over 120 billion pieces of packaging created. every. single. Year!
The Right Way to Dispose of haircare and beauty Product Packaging
As a curious and consious person, you’re properly aware of the ingredients you’re using on your skin, hair and body, but you’re probably also concerned about making sure that the packaging of your products is being properly recycled to have a minimal impact on the environment.
A sad fact is that cosmetic Packaging make up about 1/2 of all landfill space in the world, with over 120 billion pieces of packaging created. every. single. Year!
So, this alone is the motivational factor for us to educate you in the confusing world of recycling, and correct disposal of haircare packaging, in a realistic an honest step by step.
how can I make a difference ?
1. RECYCLING PLASTIC CAN BE COMPLICATED, SO FIND OUT WHAT'S ACCEPTED IN YOUR AREA
Most of your beauty products come in plastic packaging. Given the recent focus on plastic straws and the impact the material has on the environment, it shouldn’t come as a surprise that plastic should be a priority.
The only problem is that plastic is not just plastic, it comes in many different materials.
2. MIXED MATERIALS ARE NOT RECYCLABLE
The average packaging is created by different layers of multiple materials like plastic, paper, label’s and metal.
Some of these individual materials are recyclable on their own, but when combined, they become impossible to recycle.
Different recycle companies collect each raw material like plastic, metal, paper and it’s impossible to separate the layered materials without highly specialized machinery that most facilities don’t have, so these items go straight to the landfill.
Also, products with dark or black packaging, cannot be recycled as they can’t be identified by MRF (materials recovery facility) machines.
Products that contain mirrors, magnets, sheet masks and packets, and squeezable tubes is also unrecyclable.
Your most sustainable option: choose single-material packaging wherever you can.
3. SEPARATE DIFFERENT MATERIALS
Even if all individual components of the packaging all are recyclable by the self, the packaging needs to be taken apart and separated before reaching the recycling facility, or the packaging will end up in the landfill.
To avoid adding to the plastic packaging trash pile, remember to separate the components down to their recyclable parts.
4. CLEAN AND DRY YOUR RECYCLABLES
The companies that buy your recyclables won’t accept dirty or contaminated packaging, they must be 95% uncontaminated.
To keep your empty packaging out of the landfill, wash and dry everything thoroughly before throwing them in the bin for recycle.
Dispose the Excess Product, BUT NOT DOWN THE SINK! A few drops of shampoo left in the bottle are perfectly fine, but if there’s enough in the bottom for you to shampoo your hair with, you’ll need to take the extra step to clean it with a paper towel and throw it in to the normal waist bin.
5. PUMPS ARE RARELY RECYCLABLE
Most cosmetic pumps are made with multiple varieties of plastic, which are nearly impossible to separate without specialized industrial equipment.
So detach the pump from the bottle and through it in the normal waist bin, before recycling the bottle/packaging.
6. NOT ALL PLASTICS ARE RECYCLABLE SO LOOK FOR THE NUMBERS
All plastics are labelled with a number from 1-7, usually on the bottom of the container.
These numbers tell you about the item’s recyclability. Look for the numbers and try to choose easily recyclable options when buying plastic packaging.
#1 PET (Polyethylene Terephthalate)
#2 HDPE (High density Polyethylene)
#5 PP (Polypropylene) Some recycling programs will accept
#5 plastics. Contact your local program for info.
#3 PVC (Polyvinyl Chloride)
#4 LDPE (Low-density Polyethylene)
#6 PS (Polystyrene)
7. YOUR AEROSOLS HAIRSPRAY AND DRY SHAMPOO ARE RECYCLABLE
Hairsprays, hair powder and other aerosol sprays can be recycled in recycling programs.
But do make sure they’ve been completely finished before recycling them.
Spray cans made from aluminium, steel, or tin can be recycled If they are completely empty. If the can has a plastic cap or lid, the plastic cap or lid has to come off so it doesn’t cross contaminate the packaging.
Because many material facilities don’t have the equipment at the moment to sort mixed materials, the cap or lid needs to be removed for the spray can to be successfully recycled.