Podcast 112: The dirty business of beauty waste

Podcast 112 Beauty packaging waste

Beauty shoppers are clamouring for green packaging and sustainable beauty. The industry is coming out with innovative packaging made from recycled plastics that themselves can be recycled. So isn’t this a positive landscape and a happier space for the beauty industry to be in than a few years ago?

If only sustainable beauty packaging were so simple.

In this Green Beauty Opinion, Formula Botanica CEO, Chartered Environmentalist and podcast host Lorraine Dallmeier praises the strides the beauty industry is making on sustainable packaging, but also unearths the truth about how much is recycled. Consumers still know little about what our beauty packaging is made of and where it ends up in its afterlife.

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Subscribe on iTunes Subscribe on Spotify Subscribe on YouTube The @FormulaBotanica podcast tackles the ugly side of the beauty business - the plastic packaging waste that is rarely recycled. #beautypackaging #sustainablebeauty #greenpackaging Click To Tweet

In the previous episode, Lorraine spoke to Mia Davis, VP of Sustainability & Impact at the USA’s largest clean beauty retailer, Credo. Mia ended her interview with a call to consumers and the industry to engage actively and purposefully in conversations about the less than beautiful aspect of beauty – its waste.

In this opinion short, Lorraine explains that while we are becoming familiar with acronyms for plastics, like post-consumer recycled PET plastics, and are better at deciphering recycling symbols, the reality is that very little plastic waste is recycled. Plastics are still shipped from rich countries across the world to be dumped in open landfills. Ultimately, much ends up polluting the oceans.

Innovative packaging solutions are all well and good, but are let down by a recycling infrastructure that can’t close the loop and sustain a circular economy.

Lorraine’s challenge to all of us engaged in beauty, whether as shoppers or industry insiders, is to start having more conversations about the environmental harm of beauty packaging. Whether indie founder or mainstream big beauty business, we need to tell our customers just what our packaging is made of and how to recycle it. Make our customers lives easier by making videos on how to recycle that airless pump bottle, for example. As shoppers, we must be prepared to ask beauty brands how to recycle and reuse their packaging, whatever it is made of, and pile the pressure on them to respond with clarity.

While R&D is coming up with the next closed-loop, circular economy packaging, we can start having an immediate impact by simply having conversations and educating each other. And remembering that because innovative sustainable packaging can be recycled, it doesn’t mean it will be.

Thank you for joining us for this episode of the Formula Botanica Green Beauty Conversations podcast. If you enjoyed listening, please share, subscribe and review this episode on iTunes, Spotify or Youtube so that more people can enjoy the show. Don’t forget to follow and connect with us on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.

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Lorraine Dallmeier

Lorraine Dallmeier is a Biologist, Chartered Environmentalist and the CEO of Formula Botanica, the award-winning online organic cosmetic science school. Read more about Lorraine and the Formula Botanica Team.

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