When it comes to the beauty industry, there’s been an increasing commitment to making a difference – and we need it now more than ever. Zero Waste Week data showed that in 2018, more than 120 billion units of cosmetics packaging were produced globally.
However, Netherlands-based group LCA Centre determined that if refillable containers were used for cosmetics instead, as much as 70% of carbon emissions associated with the beauty industry could be eliminated.
These days, most of us put much more thought into making eco-conscious decisions than we did in past years. The climate crisis is as dire as can be, marine life is in peril, and the amount of waste we produce is astronomical; in fact, a governmental report revealed that in 2018, the UK generated 222.2 million tonnes of total waste. Pretty shocking, huh?
But it’s not all doom and gloom; increasingly, businesses and communities are banding together to make a real difference. Recyclables and biodegradable materials are on the rise, clean and organic ingredients are being turned to, and plastic-free alternatives are big business.
Enter: zero waste beauty brands. Not to be confused with plastic-free options, these brands are committed to the zero-waste ethos, which wishes for us to use things for longer and dispose of them only when they’re at the absolute end of their life. A zero waste attitude sees us stepping away from recycling (using it only as a last resort), and refilling, reusing, and reducing as much as possible so that quite literally, nothing goes to waste. The aim is for nothing to be sent to landfill, and to enter into more of a circular economy where all resources are reused and put back into the system, and rubbish is eventually written out of the narrative (a long-term, much larger goal).
A zero waste beauty brand aims to avoid contributing any waste (or as little as is absolutely possible) to landfill throughout their entire process, from making the product with the right ingredients and smallest disruption to the planet, to putting it into your hands through packing it and shipping it across.
This may seem like an impressive feat, but increasingly, beauty brands are nailing the assignment. Not only are brands such as Ethique, UpCircle, and Axiology making the zero-waste ethos more accessible for beauty fans, sites such as Content Beauty and Holland & Barrett are giving us new ways to shop with specific ‘zero waste’ categories.
The 6th-12th September 2021 sees Zero Waste Week come into play, reminding us all to make more responsible choices. Since launching back in 2008, the campaign has helped businesses along with individuals on their journey to reduce landfill waste and their overall footprint.
One small step you can take personally to support the cause is to switch some of your beauty buys to zero waste options, such as those from the following brilliant brands.