Plastic Free Month: 10 Ways to Reduce Your Beauty Waste Right Now
Main image – AleksandraAbramova/Adobe
We’ve all been hearing a LOT about fast fashion lately. But did you know about fast beauty?
Those pretty plastic bottles containing your fave beauty and skin products are *really* bad for the environment, polluting our oceans and marine life with microplastics and filling our landfills with plastic bottles that take DECADES to degrade. It doesn’t sound good, does it?
Plastic isn’t cool. So, we are teaming up with low waste beauty brand Good Time and their Plastic Free July campaign, educating beauty buffs on how to reduce plastic, even offering US-based shoppers FREE travel-size products – Now THAT’S cool.
Now let’s get to the nitty gritty – how can you reduce your beauty waste *without* compromising on quality?
Some plastic stats
First up though, some more on why exactly plastic waste matter.
Here’s an interesting viewpoint on plastic to consider from Elissa Foster, Head of Sustainability:
“Plastic inventions changed American society for the better. The low cost and versatility of plastics made consumer goods more widely accessible and allowed for critical developments in innumerable fields. Plastics improved safety, with inventions like padded foam dashboards and bicycle helmets. Fuel efficiency got a boost from lighter cars.
“The use of plastics in medical devices and procedures led to advancements in medicine and widespread improvements in human health. Plastics also made possible the technological revolution that created cell phones and other high-powered computers. American standards of living have improved dramatically in the last half-century—in large part because of plastics.
“The problem with plastic is that we now rely on them too heavily for single-use packaging, which is used once and then becomes waste that takes 100s of years to break down (and as it breaks down it is likely causing some sort of environmental harm).
“We need to focus our use of plastics on durable goods. And if we are going to use plastic for single-use packaging, we need to improve our recycling infrastructure and make sure we are using materials that can be readily recycled over and over again.”
- A single plastic bottle can take up to 450 years to decompose.
- Approximately 130 million tons of single-use plastic are made a year.
- Somewhere between 300-400 million tons of new plastic are produced each year worldwide. Reference: UNEP and NRDC websites.
- Approximately 14 million metric tons of plastic pollution is finding its way into oceans each year. Reference: IUCN website.
- By 2050, this could mean there will be more plastic than fish in the world’s oceans.
- Many countries lack the infrastructure to prevent plastic pollution such as sanitary landfills; incineration facilities; recycling capacity and circular economy infrastructure; proper management and disposal of waste systems.
- Packaging is the largest end-use market segment for plastic, accounting for about 40% of total plastic usage.
- The beauty and wellness industries generate over 120 billion packages every year, with most ending up in landfill. Our industry’s packaging is too small, too flexible, or made of too many materials to be traditionally recycled.
- More than 10% of beauty and personal care products go to waste, per a new report from Avery Dennison, including the discard of 4% of stock due to perishing, spoiling or damage, as well as disposing of 6.2% due to overproduction.
- The beauty sector has the highest amount of lost inventory (6.2%) when compared to other industries analyzed by the report such as apparel (3.9%), pharmaceuticals (3%), food (2.9%) and automotive (1.1%).
Good Time’s impact on lowering plastic use/circulation:
- Good Time is turning your *entire* shower experience plastic-free with sustainable, high-quality face, hair and body bars.
- Each bar is equivalent to about 3 plastic bottles of the liquid stuff. Woah!
- Good Time formulas are mostly anhydrous, meaning they use little to no water, and their formulas are concentrated. This means their bars weigh much less than traditional liquid products, reducing eco-impact from transportation emissions from the factory to the warehouse and then on to customers.
- Good Time donates 50% of profits to clean water initiatives, working to help bring WASH (water, sanitation and hygiene) services to the billions of people who need them because they believe access to clean water and proper toilets is a basic human right. Huge thumbs up!
- All Good Time secondary cartons and shipping boxes are made of certified sustainably sourced paper material and are 100% recyclable.
10 ways to reduce your beauty plastics waste
So, are you ready to embark on a journey to reduce beauty and plastic waste and make our planet even more gorgeous? By taking some simple steps and changing some of your habits (we know, old habits can die hard), we can make a big difference.
How? We hear you ask. We’ve got ya!
1. Embrace sustainability
Look for brands that use recyclable or refillable packaging. Look for certifications like cruelty-free, organic, or fair trade. By supporting these brands, you’re sending a message that beauty and environmental responsibility go hand in hand.
Some brands that are really championing this are Lush, Aveda, Garnier, The Body Shop, Maybelline, and Pai.
2. Streamline your beauty routine
We all love a bit of pampering, but do we *really* need a 12-step skincare routine? Simplify your beauty regimen by focusing on multi-purpose products that offer multiple benefits. This way, you’ll save time, and money, as well as reduce the amount of packaging waste.
3. Bar beauty
Using personal care bars over liquid-filled plastic products.
Learn how to recycle properly and take the necessary steps to ensure that any plastic items have the best chance of being recycled.
5. Green bags
Bring reusable shopping bags with you everywhere when beauty shopping; and try to use your own veggie/ fruit mesh bags versus the plastic ones you can grab at the store
6. Invest in Quality Tools
Instead of buying disposable applicators or cheaply made tools, invest in high-quality brushes, sponges, and beauty blenders that last longer. You’ll not only save money in the long run but also reduce waste, after all, buying cheap usually means buying twice.
7. Opt for Refillable Products
Say goodbye to single-use items and hello to refills! Look for refillable options for your fave beauty essentials like foundation, perfume, and lipstick. Refill stations are popping up at beauty counters everywhere, making it easier than ever to keep your beauty game sustainable.
8. Recycle Right
When it’s time to bid farewell to your empty beauty products, make sure you’re recycling them correctly. Rinse out bottles and jars before tossing them in the recycling bin.
Remember, not all beauty products can be recycled, so check your local recycling guidelines to be sure.
9. DIY Beauty Recipes
We don’t know about you, but making potions in the bath was one of our fave activities as a child! Tap into your inner chemist and try creating your own beauty concoctions.
Whip up face masks, scrubs, and hair treatments using natural ingredients from your kitchen.
10. Spread the Word
Last but not least, rally your fellow beauty enthusiasts and share the message of sustainable beauty. Use your social media platforms to educate and inspire others to reduce beauty waste.
By sparking conversations and encouraging small changes, we can create a more beautiful and eco-friendly world together!
In honour of Plastic Free July, until July 31 and while supplies lasts, Good Time will provide US-based shoppers FREE travel-size samples of their best-sellers: Hydrating Shampoo Bar, Hydrating Conditioner Bar, Cleansing Body Bar in Big Sky, Summer’s Here & Morning Light scent variations.
With use of a dedicated link and promo code, customers can receive this 5-pack for free ($30 value), and all they need to pay for is shipping ($8).