[Mitigation] Pollution from Beauty Products : Alternative Packaging

Pollution from Beauty Products : Packaging

Welcome back to another blog post regarding the pollution in the Beauty Industry! This time, we will touch on the efforts done to mitigate the problem, specifically how brands and corporations deal with packaging pollution. This is tied to our previous blog above titled, Pollution from Beauty Products: Packaging.

Because of all the problems arising from the unsustainability of the packaging used in the beauty industry, there is a dire need for alternatives – seeing as the beauty industry is recession-proof and that the industry is only going to earn more money in the coming years. With the ban on “rinse-off” microbeads in the US, it’s now important to focus on the container. With packaging accounting for approximately 40% of total plastic usage but only 14% being recycled, it is important for us to look at other alternatives to ensure the sustainability of products in the industry (Plastic Oceans, n.d.).

Beauty Brands in the Spotlight

This is where it is important for us to be rational and responsible consumers. For one, it is important for us to still properly recycle the products that we use. However, we also have to mindfully switch and embrace brands that are doing what they can to reduce their pollutive impact. There are a variety of different factors you can look into: You can look for products with recyclable/refillable packaging or alternatives like makeup removal towels. You can also buy from brands that have recycling programs. Here are some brands that we can appreciate for their eco-friendly alternative packaging:

#1: Kevin Murphy

Picture from: Kevin Murphy Website

Australian haircare brand Kevin Murphy evidently ‘closed the loop’ on its plastic consumption by partnering with Pack Tech, a Dutch packaging brand. Kevin Murphy products are entirely packaged in recycled plastic recovered from the oceans. Not only is it made from plastic wastes, but it is also recyclable. Making the switch to Ocean Waste Plastic (OWP) is Kevin Murphy’s way to take the first step in the beauty industry to move towards sustainability.

#2: MAC Cosmetics

Information from MAC Cosmetics Singapore Website

MAC Cosmetics have a recycling program called Back to MAC initiative whereby customers could trade-in 6 MAC lipstick tubes (finished, and to be recycled) and receive one free lipstick in return.
#3: Dove

Picture from: Unilever

In line with Dove’s parent company, Unilever, to become more sustainable, Dove has switched up all of its Dove, Dove Men+Care, and Baby Dove packaging in North America and Europe to 100% recycled plastic bottles at the end of 2019, with plans to expand globally by the end of 2020. This initiative stands to reduce “the use of virgin plastic by more than 20,500 tons per year.”The brand also announced that it is working on plastic-free Beauty Bar single packs and stainless-steel Dove deodorant sticks that will be reusable and refillable.
#4: Ethique Beauty

Picture from Amazon

Ethique Beauty uses recyclable paper packaging, not plastic, for all its products — from shampoos and conditioners to body washes. Since launching in 2012, the company has stopped more than 3.3 million plastic bottles from being made and disposed of into landfills. Additionally, 20% of their annual profit goes to charities focused on the environment.
#5: Āether Beauty

Picture from Aether Beauty

Āether Beauty created the first-ever zero-waste and 100% recyclable eyeshadow palette! After removing the eyeshadow pans, one can throw the palette into the recycling bin.
It is very clear that the beauty industry needs to reform, and the sooner brands like the ones above find success, the sooner we are able to save our oceans and the Earth.

Johnston, I. (2017). Microbeads ban: Government to outlaw microplastics in cosmetic products. The Independent. [online] 21 Jul. Available at: https://www.independent.co.uk/environment/microbeads-ban-bill-uk-cosmetic-products-government-outlaws-microplastics-a7852346.html.

Plastic Oceans (n.d.). Facts . About Plastic . Help – Plastic Oceans Foundation. [online] Plastic Oceans International. Available at: https://www.plasticoceans.org/the-facts/ [Accessed 4 Nov. 2020].