty brands are not doing enough to curb their waste.
71% of consumers believe that beauty brands are not doing enough to curb their waste.
Gone are the days when our only concern was the effectiveness of a beauty product. Nowadays, many of us are consistently checking to see whether our skincare and beauty products are cruelty free, natural, organic, vegan-friendly – and plastic free.
How is plastic affecting the planet?
You might be wondering: if I recycle the plastic packaging, then that’s okay, right? Unfortunately not. As Raffi Schieir, CEO of Bantam Materials, reveals: ‘Sadly, just 9% of all plastic produced has been recycled. Most of the unrecycled plastic ends up in our oceans. Every year, plastic kills over a million seabirds.’
The levels of plastic pollution we are currently producing has reached unsustainable levels: ‘If we carry on as we are now, the annual flow of plastic entering the oceans will triple by 2040, to 29 million metric tons.’
Is the beauty industry to blame for plastic pollution?
Many industries contribute to plastic pollution. However, research has revealed that the beauty industry is one of the top offenders, producing 120 billion units of packaging every year – most of which is not even recyclable.
Alongside the issue of plastic packaging, the beauty industry also pollutes our oceans with microplastics. While the use of plastic microbeads in beauty products is now (finally) banned, the microplastics that we’ve been using for years are still in existence. In fact, the National Geographic reported that microplastics have been found in the rain falling from the sky.
So, while progress has been made, there’s clearly still a lot of work that needs to be done to reverse the damage caused by plastic pollution – largely at the hands of the beauty industry.
What can I do to prevent plastic pollution?
The main responsibility lies with the beauty companies. However, we all have a responsibility to reduce our own plastic consumption. Every purchase you make is a vote for the future of consumerism – so make sure you’re voting for the future you’d like to see!
A simple way to avoid contributing to the plastic pollution of the beauty industry is to buy products that are plastic-free or refillable. Looking for inspiration? Click here to see some of our favourite plastic-free green beauty buys!
Another option is to buy beauty products that are packaged in Prevented Ocean Plastic.
What is Prevented Ocean Plastic?
Raffi explains: ‘Prevented Ocean Plastic is a high-quality recycled plastic material that has been collected from coastal areas at risk of ocean plastic pollution. It’s used in packaging by supermarkets and brands around the world.
‘There is also a growing range of beauty products you can find using it. Just look out for the distinctive blue triangular logo that appears on the packaging.
What makes Prevented Ocean Plastic better than normal plastic?
By using beauty products packaged in Prevented Ocean Plastic, you’ll be keeping our oceans clean by supporting the removal of plastic waste.
Plus, as Raffi explains: ‘You’ll even be cutting down on your carbon footprint as virgin plastic generates five times the amount of CO2 emissions as recycled plastic!’
If you’re looking to make your beauty routine a little greener, here are five beauty products that are packaged in plastic that was destined for the ocean…
Five beauty products packaged in Prevented Ocean Plastic
This bath soak is a bubble bath lover’s dream! Formulated with natural and ethically sourced skin soothing colloidal oatmeal and oat oil, this uplifting bath soak moisturises your skin as you soak, leaving skin feeling soothed and nourished.
Gently fragranced with moro orange essential oil and scent, you can enjoy the zesty fragrance without fear of it being harsh on dry, sensitive and menopausing skin. Because sensitive skin deserves to enjoy fragrance too!
Bubble bath anyone? We love Childs Farm multi-award-winning bubble bath. It’s infused with juicy organic raspberry extract, which brings a fruity freshness to bathtime. It’ll leave you feeling relaxed, moisturised, and smelling incredible.
With gentle, organic ingredients, this product is perfect for the whole family. Plus, it’s suitable for all skin types, including sensitive and eczema-prone skin.
Firm in the belief that self-care (and skin care!) starts from the inside, the minds behind HUM Nutrition set out on a mission to distill the expertise of leading nutritionists into a line of high-performing supplements.
HUM Nutrition carefully formulates its vegan-friendly Daily Cleanse supplements to help clear up skin issues and promote good skin health. This is thanks to a strengthening medley of green algae, herbal blends, and antioxidants.
Cleaning your make up brushes regularly is essential for good skin health. Just think about all of the acne-causing bacteria you could be smearing on your face each day!
The Beauty Hygiene Plus Essentials kit includes Beauty Hygiene’s full range of hygiene products, designed to keep your makeup brushes, tools and sponges clean and fresh. Plus, the antibacterial and antiviral cleaners are packaged in a handy biodegradable makeup bag too – perfect for travelling!
With this kit in hand, you’ll have everything you need to keep your makeup and beauty tools hygienically clean for years to come.
Looking for a fruity body wash that smells amazing, protects your skin, and doesn’t harm the planet? Check out the Treaclemoon Her Mango Thoughts Shower Gel. The vegan-friendly, dermatologically tested formula features 100 per cent natural mango extract. Plus, there are no unnecessary or harsh ingredients.