With Earth Day 2019 behind us, the statistics for the amount of pollution produced each year can seem staggering. But change on an individual (or family) level is possible. If we keep thinking that it’s too late to do anything, then it will be. So it’s time for action, and making a positive impact may be easier than you think.
According to Earth Day Facts, by reducing our waste 1% per year the US could avoid adding over 400 megatons of carbon dioxide equivalent to the planet over the next decade. In the same study they determined that each person throws away over 88 pounds of plastic a year. By reducing, reusing, and recycling, this number can be drastically cut. And some makeup companies make this very easy on the consumer.
In a prior post for this series I discussed the problems with recycling makeup packaging. Today I want to share with you the companies that are making a difference both by using recycled materials, limiting the amount of packaging around products, and running their own recycling programs. (I am only discussing companies I have purchased products from in this article. If you have other recommendations, please leave your comments below. Share so we all can learn!)
A lot of makeup packaging is not made from recycled material. Traditionally makeup companies purchase virgin (unused) glass or non-recycled plastic to create their bottles, jars, and containers. It is harder and more expensive to use recycled and recyclable materials. The quality of the packaging material changes the efficacy and shelf life of the product inside of it. In other words, recycled packaging lowers the profit margin of a company and only a few corporations are willing to make a concerted effort to use recycled materials.
LUSH Cosmetics is one of the companies that uses recycled materials in their products. Their website states that they use 100% post-consumer recycled plastic in their packaging. If you bring back 5 empty, clean black LUSH pots to your local shop for recycling they will give you a Fresh Face Mask for free. I am fond of LUSH Toothy-Tabs and lip scrubs. I would recommend the brand as one that provides effective and environmentally sound products.
Something I would love to try that is not currently available in the U.S. are the lipsticks. The tube container is refillable, and the lipstick product is sealed in wax. You peel off the wax and insert the lipstick into the tube. When you have used up the lipstick, you clean out the container and pop in another lipstick fresh from the wax covering. No paper or plastic wrappers needed. People in the UK are so lucky!
Tata Harper Skincare is another company that deals with environmentally friendly packaging. The majority of the packaging is made of glass and is recyclable. The small amount of plastic resin in the packaging is derived from corn rather than petroleum. This means it is made from a renewable resource. And the paper packaging is 100% post-consumer materials.
I first tried a sample of their Rejuvenating Serum and was so impressed I purchased the full-sized bottle. I would highly recommend this for anyone who has very dry skin. The scent is a bit strong when first applied but fades quickly. (It reminds me of marigolds.) Still if you are sensitive to scent, I would avoid this. This product has become one of my skincare staples and I look forward to trying more from this brand when I complete my low-buy and need to replace a product category. (If you want to learn more about my “low-buy” rules, read my post here.)
MAC Cosmetics offers the Back-to-MAC program. MAC accepts returns of its primary packaging to both its physical and online stores. Bring in 6 packages and you will receive a free MAC lipstick of your choice.
MAC produces quality products. My most recent purchases from them, the 50 Year Star Trek items, I expect will last for years. I don’t think I will be returning them because I’m a sci-fi geek and it’s STAR TREK! But the other 3 items will be saved for the Back-to-MAC program.
For a final thought. Buy makeup responsibly. Look at the product itself, but also look at the packaging. Research before purchasing and realize that a small change (1% less) can make a big difference in the world.
Let me know your thoughts in the comments below.