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Plastic Free Beauty for Plastic Free July

You have swapped the plastic shopping bags and throwaway coffee takeaway cups for cute cloth tote bags and bamboo coffee cups… but have you thought about your beauty routine? 

collage of plastic free beauty

According to UNEP ‘we produce about 300 million tonnes of plastic waste every year. That’s nearly equivalent to the weight of the entire human population.’ 

 “But I recycle my plastic items,” I hear you say… but did you know that only 50% of plastic packaging is recycled? Furthermore, only 32% of all plastic is recycled (British Plastics Federation). Now let that set in. 

It is also estimated that ‘8 million tonnes of plastic end up in the world’s oceans every year.’ 

Why should we bother about plastic in the ocean? Well, most plastic items never fully disappear, and tiny plastic particles flow through the food chain as they are swallowed by animals, which are then subsequently consumed by humans. 

Thankfully, many beauty brands are concerned about plastic pollution and are on a mission to reduce waste. Here are some top tips and products to make your beauty routine healthier for the planet. 

Use bars, not plastic bottles

Look at your bathroom. Plastic bottles are everywhere, from your haircare to your liquid hand soap. My favourite bar soap is a classic. Dove beauty bar gently cleanses my skin without stripping it of essential nutrients. I have dry skin prone to eczema and psoriasis so a moisturising soap is a must! This bar also comes in cardboard packaging, which is easily recycled. 

You could also try shampoo and conditioner bars; Lush has been selling shampoo bars for decades, but they have become more popular in recent years. The eco-friendly company states that in 2019 they ‘sold 6.6 million shampoo bars saving over 19 million shampoo bottles from going to landfill.’ 

sustainable bar of soap

Buy refillable beauty products

If you don’t want to swap shower gels and shampoo for bar soaps, how about opting for refillable options? L’Occitane offers eco-refill pouches for liquid hand soap, body wash, shampoo, conditioner, and shower oil. 

Ditch the wipes

I know you can buy recycled wet wipes now, but I am still adamant that everyone should stop using make-up wipes. They are not only wasteful, but they are also not a very effective step in your skincare routine. Make-up cleansers and muslin cloths are far more effective at removing your make-up and caring for your skin. Muslin cloths are also good for exfoliation and you can wash them over and over again! I use a Muslin cloth for my face and eyes instead of using cotton pads and wipes. 

'Make-up cleansers and muslin cloths are far more effective at removing your make-up and caring for your skin.'

Say no to cellophane

Whilst most perfumes come in glass bottles, many come in plastic boxes and are wrapped in cellophane. Floral Street, meanwhile, opts for 100% compostable and recyclable pulp cartons. Their packaging is printed with vegetable and soy-based inks, and the card and glass fragrance bottles are widely recyclable. My favourite scent is ‘Electric Rhubarb.’ 

Recycling scheme

Some shops, such as Lush and Bootshave recycling schemes. So if you have any empties lying around, be sure to check out shops near you. 

woman applying a coffee scrub face mask

Go DIY

Want to save money and help the planet? Why not try a DIY body scrub? If you’re a coffee drinker, instead of throwing away the ground coffee in your coffee filter, mix it with some coconut oil and hot water… and you have created your own body scrub! More of a tea drinker? How about reusing tea bags to make a body scrub? Transfer the used tea bag (I like green tea) to another mug with warm water, coconut oil and sugar. 

 

Will you make any swaps for Plastic Free July? You never know, maybe these could be permanent additions to your beauty routine! 

 

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