The Plastic containers filling up under your sinks and in your cabinets are not the only thing hurting the environment.
Consider a deodorant tube. Packaged in a hard plastic case, the bottom twists or turns and that functionality is usually not recyclable. When something is not recyclable it’s thrown in the trash, where it ends up in the ocean on its way to a landfill. The result of everyone in the U.S tossing one tube of deodorant in the trash a month, after a year is crazy. Whales with bellies full of plastic float ashore, coral reefs vanish and there is a patch of trash three times the size of France floating in the middle of the Pacific Ocean. Micro plastics, as we know, are found at the furthest depths of the ocean and end up in waterways and in the fish we eat.
Even still, the plastic containers filling your bathroom shower and cabinets and make up bag are not the only problem. The ingredients in our products do damage to the environment as well. Glitter being a major component -as it’s made from plastic- and washed down the drain ends up in oceans and waterways also. The beauty industry’s environmental footprint is having devastating long-term ramifications.
Sunscreen that is washed down the drain in a shower has oxybenzone and octinoxate which are toxic to coral reefs and 14,000 tons of it are washed away each year. Ocean conversationalists as well as research experts say that 90 percent of all reefs will be dead by 2050 unless we ban sunscreens altogether.
Ingredients like parabens and sulfates that are washed down the drain, are unable to be filtered out in treatment plants, so they end up in our waterways, or tap water and eventually the ocean. This is important to note because the American woman uses an average of 12 personal care products, each containing 168+ chemicals.
There is no getting around the fact that what we put down the drain is dangerous for sea life, and ultimately OUR LIFE. We cannot Recycle our way out of this. Serums and moisturizers have a pump that usually is operated by a spring making that material unrecyclable anyways. Glass jars for all our products are great, but then they have a plastic lid that’s not a type of plastic that is recyclable (too hard, etc). Colored plastics, pumps, multi-polymer blends… You’d have to be an ecological engineer to determine what is recyclable and not these days.
We don’t want to deter your efforts in recycling because it’s a great start! Probably the best next step would be to focus on buying brands already committed to clean, sustainable practices. Where we spend our money, we place our vote for what we want the future to look like for our children and theirs.
Try doing an Eco-Audit of your own daily beauty and grooming regimen. Assess the number of products you buy and how much waste is produced as a result. You can get a separate bin for recycling just in your bathroom to remain mindful.
Take a look at our monthly box and where we use our platform to support small business as well as bring you affordable, sustainable, plastic-free products to start swapping out. Oh and ditch the plastic toothbrush for a bamboo one.