Today marks the second Plastic Free Beauty Day, the brainchild of haircare brand We Are Paradoxx, demanding brands, retailers and consumers alike reconsider their relationship with plastic. Here’s the 411.
You’ll have no doubt heard the depressing statistics multiple times before: by 2050, our oceans will carry more plastic than fish and an estimated 99% of seabirds will have ingested plastic.
And even though recycling has become as fashionable as watching Netflix’s newest true-crime documentary in theory, shockingly less than a fifth of the world’s plastic is recycled in practice. So, was it really a shock when the UN declared the current situation a “planetary crisis”? Not really.
Of course, being so prevalent in modern day life, going completely cold turkey on plastic in all areas of our lifestyles isn’t easy, but the bathroom is one place where simple, straightforward swaps can make all the difference.
That’s why Plastic-Free Beauty Day – which, FYI, takes place today on 17 June – is one national celebration we should all get behind.
Launched last year by Yolanda Cooper, founder of pioneering beauty brand We Are Paradoxx, Plastic-Free Beauty Day is intended to make us all rethink the plastic currently lurking in our bathroom, and the initiative is now working in partnership with Plastic Oceans UK, a non-profit organisation that’s dedicated to reducing the use of single-use plastics that end up in our oceans.
But much more than just encouraging us to recycle our empty shampoo bottles and moisturiser tubs, Plastic-Free Beauty Day is about urging us all to consider avoiding plastic altogether. “We are calling all brands, consumers and retailers to join us and reconsider their use of plastic, whether it be virgin, recycled or reclaimed from the sea because the problem is that it ends up back in the sea or landfill which makes the type of plastic irrelevant,” Cooper explains. There is no such thing as “good plastic”. Sobering, indeed.
However, the impact of coronavirus has sadly been hard-hitting and has forced a huge increase in single-use plastics; while some are much more necessary (PPE, for example), others are more avoidable, like disinfecting wipes, plastic shopping bags and online shopping packaging.
To mark its second year, Plastic-Free Beauty Day is championing beauty brands who’re actively helping in the war against plastic pollution and is calling for other brands to follow in their footsteps.
If you want to do your bit, here are five easy ways to reduce the plastic in your bathroom.
Swap to aluminium packaging
We Are Paradoxx uses aluminium to house its potent haircare formulas, as the material is much easier to recycle, and unlike plastic, can be recycled an infinite number of times.
…or go completely packaging-free
Lush has long championed minimal packaging, and even launched the first plastic packaging-free beauty shop earlier this year. Rather than plastic wrappers, customers can take their new bath bombs and skincare formulas home wrapped in paper or tucked inside a cork container.
Invest in a reusable face cloth
Make the switch to a reusable face cloth like the Face Halo, £7. With nothing more than a splash of water, the special fibres of this cloth peel away makeup and it can be machine washed up to 200 times.
Choose bamboo or paper-stemmed cotton buds
This one is a no brainer. Plastic-stemmed cotton buds are expected to be banned in the UK, so now is the time to make the switch to biodegradable bamboo or paper-stemmed alternatives. Try Boobalou’s Bamboo Cotton Buds, £2.49 for 100 buds.
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