Beauty waste comes in all shapes and sizes, from extravagant packaging to unnecessary extra-large packaging for small items. The beauty industry generates plastic bottles, tubes, lids, and pumps, which are likely to end up in landfills.
The impact that the beauty industry has on the waste crisis is complex. There are limitations to curbside recycling, supply chain issues, and a great deal of beauty products are simply thrown out when they are unsold, expired, or returned. Our free beauty recycling programs help provide a solution—but just recycling your beauty products alone won’t solve the waste crisis (although recycling does play an important role in the circular economy).
It’s important to find and support brands that are minimizing their impact and taking charge of end-of-life solutions for their packaging. And we can all be eco-conscious about the beauty products we purchase. Buying better can drastically change the amount of trash we generate, and together we can make a collective impact.
Here are some questions to ask yourself to help you buy better:
- Is that new cleanser you’re purchasing from your favorite skincare brand practically identical to something already in your cabinet?
- Do you need to purchase solo ingredient products, or could you consider multipurpose serum (that way, you’re minimizing your number of products and eliminating excess packaging, so win-win!)
- Is that new fragrance you’re debating buying truly incredible, and will you use it to the last drop before needing to dispose of the cute bottle?
- If you’re buying a new-to-market product, does it tick off your packaging wish list? Is it refillable? Or no-packaging?
- Does your product come with a spray component eliminating the need for cotton pads or wipes? Is it made from post-consumer recycled and metal packaging – or is it virgin plastic? Does the brand offer an end-of-life solution for its products?
- What are the brand’s claims when it comes to its carbon footprint?
The first step should always be to buy less, and then shop for a more sustainable or reusable option. You can keep even more trash out of landfills by recycling your hard-to-recycle beauty items with TerraCycle.
The next time you’re on the hunt for your next beauty purchase, remind yourself that every purchase counts on the road to better beauty. Together, we’re able to work towards a circular economy.