Take a second to consider your personal beauty routine. How many plastic containers does it involve? Given that only 6% of plastics being sent for recycling actually gets recycled, many of these plastic containers end up stuck in landfills and remain so indefinitely.
But there’s a lot that we can look forward to. The industry is changing - beauty brands are increasingly finding innovative ways to combat the plastic waste that the beauty industry has contributed so much to. So yes, we can instill thoughtful actions with our wallets and beauty regime, by supporting brands that make efforts to go zero waste.
Here are the brands spearheading changes in the beauty industry through sustainable packaging:
Australian haircare brand KEVIN.MURPHY recently went through a green overhaul. They announced their packaging will be made from 100% recycled ocean plastics by mid 2019, which is the first beauty brand ever to implement this practise. They’ve also made their products square so that they can be packed up and shipped more efficiently - reducing fuel for transport when delivering products globally.
Australian skincare brand REN is packaged in 100% recyclable packaging with refillable solutions, and bottles made with reclaimed ocean plastic. To tackle the current waste issue, REN skincare has also partnered with global activist, Surfrider to help clean up the oceans. The brand has recently pledged to go completely waste-free by 2021.
Burt’s Bees's newly released lipsticks are 60% post-consumer recycled plastic. You can also send your empty tubes back to the brand for recycling using a prepaid mailing label.
Have you heard of plantable packaging? Well, now you have. The products of Pangea Organics are made with a fiber-based material (kind of looks like an egg carton) that is not only biodegradable, but can also be replanted back into the earth - the packaging is embedded with herbs or wildflower seeds. So after soaking, it can be planted in an inch of soil.
These elegant swivel compacts you’ve seen littered all over your Instagram feeds are from luxe beauty brand Kjaer Weis - Founded by veteran makeup artist Kirsten Kjær Weis, all the cosmetics are either Certified Natural or Certified Organic and housed in refillable packaging. The lip compact is meant to be a one-time purchase as you continue to refill it, almost like a piece of jewelry. So when you buy one compact, you keep it forever.
Most of the products from local beauty label Oasis Skincare not only smell great and work well, but comes in minimal, sustainable packaging - for instance, the solid shampoos come in paper bags, and the bestselling facial spritzers come in glass containers.
All natural, non toxic, and works wonders on your skin, local skincare label Frank Skincare products’ comes packaged in eco-friendly cardboard and glass.
Tata Harper - What isn't glass is as sustainable as possible, with plastic resin derived from corn (a renewable alternative to petroleum), and the brand also uses soy-based ink to print (in part due to its low petrochemical content).
O’right - This multi sustainable beauty award winner Taiwanese hair-care brand’s products are made from 100% recyclable materials, and 100 % natural ingredients in its product line.
And not forgetting…
Ilia Beauty - made from recycled aluminium
La Bouche Rouge - refillable French red lipstick brand
Lush - packaging-free soap bars, recyclable packaging, and made from recycled packaging
RMS Beauty - minimal packaging, either bio-degradable, recyclable or reusable packaging
Aesop - uses recyclable glass and cardboard
Jurlique - lightweighting glass packaging
Biconi - packaging-free soap bars
Farmacy - packaging made with FSC certified paper, inks based on naturally renewable raw materials and jars are recyclable
AVEDA - made from 100% post consumer recycled PET and other materials
Mad Hippie - recyclable packaging, printed using soy ink
Finally, here’s a look at what the bigger players have been up to:
Unilever, one of the largest big packaged goods players in the industry, started a more sustainably focused drugstore brand, coined as Love, Beauty and Planet. Packaging bottles are made from 100% post-consumer recycled plastic packaging and are 100% recyclable. They also make use of special adhesive with labels to ensure they separate from the bottle during the recycling process.
Sephora collection #lipstories:
This new range of lipsticks from Sephora has packaging that overall uses “less plastic, more paper”, and has a fair bit of recycled materials in its composition. Sephora also used 0% metal in the entire process, which helped to decrease its global CO2 footprint by three times!
Dior’s Hydra Range is encased in packaging constructed from leaflets, corrugated cardboard, and cellophane, with ink is derived from natural origins.