You may well have heard these sobering statistics already, but if you haven’t let us drill them into you: Our plastic use is out of control and is having a seriously damaging effect on the environment. Since the 1950s, researchers estimate more than 8.3 billion tonnes of plastic has been produced. However, only 31 percent of total plastic waste is recycled, while an estimated 60 percent ends up in either landfill or the natural environment. Every year at least eight million tonnes of plastic ends up in the ocean. If it continues at this rate by 2050 the UN predicts the amount of plastic in the ocean will outweigh the fish and an estimated 99 percent of sea birds will have ingested plastic.
While plastic is, of course, everywhere, product packaging accounts for an estimated 40 percent of total plastic usage and in 2017 the annual awareness campaign, Zero Waste Week, reported that more than 120 billion units of packaging are produced by the global cosmetics industry every year, the majority of which is not recyclable.
As a reaction to this, and in an effort to spread awareness and ignite change within the beauty industry, haircare brand We Are Paradoxx is holding the first Plastic Free Beauty Day.
Today, June 17, the brand is calling on consumers and companies alike to reconsider their use of plastic. With the motto “There is no such thing as good plastic,” they are taking to the streets of London, educating consumers about plastic and collecting beauty waste and packaging with their 8ft lipstick-shaped recycling bin.
For those not in London who are keen to take part, the brand has also launched a website, Plastic Free Beauty, where you can learn more about the myths surrounding plastic, discover brands who are doing their bit and sign a pledge to put pressure on the industry to make better environmental choices.
Founded last year by Yolanda Cooper, We Are Paradoxx is a socially conscious and environmentally-friendly haircare brand which is not only 90% plastic-free but also 97% natural, organic and cruelty-free.
“I still remember the moment deciding to go plastic-free,” Cooper says. “It was when I realised we needed to make over 100,000 bottles of packaging in our first year. The global beauty industry produces over 142 billion units of packaging EVERY YEAR! I simply thought “there’s no way I can be responsible for creating 100,000 units of plastic”. I believe there is no such thing as “good plastic” as most of it ends up in the sea or landfill and every piece of plastic ever made still exists. Our packaging is aluminium and stainless steel and even if it ends up in the sea or landfill, it causes no environmental damage. Plus, it can be recycled on an infinite loop, unlike plastic which degrades in quality with each recycling loop. Today we launch Plastic Free Beauty Day to educate consumers around the use of plastic in their beauty products and to hopefully motivate other beauty brands to do the same as we have.”
See below for how you can start to make changes in your beauty routine to go plastic free.