Cutting down on our beauty industry waste seems insurmountable right? Here's our tips on how to make a difference.
Did you know that the beauty industry creates 120 billion units of packaging globally? A large percentage of this packaging is plastic and a large percentage of that plastic is not recycled but rather ends in landfill. Plastic takes hundreds of years to decompose and often ends up being consumed by animals. When plastic decomposes slowly in landfills some chemicals produced during this process can leak into groundwater and eventually into water consumed by or lived in by animals. Some of these animals are then consumed by humans and so these chemicals are consumed by us. So you can see how this cycle of produce, discard, bury, produce, discard, bury .... is not really helping us, animals or the planet. In fact it really helps no one!
But what can we do about this problem? How can we make a difference when there are so many products out there that have plastic in their packaging?
Look for eco-friendly alternatives
Products packaged in aluminium or glass, which are recyclable to infinity are a good alternative to choosing products packaged in plastic.
If you do choose plastic make sure it is recyclable
Plastic such as polypropylene is recyclable as is rubber which is often used for cosmetics droppers. Separate your plastic from other materials and make sure to actually put your containers in the recycling bin! Shampoo bottles, shower gel bottles and many other bathroom plastics are recyclable but many forget to actually put them in the recycling bin along with their usual kitchen recycling.
Better still reuse your containers
You may not want to reuse an empty shampoo bottle but take a look at any pretty empty packages and get creative! Could they be used to contain other items? Could you make something and use your empty container to house it? Do you know a crafty person who would use your pretty containers for something?
How are Keegan & Co. helping with our packaging?
When Keegan & Co. was set up one of the very first things we wanted was to avoid adding more and more packaging to the globe and where possible we wanted to have no plastic and low plastic packaging. Where plastic is used it is recyclable. We are vigorously working towards becoming plastic free in our packaging and encourage reuse over recycle. We use paper labels with no plastic coating and an easy peel adhesive so labels are easy to remove.
Our Treatment Essence bottles are glass with a glass dropper and bamboo lid. All of the glass can be recycled easily, bamboo is biodegradable and the rubber dropper is also recyclable along with your plastics.
We especially love our 100 ml aluminium tins as they are strong, light and fully recyclable to infinity! Better still use these little tins for a host of different craft ideas. Read on for a few of our faves!
Spice bag seasoning tin
Mix in a pestle and mortar the following
2 tsp chinese 5 spice
1 tsp garlic powder
1 tsp chilli powder
Half tsp ginger
Half tsp cinnamon
Half tsp white pepper
2 tsp Salt
If using course salt grind a little until you have a finer powder. To use sprinkle on home made chips as is. If using on chicken or tofu add this spice mixture to around 4 tablespoons of flour. Coat chicken or tofu in flour, then egg, then flour again. Deep fry in hot oil or bake in a little oil in the oven. Delish!
Grate the zest from three or so lemons. MIx with coarse sea salt. Spread on a baking tray covered in baking parchment. Dehydrate in an oven at a low temperature (50 to 60 degrees) for a few hours until the zest is dry. Add to your pestle and mortar and crush together but not too much. Add to your tin! Sprinkle on any food really to give a delicious lemon salty taste.
Handbag friendly mask holder
How many times have you rummaged around in your handbag for a face mask only to find that it's caught up in something, or something has leaked on it, or it's been sitting in there with a host of other items like your wallet or phone which makes you a bit paranoid about what exactly is on it!
We use our empty aluminium tins as face mask holders. Spray a little sanitising spray into the tin (see our blog post on making your own hand sanitiser) or if you have a gel hand sanitiser using a paper towel rub a little on the inside of the tin. Pop your face mask inside and screw on the lid. It will be kept sanitised and clean and free from tangles in your handbag. You could also keep one marked "dirty" and another marked "clean" if you work in an environment where you need to change face masks often. Save you from getting them mixed up.
Let us know your useful ways of reusing your cosmetic's packaging or try out some of ours and send us a photo.