Clean Up Your Act

Elle India|May 2020

Clean Up Your Act
As the beauty industry looks for ingenious solutions to its plastic waste problem, Drishti Kapadia finds how you can pitch in
Drishti Kapadia

Bottles of shampoo, body and face wash, lotions… a quick glance at your bathroom shelf is all the proof you need to understand the plastic waste generated by the beauty industry. According to a 2018 study by Zero Waste Week (a UK-based global campaign that creates awareness about the environmental impact of waste generation), globally cosmetic companies produce 12,000 crore units of packaging every year, most of which is not recyclable. And considering that plastic can take more than 500 years to decompose naturally, this waste is going nowhere.

As our landfills reach capacity, a few beauty brands are working towards a solution for this devastating man-made problem. Haircare brand Kevin Murphy uses square bottles because they require 40 per cent less plastic to create (compared to regular round ones), and eliminates the need for extra packing material while shipping. Aveda and Love Beauty & Planet are launching new ranges in post-consumer resin aka recycled plastic bottles. Even big personal care companies are invested in reducing their environmental impact; Procter & Gamble is testing paper packaging for their popular deodorants Secret and Old Spice.

While brands are responsible for making radical changes, it’s important we do our bit as well. Here’s what you need to look out for the next time you’re restocking your beauty shelf:

LOOK FOR SIGNS

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May 2020