6 Hard Truths about Recycling
The beauty industry is a huge and important part of our lives. It's not just about makeup, skin care or hair products - it also includes packaging! Sustainability is key when looking at the future of cosmetics because if we don't start using recyclable materials now, then recycling facilities will quickly run out of space for old containers that can be reprocessed into something new. Read on to find 6 truths about recycling in the beauty industry you might not know yet.
You may have heard some people say "plastics are made from oil" which sounds like they're saying plastics are bad for the environment but this isn’t true: most plastic (90%!) gets recycled every year thanks to companies who use recycled materials in their products.
There are a lot of reasons why people might not recycle: they don't know how, they think it's too expensive or that there aren’t any recycling facilities near them. Sustainability is key for the future so let's do whatever we can to make sure all our old cosmetics end up in those bins!
What type of plastic should you look out for when buying makeup? The answer depends on what country you live in - but if you're shopping around Europe then PET and polypropylene plastics will be recyclable while PVC won't be able to get recycled because it doesn't have clear packaging like PET does. This means that nobody knows which kind of material something is made from until it's already been thrown away!
1) Packaging made of multiple materials is not recyclable
Any product that contains more than one type of material cannot be recycled, because the recycling process requires a homogenous raw material. For example, if you have an aluminum can made up to hold soda and water mixed together - even though it is recyclable in some ways (the aluminum), it cannot be recycled by most facilities because there are two different materials present in the same container. Hence why we see so many plastic containers with disposable straws: they’re single-material products which means they can easily go through recycling processing!
If you want your beauty packaging to be recyclable, make sure it's just one material throughout!
2) You can't recycle the mirror in your palette
Mirrors, windows and other transparent plastics are not recyclable because recycling facilities cannot see inside them to sort out any materials used on or within the packaging! They also can’t tell if these have been scratched up by consumers. This means that all of those small pieces of plastic will be thrown away with the rest of our trash - which is why we need to remember to put our cosmetics down when they're done once and for all.
Giving Palette does a great job at being sustainable: their products come in 100% recyclable cardboard boxes so you don't even have to worry about getting rid of anything else! A lot more brands should follow this lead!
Cosmetic packaging takes up about one third of landfill space, with over 120 billion pieces created every year.
3) Dark plastics are not recyclable
PVC, the type of plastic that is usually dark colored and shiny does not get recycled. This includes most makeup packaging! PVC can be recycled if it's clear but when manufacturers use colors to make the product stand out from other brands on store shelves (or because they like using it) then there’s no way for them to recycle this material.
If you want your beauty packaging to be recyclable, look for products made with PET or polypropylene plastics - both are more likely to end up in recycling plants than PVC-made cosmetics.
4) Avoid Zamac
Zamac is a type of metal alloy that contains zinc, aluminum and magnesium. Because it's made from three different metals, recycling facilities cannot break down the material into its original parts.
5) Use Terracycle
The Terracycle platform is a network of recyclable cosmetic product collection centers. The company offers recycling services for beauty brands and other companies, giving consumers the opportunity to recycle their old cosmetics at home or in retail stores nationwide.
You can also bring them your used makeup containers from anywhere that sells products made by those who have partnered with terracycle! They'll take care of the rest so you don't need to worry about it any more - plus they give money back rewards which helps fund their sustainability programs and make sure we all stay on track when it comes to minimizing our waste footprint.
6) Pumps and Applicators are usually not recyclable
Pumps and applicators are often made from a hard plastic that cannot be recycled. This is because recycling facilities can't see inside the product to know which type of plastic it's made up of, so they just have to throw away any pieces with pumps or other non-recyclable materials in them.
If you want your cosmetic packaging to be recyclable, choose products without these accessories!
It's time to reduce your plastic waste footprint by buying products with recyclable packaging, or recycling the cosmetics you already have. Sustainability needs to become a priority in this industry because we all need to start caring about our earth and its inhabitants - starting at home!