It’s easy to feel overwhelmed by the immense environmental challenges facing the world today. Climate change, air pollution and drought conditions seem beyond any one person’s impact. On top of these, the plastic waste crisis affecting our oceans, waterways and environment demands action.
Each year, 300 million tons of plastic are produced globally. Yet only 12% is actually recycled. The rest goes into landfills, incinerators or worse, the environment. It’s going to take a different way of thinking about our individual decisions, lifestyle choices and our economy to solve this problem. We need to move from a “take-make-waste” mindset to a circular economy mindset, where plastics don’t become waste but are the building blocks for new products.
Companies like Eastman are innovating new ways to tackle the plastic waste crisis by using that waste to create new materials. They are able to tap into that other 87% that is currently not recycled, making it easier for each of us to make smart, sustainable decisions.
So how can we incorporate this new way of thinking about materials and products into our daily lives? Revamping your beauty and skincare routine can have a big impact on the growing plastic waste crisis. We know to be mindful of the ingredients and chemicals used in cosmetics, but we might not consider the sustainability of the packaging — the fossil fuels used to make virgin plastic or what happens to that packaging when we are done with the product.
The hard truth is that cosmetics packaging rarely gets recycled by consumers in the United States. Yet, many consumers are holding brands accountable for the waste crisis and demanding their partnership in living a more sustainable lifestyle.
Fortunately, being an environmentally conscious consumer and being passionate about your beauty routine are not mutually exclusive. More specifically, considering the materials used in what you buy, how often you buy it, and whether it ends up in a landfill at the end of your use are important factors to consider. This Earth Day is a great time to take stock of your beauty footprint. In an effort to help you spring clean your beauty routine, here is a trio of ideas to impact your personal sustainability efforts:
1. Think eco-friendly and let your face glow
It’s not always about buying into the latest sustainability trends and getting rid of your favorite products. Sometimes it is more about the small steps. Using up the products already in your make-up bag and not tossing them just to replace them at the first opportunity with the newest edition is an easy, sustainable choice. Once you’ve used up what you have, then consider choosing products with packaging made from sustainable materials that help reduce greenhouse gases. The environment will thank you. So will your face, when it starts glowing by making the first step by opting for the Prism Highlighter Duo from Clio Cosmetics, for example. It features packaging made with Eastman Cristal™ Renew that uses a process which reduces greenhouse gases by 20-30% compared to traditional manufacturing.
2. Reduce waste and refresh your skin
Despite the importance of sustainable packaging, the vast majority of products on the market today don’t even have recycled content. Think about picking products with packaging that reduces landfill waste. Start by considering cosmetics packaging that is made of recycled materials like the Laneige Water Sleeping Mask from Amorepacific. The jar material is made via molecular recycling, which sources plastic waste that would otherwise go to landfills and uses it to make new materials.
3. Lessen your impact, maximize support for circularity
Brand loyalty can go a long way toward creating a more sustainable beauty industry. Look for brands and packaging that embrace circularity. Products with recycled content have already lived another life. Increase your support for brands that do their part to use recycled content and design smarter goods and packages without compromising on quality and performance. Take Dior Addict Lip Maximizer as an example. You can let your lips shine while knowing that the brand you use has committed to eliminating fossil-fuel-based plastics from its packaging.
It’s way easier than you might think to begin reducing the environmental impact of your daily beauty routine. Change can happen with every decision and beauty purchase. By prioritizing sustainability in packaging and rewarding brands with repeat purchases, more companies will offer more products that help combat the plastic waste crisis. It’s a self-perpetuating loop, much like the circular economy. It’s a virtuous cycle that we can all work to perfect.