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World Environment Day - Embracing Sustainability in the Beauty Industry

Posted by Vanessa Marshall on

The Environmental Impact of the Beauty Industry

The beauty industry, known for its innovation and allure, has a significant environmental footprint. Here are some key statistics and facts:

Plastic Waste

The beauty industry generates approximately 120 billion units of packaging annually (Inside Packaging) (Plastic Pollution Coalition). Unfortunately, a vast majority of this packaging is not recycled. According to Zero Waste Week, more than 70% of beauty product packaging ends up in landfills or the ocean (CleanHub's Blog | For Clean Oceans). There are several reasons for this low recycling rate:

  1. Mixed Materials: Many beauty products use packaging made from mixed materials, such as plastic combined with metal or glass, which are difficult to separate and recycle effectively.
  2. Small Sizes: Many cosmetic containers are small and can easily fall through the sorting systems at recycling facilities, ending up in the trash instead of being recycled.
  3. Contamination: Beauty product containers often contain residues of creams, oils, and other substances that contaminate the recycling stream, making the recycling process more complicated and less effective.
  4. Lack of Infrastructure: Many municipalities lack the infrastructure to handle the specific types of plastics used in beauty packaging, further reducing the likelihood that these materials will be recycled (Inside Packaging).

Chemical Pollution

Many beauty products contain harmful chemicals such as parabens, phthalates, and sulfates. These chemicals wash off into our water systems and eventually reach the oceans. In haircare products, these substances can have detrimental effects on aquatic ecosystems. Parabens, for instance, have been found to disrupt the endocrine systems of marine life, leading to reproductive and developmental issues (Inside Packaging) (Earth.Org). Phthalates and sulfates can be toxic to aquatic organisms, affecting their growth and survival. Such chemicals contribute to the degradation of marine habitats and biodiversity.

Carbon Footprint

The beauty industry's supply chain, from sourcing raw materials to packaging and distribution, contributes heavily to carbon emissions. About 30% of the emissions come from sourcing raw materials, while a significant portion also comes from consumer use of products (CleanHub's Blog | For Clean Oceans). Additionally, the transport and delivery of liquid beauty products contribute to higher carbon emissions compared to solid alternatives due to the weight and volume of liquid products.

Why Businesses Need to Change

To mitigate these impacts, businesses must shift towards sustainable practices. Here’s why this change is essential:
  1. Consumer Demand: There is a growing consumer demand for eco-friendly products. A Nielsen report found that 73% of global consumers are willing to change their consumption habits to reduce their environmental impact (Inside Packaging).
  2. Regulatory Pressure: Governments worldwide are introducing stricter regulations on plastic use and chemical ingredients. For instance, the UK government introduced a plastic packaging tax to encourage businesses to reduce plastic waste (Inside Packaging).
  3. Corporate Responsibility: Companies have a moral obligation to reduce their environmental footprint. By adopting sustainable practices, they can contribute to global efforts to combat climate change and pollution. This also aligns with the growing expectation for businesses to be transparent about their sustainability efforts (Earth.Org) (Inside Packaging).

How Jack59 Leads by Example

At Jack59, sustainability is at the heart of our operations. Here’s how we incorporate eco-friendly practices:

  1. Sustainable Packaging: Our solid products are packaged in 100% compostable materials and liquids are packaged in either aluminum or glass - both of which are easily reusable, refillable or recyclable - drastically reducing plastic waste. Each shampoo bar saves 3 bottles of standard liquid shampoo from making it to the landfill, conditioner bars reduce a total of 5 bottles of standard liquid!
  2. Eco-Friendly Ingredients: We prioritize natural, non-toxic ingredients that are safe for both people and the planet. Our products are free from harmful chemicals, ensuring minimal environmental impact.
  3. Carbon Neutrality through Solid Products: A significant aspect of our commitment to sustainability is our choice to produce solid shampoo and conditioner bars instead of liquid alternatives. Solid products have a lower carbon footprint due to reduced packaging needs and lower shipping weights. This results in fewer emissions during transportation, contributing to a more sustainable and eco-friendly beauty routine.
  4. Education and Advocacy: We believe in the power of education. By informing our customers about sustainable practices and the importance of eco-friendly products, we foster a community of conscious consumers who drive positive change.

The Way Forward

The beauty industry must evolve to prioritize sustainability. Businesses need to innovate, adopting practices that reduce their environmental impact and promote a healthier planet. At Jack59, we are proud to lead by example, demonstrating that it is possible to create high-quality beauty products without compromising our commitment to the environment.

This World Environment Day, we urge both businesses and consumers to make conscious choices that support sustainability. Together, we can make a difference and ensure a brighter, greener future for generations to come.


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