The Study of Finding Beauty in Life

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Plastic: THE BIG Beauty Product Problem

The Body Shop reveals plastic beauty products that are thrown out

 

I wonder if the Belgian chemist Leo Baekeland, who created the first synthetic plastic in 1907, thought about the repercussions we would be dealing with a little over a hundred years later from his life-changing invention. So many of our everyday items are made of plastic or housed in plastic packaging and unfortunately, they’re now clogging the arteries of our planet.

Just look at beauty products. Almost all of the products we use regularly, like razors, deodorant, shampoo and conditioner all include plastic in their packaging. 

Hard to fathom, but a staggering 384,899,983 razors are thrown away every month, followed by 369,092,688 empty plastic bottles of shampoo and 367,032,066 bottles of deodorant.

How's this for a stat? Over 350 million toothbrushes are thrown away each month as well as over 215 million plastic hairbrushes.

The beauty experts at The Body Shop -  the leader in ethically sourced, fair trade beauty products - provided Beautyologie these statistics and more. From their analysis, they’ve revealed the top 10 most commonly thrown away plastic products from American’s beauty routines. See grim grid above. 👆🏽

To help put some of these statistics into perspective, The Body Shop made the following comparisons to help you digest the information.

1. The same amount of empty shower gel bottles are thrown away in a month as the number of cars in the US.

2. There are 3 times the number of razors thrown away in a month than there are houses in the US.

3. There are almost 6,000 times the amount of empty deodorant cans thrown away in a month than there are coffee and snack shops in the US.

Bottom line? Reduce, reuse, and recycle your plastic waste. Think of your environment. Consider recycling as much plastic as you can, and always check the products can be recycled before disposing of them to avoid landfill.

U.S. States that create the most plastic waste

Which US cities regularly recycle their plastic beauty waste?

New York ranks number one with the highest number of Americans regularly recycling their beauty plastic waste. In fact, well over half (65.4%) of New York residents do.

Following closely behind, at 65.3%, is the city of Austin, Texas and third is San Diego with 62.5%.

American recycling statistics 

What are American’s opinions and attitudes toward recycling?

More than half (54%) of Americans said they're more likely to purchase from companies that use sustainable materials and reduce plastic waste. Good to know we're moving in the right direction.  

Americans actively reducing their beauty plastics

Fifty percent of Americans are actively working toward reducing their beauty plastic consumption. Again, it’s really inspiring to see that half of the American population wants to save the environment. Recycling definitely prevents pollution and lessens the amount of raw materials we need. Cutting down on plastic consumption also helps save energy and reduce greenhouse gasses, the major cause of climate change. 

Americans buy products with no plastic waster

Here is a really positive statistic...almost half (43%) of Americans only purchase from brands that have little to no plastic waste. According to this information provided by The Body Shop, Americans are being more conscious than ever when making purchases and are considering the implication of plastic waste.

As a country, we need to continue to work together to reduce the amount of plastic we use in our beauty routines and remember to recycle as much as we can. Check out this list of five top tips offered by the experts at The Body Shop to create a more sustainable beauty regime: 

  1. Ditch the disposables and reuse and refill  The most obvious – and important reason – it reduces plastic use. Finding reusable products will limit the amount of non-recyclable plastics used in beauty regimes, like mixed plastic.
  2. Check your products before recycling  Although pumps and some bottle caps can’t be recycled and need to be removed before being recycled; remember to always check the products can be recycled before disposing of them to avoid landfills.  
  3. Choose eco-friendly brands and products Finding eco-friendly products can be a bit of a minefield – but always keep in mind green flag words such as; natural and organic, biodegradable, ethically made, and fair trade. 
  4. Swapping your beauty tools and investing in made-to-last products Investing in made-to-last products that can reduce our impact on the environment, such as; reusable bamboo cotton pads, cloth cleansers, and reusable Q-Tips. 
  5. Reduce your water usage  By simply turning your faucet off whilst brushing your teeth and taking less time in the shower - you are saving vital fresh water and doing your part to prevent water wastage. 

It's so easy to make these small changes to our daily lives, which ultimately can make a huge change to the future lives of our children and grandchildren.

According to The Body Shop, they surveyed more than 2,000 Americans to find out about the plastic usage and wastage involved in their beauty routines. Percentages were compared to the US population figures of those over 16 years old. Data pulled October 2021.

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