Makeup and other cosmetic products are used regularly by billions of people around the world. Sadly, this has a terrible impact on our environment.
One major contributor to this is plastic waste. According to Zero Waste, more than 120 billion units of packaging are produced every year by the global cosmetics industry.
Most of this is non-recyclable and can take up to 1,000 years to decompose. Even if the packaging is recyclable, research from Garnier found that over half of all Brits don’t recycle their bathroom products as it’s ‘inconvenient’.
Reusable and recyclable plastic packaging also eventually deteriorates and loses the ability to be recycled. There, it ends up as waste in landfills and in our oceans.
Often the source of recycled plastics are unknown, meaning they may also contain chemicals harmful to the environment.
Refillables, of course, are still a better option. Data from the LCA Centre showed that 70% of the carbon emissions from the beauty industry could be reduced if only refillable containers were used.
Cosmetics products are also not bought alone and often come with brushes, mirrors, or cotton pads, which create further waste.
Face and wet wipes alone cause huge waste problems in the U.K. with almost half of Brits regularly using them. In fact, wet wipes cause 93% of blocked British sewage pipes.
The products themselves can also cause waste, with microplastic beads, fragments, and fibre even being banned in beauty and personal care products because of their harmful effects on the environment.
It is likely that non-biodegradable glitter will also be banned in the future, with some British supermarket chains choosing to do so already.
Many of the ingredients in beauty products come from natural sources.
Even so, from how they’re sourced to the long-term impact of farming them, their sustainability is of great environmental concern.
Palm oil for example, which is used in around half of all consumer goods, is causing widespread deforestation and, as a result, the extinction of several different species.
A further 18 million acres of forest are even lost through the cosmetics industry’s use of cardboard and tissue paper to package products.
There are also issues with unsustainable water use, particularly as it is the most common ingredient in nearly all beauty products.
Beyond plastic waste, unsustainably sourced products, deforestation, and the overuse of water, the beauty industry also emits a fair amount of air pollution. This can come either from the manufacturing of the product or it’s transportation.
Research has shown that even perfumes, hairsprays, and deodorants can cause a significant amount of air pollution.
This is because they release ‘volatile organic compounds’, or VOCs, which interact with other particles in the air. This produces ozone as well as another type of pollution called PM2.5 which is incredibly harmful to human health.
The cosmetic industry does not need to be this way and, thankfully, it is changing.
As more people are becoming aware of the environmental impact of the makeup, brands have had to adapt to keep up and there has been a rapid rise in ‘green’ beauty products.
One of Play it Green’s favourite sustainable brands is Juni Cosmetics.
Juni ‘s award-winning lip care and colour formulas are vegan, cruelty-free, contain no plastics, and use sustainable-sourced organic ingredients.
Previously described as one of ‘The Brands Redefining The Clean Beauty Movement’ by British Vogue, Juni’s goal is to create make-up and skincare products which are kind to you and the planet, without compromise.
They are also determined to avoid plastic at all costs, their innovative packaging is made from 100% aluminium.
This is known as ‘the green metal’ because it is one of the most recycled materials on the planet and can be infinitely recycled without losing quality.
Their Return & Recycle Initiative even allows customers to send back their empty packaging using a free returns label in return for a 10% discount code.
Once received, a UK-based chemist will expertly clean the packaging and use it again in future runs, creating a ‘closed-loop’ system and contributing to a circular economy.
To save a little money on your purchase, you can use discount code PLAYITGREEN20 for 20% your order or shop via this exclusive link: https://junicosmetics.com/discount/PLAYITGREEN20.