How to be a savvy zero waste beauty consumer

In the time that we have started raising sustainable beauty awareness in 2018 to present, interest in sustainable and zero waste beauty has really risen since. We're certainly heartened for the increase in interest with sustainable personal care habits. And if you're wondering how you can play a part into greening up your personal care habits just a little, you've come to the right place! 

Apart from shopping pre-owned with us at Beauty Pantry, being conscious of the steps that are available to us is the first step in reducing the amount of waste that ends up in landfills, especially towards our plastic consumption.

Here, we list out the steps you can take towards being an ethical and zero waste beauty consumer.

1. Look out for environmentally-friendly packaging

2. Send your beauty empties back to respective beauty stores 

We’re well aware of green-washing - which is why you should always check against the brand's sustainability claims website, whether they use post-consumer recycled materials in their products, and what they do with the empties once you've sent it back to them. Once that's in the clear, you're good to go - many brands also give you added discounts of your next purchase after sending your empties in. 
3. Make use of beauty refills when you can
Bring your empty containers out for this. The Social Space, a cafe, lifestyle boutique, and branch store of The Nail Social, has got shampoo, hand wash on tap. Unpackt, a zero-waste grocery store also has zero-waste shampoo and body wash alongside dry food products that you can check out.
You can also buy eco-refills instead - Brands such as L’occitane and MUJI sell eco-refills, at  around 30% off the original product price. 
4. Be aware of the types of products/materials that can be recycled
Not every part of your beauty products can be recycled. The trick is to know what materials they are made of, and if they are multi-material - which usually means they cannot be thrown down the recycling bin. 
 
Type  Bin or recycle? 

 Palettes and compacts 

e.g. eye-shadow palettes.

Bin. They are multi-material, usually coming in plastic, metal, and a mirror.  Furthermore, most products come in coating which makes them non recyclable
Lipstick cases Recycle. But for liquid lipsticks and concealers with wants, discard of the wands, which are multi material, before throwing the rest of it into the recyling bin.

Plastic tunes and containers

e.g. shampoo bottles, cleaners, etc 

Recycle. Just remember to discard of any pumps beforehand! 
Dry shampoo or hairspray canisters Recycle. The canisters are usually made from steel or aluminium, which are recyclable. Just make sure they are totally empty before recycling!
Makeup Wipes Bin. These are virtually indestructible, unless stated otherwise on the packaging (that they are biodegradable)
Glass containers Recycle - only clear, brown, and green glass. Just make sure to bin any multi-material components!

Pumps and droppers 

e.g. typically serum bottles

Bin. These are multi-material, which makes it hard to take apart. However, if the bottle is of a single material, e.g. glass, that part can be recycled. 
Information taken from Cecile Gauthier as told to Cleo