Most beauty and personal care products come in plastic, are typically sealed in plastic and are often wrapped in plastic packaging. Much of that plastic is unrecyclable, which is significant because, globally, the personal care products is a $500 billion industry. In the US, it’s a whopping $90 billion behemoth that encourages us all to constantly buy the latest and greatest to stay younger, firmer, fresher, etc.
Some personal care manufacturers are taking notice of the problem and looking for more sustainable ways to package their products. Companies like Lush and S.W. Basics are cutting back on or doing away with plastics altogether. Hopefully it’s not too little, too late.
Plastics take a lot of energy and water to create and recent markets for their recycling have closed to the US, leaving the country with a growing trash problem. The solution lies in creating products that don’t require the packaging in the first place. A large component of many beauty products is water, so consumers are paying for water to be packaged and shipped in unsustainable ways. Recreating products to eliminate most of the water also helps eliminate the need for much of the plastic packaging.[National Geographic]