The problem the beauty industry poses on the planet is well versed but bears repeating. According to Zero Waste, more than 120 billion units of packaging are produced every year by the global cosmetics industry, much of which is not recyclable. The majority of products come packaged in plastic, which – when talking about your average moisturiser pot – can take nearly 1,000 years to decompose. Then there’s the plastic wrappings, paper inserts, cardboard sleeves, foam, mirrored glass and more, sometimes all present in one purchase.
Of the product packaging we can recycle, half of us don’t. Research from Garnier found that over 56 per cent of Brits (that’s 4.5 million people) don’t recycle bathroom products because of the inconvenience. If these items aren’t given a second life, they simply go into landfill – or potentially litter our environment. Then there’s the problems of sustainability of ingredients, and planet-damaging chemicals.
Thankfully, beauty companies big and small have been cleaning up their act, and as consumers make more conscious choices – increasingly armed with information on sustainability – a collective attitude shift has been made. To ensure you’re doing your bit try these simple swaps for a greener beauty regime.
1.Swap liquid soaps for bar soaps
Bar soaps are back, and unlike their predecessors the new generation come in many good-for-skin guises. Mostly sold in plastic-free packaging, there’s a soap for all needs; from hands and body to hair and facial cleansing. Shop some of Bazaar’s favourites below.
If you don’t like the idea of a soap dish (plus, your natural soap will last longer if it can dry out between uses), try a soap pouch like that by Hydrophil. Made from fully biodegradable sisal (stronger than other natural fibres), it lets you store soap in a chic way and use it to the end.