To get a better understanding of how this industry has been contributing to environmental waste, I asked Mia Davis, the director of environmental & social responsibility at Credo, to weigh in. According to Davis, more than 120 billion beauty packages are created annually, and only a small fraction of these (less than 9%!) are recycled. Even fewer are refilled or reused. That means these materials, most of which are plastic, are being landfilled, incinerated, or stuck as toxic pollution.
The good news? There is a positive shift happening in the beauty industry. For example, Credo has launched its Sustainable Packaging Guidelines, and its first milestone in 2021 was to eliminate single-use items like masks, pads, and sample sachets.
"We're really hoping that other retailers and brands will join us: Let's stop making stuff that will never be recycled or reused," Davis said.
With the pressure on brands to use more sustainable packaging, as consumers and individuals, we can take steps to help reverse this environmental impact now as well. This month, I challenged myself to take a critical look at the makeup I use and see if I could find comparable sustainable and package-free alternatives.
Keep reading to see if zero- and low-waste makeup products can really outperform my tried-and-true brands and if I'll end up incorporating them into my beauty routine for the long run.