This month is “Plastic Free July,” an event hosted annually that encourages consumers to cut their single use plastic in every way possible. Beauty products unfortunately can involve a lot of single use plastics, which can leak toxins into the environment, fail to break down even after hundreds of years, and may harm wildlife.
More and more people are demanding plastic free or reusable packaging for their beauty and personal care products or are making their own to avoid plastic waste. This movement has been coined “Blue Beauty,” and is as much about choosing natural ingredients as it is about responsible packaging.
Here are just a few going plastic free tips (not only for July) that can help you reduce plastic packaging and harmful ingredients in your beauty routine.
Many companies are moving to a closed loop model in order to cut their plastic waste. In a closed loop model, you purchase the product in reusable packaging. Once you’ve finished the contents, you send the packaging back where it will be sterilized and reused.
This method is very environmentally friendly because a new package doesn’t have to be made every time and doesn’t end up in landfill. It’s a very practical and positive solution. If you’re looking for lotion, shampoo, or other beauty products in a closed loop format, Plaine Products is an excellent choice. Their products are both low plastic and non-toxic solutions.
Some companies, such as Face Halo, also sell reusable makeup removing pads and even cotton buds, which can also cut down a lot on single use plastics.
Bars over Bottles
Another option is to skip the packaging entirely. Shampoos, conditioners, body washes and lotions can now be gotten in bar form. This solid form is easy to use and there is no packaging at all when you are finished with it. An average sized bar of shampoo is equivalent to a 16oz bottle of shampoo, and usually have natural ingredients to go with them.
Ethique is a good brand for bars, and they also take their plastic free products a step farther by planting a tree when you purchase from them. Other clean brands for bars include Peace With The Wild, and Zero Waste Path. These companies feature clean ingredients as well as clean packaging, so you can feel safe using them.
Many of us are focused on the single use plastics that we go through most frequently, but there are a whole host of sturdier items made from plastic too. Your hairbrush, toothbrush, and makeup brushes all typically have plastic handles and plastic brushes. You can cut a lot of plastic out of your beauty routine simply by choosing brushes with a bamboo handle over plastic.
Bamboo is a rapidly growing grass that can be grown much quicker than trees and has a far lower carbon footprint than wood or plastic.
Switch to More Natural Beauty Companies
Companies that care about the quality of the ingredients they put into their products, usually care about the environment as well. Alpyn Beauty for example, gets all of their ingredients from wildcrafting. Since they depend on nature for their company, they take caring for the environment seriously.
Most of their products are not only clean on the inside, but are almost entirely made out of glass or other sustainable materials. On top of this, Alpyn Beauty recently partnered with rePurpose global to achieve plastic neutrality. Since it is difficult to replace the plastic lids and pumps and still preserve delicate natural ingredients, they are using rePurpose Global to remove an equivalent amount of plastic from the oceans as is used in their products.
There are many other companies who are finding ways to cut or remove their plastic waste and supporting them can help continue to make these products available for other people.