Last year, the global recycling industry was shaken out of a heavy sleep when China announced they would no longer accept internationally shipped contaminated plastics in order to focus on domestic recycling and cut down on air pollution. The United States, in particular, scrambled to regroup. Shortly after, shipping waste out of the North America proverbial backyard made the news again when Canada was forced to take back trash sent to the Philippines.
While Coca-Cola, Pepsi, Nestle, and Danone have been identified as the worst offenders, the beauty and wellness industry is no innocent bystander. How, who, why, and what, you ask? In one word, packaging.
According to Forbes, in 2018 more than 120 billion units of cosmetics packaging were produced globally, 70 percent of which were not recyclable. And plastics don’t just end up in oceans and landfills, they end up in us. According to a study by Australia's University of Newcastle, humans consume a credit card size of microplastics every week. As awful as it sounds, a huge positive has come from this growing awareness: people everywhere are getting real about single-use plastic packaging.
Canada is set to ban single-use plastic by 2021, India by 2022, and California by 2030.
Thankfully, the single-use plastic free movement is reflected in conscious consumers that are willing to pay more to support these efforts. In fact, Nielson reports that 73 percent of consumers say they would change their consumption habits to reduce their impact on the environment. As such, beauty and wellness brands are starting to take notice and join the cause.
Here, discover seven beauty brands committed to environmentally sound packaging and other sustainable business practices. Supporting them with our consumer dollar votes is a fun way out of the throw away lifestyle for good.
- Oui Shave's beautiful rose-gold single blade razor won’t end up in a landfill like billions of disposable razors this year. It’s built to last a lifetime and provide a smooth shaving experience.
- LOLI Beauty, a water free, super foods skincare company, is creating creams and toners with very few ingredients, uses food grade glass yogurt jars, and uses compostable labels, bags, and boxes for packaging.
- Ilia Beauty, whose motto is “beauty with intention,” packages its full line of vibrant skincare infused makeups in recycled aluminum casing and post-consumer recycled paper with vegetable-based dyes.
- Circumference New York, skincare infused with sustainable botanicals and vitamins, uses 100 percent recycled materials like glass and paper for product packaging. The brand upcycles its raw botanical materials by turning them into compost, fertilizer, and livestock feed.
- Alpyn Beauty a sustainable, botanical skincare line based out of Jackson Hole, WY, uses 100 percent recycled glass and Forest Stewardship Council-certified paper materials for packaging.
- Ethique, a full line of hair, face, and bodycare bars based out of New Zealand, has saved over 4.3 million plastic bottles from winding up in the landfill to date and aims to hit 50 million by the end of 2025.
- Gypsy Secrets, a beauty brand serving up gorgeously seductive serums and eye creams, packages its products in ultraviolet glass containers and donates a percentage of revenue to environmental organizations.