The Beauty Industry And The Testing Of Sustainable practices

It is paradoxical that the effects of the beauty industry […]

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June 15, 2020

It is paradoxical that the effects of the beauty industry on the earth are anything but beautiful. Their use of non-recyclables that mostly end up in landfills is alarming. 

Most of these nonrecyclables are used in the packaging of their products and numbers say that 70% of the plastic used by this industry are disposed of, instead of being recycled.

Aware of the harm that they unintentionally cause to the environment through their product packaging, many companies in the industry are looking for alternative sustainable packaging options. 

And the good news is that they are not the only ones that are embracing this noble cause, as the customers of the industry are also buying more eco-friendly products. 

Major beauty and cosmetics companies like Chanel and Olay are leading the charge towards sustainability. Other brands like Naturally Serious are also championing the cause by making completely eco-friendly products.

Apart from women and beauty products, men’s products also have a role to play. For instance, men who start to notice changes in hairline would tend to begin to consider using various products in order to combat a receding or a mature hairline. And men are not exactly known for their patience when it comes to selecting products—they just want something that works! 

This is why taking a closer look at the beauty industry, one might wonder what practices they are using to ensure sustainability. What steps are they taking to drive them closer to the final destination of complete eco-friendliness?

1. The Use of Recycled Packaging

You might have observed that cosmetic companies invest a lot in their packaging. Why not? That is the first thing that attracts potential consumers to their products. 

Beauty companies are taking the initiative and making recyclable packages. Product packages usually take on designs and this makes reusing them quite hard. For example, there is hardly a straightforward way to reuse tube packages. 

So, companies are gradually transferring their products into packages that allow for easy recycling or reuse. Estee Lauder is an example of a cosmetic company that is taking major strides in recycled packaging. 

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As a matter of fact, they announced in October 2019 that by 2025, they would develop products in refillable and reusable packages. Aveda, another cosmetic company even rewards their consumers who return their empty product packages for reuse.

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2. Discouraging the Production of Harmful Ingredients

More companies are looking for alternatives to produce ingredients that are toxic to the environment. An example of such ingredients are microbeads, which has been banned by the Microbead-free water act of 2015

Microbeads are resilient microscopic plastic particles that go all the way from your bathing soap down to vast water bodies. When they get there, they pollute the water bodies, making it unsafe for plants and animals in the water.

It isn’t just the environment that suffers from some of these ingredients. There are cosmetic ingredients that are harmful to the human body. Examples of such ingredients are aluminum salts and Dibutyl Phthalate (DBP). 

Antiperspirants use aluminum salts to block sweat pores in the body. They also reduce the growth of the bacteria that causes body odor. However, researchers have found a link between aluminum salts and breast cancer, osteoporosis, and Alzheimer’s disease, thus discouraging its use. 

Nail products contain DBP as a solvent for dyes. Research has also found that it causes harm to human reproduction. It does this by strengthening the tendency of other chemicals to cause genetic mutations. 

European Union has placed a ban on DBP in cosmetics and children’s toys cosmetics. 

3. The Use of Renewable Energy

The cosmetic products alone are not the ones causing harm to the environment. Their production processes are also causing as much harm. Wig making and cosmetic production companies use lots of synthetic ingredients to make their products. 

And fossil fuel is where they derive these ingredients from. To convert these fossil fuels to the final synthetic ingredients alone consumes a lot of energy. This is because fossil fuels have to go through discovery, extraction, and processing stages. 

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Categories: 2020, Climate Policy(2023)
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