An estimated 120 billion units of packaging are produced in the global cosmetics industry annually.
In this blog post we ask if there is an alternative to plastic packaging within the beauty industry and can the beauty industry go green?
Read on to find out how companies are aiming to reduce these figures.
How wasteful is the beauty industry?
When beauty companies look at brand identity to sell a new beauty product their focus is often firmly on design, colour and attraction rather than recyclable plastic and sustainability.
Beauty products must be alluring to the eye, they must ‘pop’ on the shelves to draw the consumer eye and make the sale.
Cosmetics are often small; a lipstick or mascara becomes instantly more alluring housed in a plastic cushion, encased in a colourful cardboard box (with an added piece of mirror or hologram card for extra dazzle) and wrapped in film for good measure.
This wasteful use of resources is simply aesthetic, a way of appealing to our senses to drive sales without adding any value to the product being purchased.
It is worth noting that plastic which isn’t recycled will take 400 years to degrade!
If present trends continue across all industries, by 2050 there will be 12 Billion metric tonnes of plastic in landfill.
Where can I buy more eco-friendly beauty products?
One beauty brand who has become known for their eco-friendly policies is Lush. Lush ‘Naked’ stores (i.e. package-less) are popping up around the UK. All the products in the ‘Naked’ stores are package free.
Lush Product Inventor Daniel Campbell said “About 40 percent of the price of an average cosmetic is the packaging. So, we take that 40 percent and then use it in the ingredients and use it in the method of manufacture. [we] use it in a way that is more responsible for our customers, our staff and our planet”.
Consumers who are trying to be more mindful and sustainable with the way they purchase their products have welcomed this new wave of Eco-friendly packaging within the beauty industry. An alternative to package-free would be biodegradable packaging or using glass rather than plastic.
Examples of new Eco-friendly products on the market include biodegradable paper cotton buds, sustainable and biodegradable bamboo toothbrushes with BPA free bristles, and facial pads made from hemp which replace the single-use cotton pad. All are available from Etsy.
This blog post is for reference and information purposes only. We are not sponsored nor do we endorse or favour the companies mentioned.
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