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Beauty: going plastic-free

Beauty products often come wrapped in excessive plastic. Hanna Pumfrey, founder of online beauty shop Acala, shares her tips on how to go plastic-free

The beauty industry is sadly well known for its negative impact on the environment. From pollution to draining natural resources, our everyday product usage often only serves to exacerbate the problem.

A recent report by Zero Waste Europe for example, highlighted that over 120 billion units of packaging are produced every year by the global cosmetics industry, most of which is not recyclable. Despite a huge rise in the wellness trend and a move towards organic and natural products most beauty products still come packaged in plastic that can take around 1,000 years to decompose.

Of the product packaging that we can recycle, a report by Garnier found that over half of us don’t purely because of inconvenience. Single use packaging is common place with the majority ending up in landfill within three months of production.

It’s not all bad though, change is afoot in the industry and some brands are really stepping up to the play to combat this problem. Driven by you, the consumer. According to a Euromonitor global consumer trends survey, having a positive impact on the environment through every day actions is an aim held by two out of three consumers. We like the premise of ‘reduce, reuse and recycle’ and understand the importance of going plastic free, we just need to make headway on the ‘how’.

While the onus is on Government and big business to make radical change, on a personal level we can also do our bit. If you’re reading this you’ve probably already got a tote bag for your supermarket shop or swapped your takeout coffee for a reusable cup. There are also other ways you can cut your plastic usage, especially when it comes to your beauty routine.

Image: Acala DIY
DIY coffee scrub

Embarking on a completely plastic free beauty regime may seem an impossible challenge so, rather than overwhelm yourself, why not make some small and easy changes in the right direction and start with some easy swaps. It’s all a journey and after all, the biggest influence we can have for change on a wider scale is how we spend our money.

There are amazing brands out their creating 100% natural and organic products in packaging that biodegrades or can be refilled. Some favourites are Zao and URBAPOTHECARY for cosmetics and Kutis, Happy Holistics and La Pepa for personal care essentials such as deodorant and reusable make up wipes.

Another brilliant way to reduce plastic within our personal care routines is to opt for DIY recipes. We can take it back to basics and learn how raw ingredients can be used as they are or in super simple homemade recipes that eliminate the need for single- use packaging.

Change is afoot in the beauty industry and it’s driven by us, the consumer. By choosing plastic free options we can all be part of a change for a better future today.

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