Posts with term LimeLife By Alcone X


When my beauty products run out, I often find myself looming over the trash and recycling bins, debating which receptacle deserves my empties. If I throw them in the trash, will I turn on the TV and see a helpless sea turtle being impaled with the product I tossed? Will I be tagged in a viral video of a penguin with the subtitles “Thanks a lot Dana, now my lungs are full of glitter!”? If I opt for the recycling bin, will it even be recycled? SO MANY IFS. Even after working in the beauty industry for two decades, I don’t have all of the answers. I remember the moment my curiosity was heightened. I had just purchased a handful of new products and as I was unwrapping their plastic-on-plastic-on-plastic packaging, I became increasingly anxious about the ugly truth.   This industry is built on making people feel beautiful, but are we simultaneously devastating our planet? There’s an undeniable feeling of guilt when you throw something out that could have been recycled or repurposed, but once it’s out the door or down the chute, it’s “not your problem” anymore. The truth is, it’s still your problem; it’s our collective problem. Trash is like karma—it comes back to haunt you.   All of this waste is compromising our ecosystem and it’s making me nervous, so I asked Terracycle—a company that’s paving the way in recycling—to put my IFs to bed and give me the hard facts to share with you. Because garbage is scary and knowledge is power. I hope you learn as much as I did and take an extra moment to consider your options before your next purge.   What happens to a product once it hits the recycling bin?   Once a product is placed in a recycling bin, it begins a long process of sortation, separation, cleaning (if applicable), and processing before it can ultimately be recycled into a new product. For instance, plastics (a major component of much beauty and cosmetic packaging) may change hands through sales several times before it even begins processing. The Atlantic published a very comprehensive article a few years back that detailed a plastic bottle’s recycling journey.   What can we do at home to reduce waste from our personal beauty routines?   One tip that individuals can easily implement into their beauty routines is to replace disposable items like makeup wipes and sponges with durable, multi-use alternatives that can be washed and used again and again. Likewise, planning ahead of time for the end-of-life phase of the plastics that you can’t cut out is also advantageous. Consumers are invited to mail in or drop off various types of beauty care waste via TerraCycle’s free brand-sponsored recycling programs. However, it is important to remember that simply buying less is the single-most effective way to reduce beauty care routine waste.   When and how should we get rid of old or unwanted beauty products?   Great question. A lot of people have the best intentions when attempting to recycle their beauty or cosmetic products but forget to empty out any residual material. The presence of leftover material not only contaminates the original product (relegating it to landfill) but also risks contaminating more otherwise recyclable material that also encounters the residuals. Likewise, when emptying out products, it is important to remember to seal the residuals in a non-recyclable container and dispose of it in the normal garbage since some modern beauty products contain microbeads that risk exacerbating the plastic pollution crisis if flushed down the drain. Consumers can check their town’s recycling guidelines via the easy-to-use database maintained by Call2Recycle to avoid wish-cycling, a counterproductive practice that can cause recycling machinery to break down and that contaminates otherwise recyclable material. They are also invited to see if their waste can be recycled through any of TerraCycle’s free recycling programs.   Where do the majority of beauty products end up?   Unfortunately, much of the beauty product waste generated worldwide is destined for landfills and, in the worst possible scenarios, it contributes to litter or the plastic pollution of natural marine habitats. The Ocean Conservancy reports that “every year, 8 million metric tons of plastics enter our ocean on top of the estimated 150 million metric tons that currently circulate our marine environments.” While it is unclear how much of that ocean plastic is a result of people’s beauty routines, a 2014 study by Care to Recycle reports that while an impressive 95% of consumers claim to recycle waste produced in their kitchens (aluminum cans, glass bottles, etc.) only about half do so in other rooms, including the bathroom where a large volume of beauty/cosmetic waste is generated. So, it can be extrapolated that much of the beauty/cosmetics waste that can actually be recycled municipally (like glass bottles and some plastic shampoo or lotion bottles) is not finding its way to a recycling center.   How much waste does the beauty industry account for?   According to a study by Zero Waste Week and an article published by Stylist, the global cosmetics industry produces 120 billion units of packaging every year, which translates to the yearly loss of 18 million acres of forest. To put this statistic into perspective, after just six decades of producing plastic en masse (a staple material in most beauty product packaging), 8.3 billion metric tons have been produced and 91%, the overwhelming majority, has not been recycled.   Can you name a few beauty brands that are taking necessary steps to make a positive change in the waste department?   Over the years, many notable beauty and cosmetic brands have sponsored free recycling programs through TerraCycle to solve for their product’s end-of-life cycle. To name a few, Garnier, Burt’s Bees, eos, Herbal Essences, L’Occitane, Josie Maran, Limelife by Alcone, and Paula’s Choice all currently have TerraCycle programs, and Head & Shoulders partnered with TerraCycle to create the world’s first recyclable shampoo bottle made with beach plastic in 2017.   How can brands better educate their consumers about recycling?   Brands can help their consumers recycle their products by prominently displaying the product’s recycling symbol and number on their packaging along with the advisory that they should first check what type of plastics are recycled in their town. Likewise, many brands (such as Febreze) have TerraCycle’s symbol on their packaging to denote that their product is recyclable via a TerraCycle program.   Would you agree that manufacturers should be leading innovation, since they’re typically the first point of contact when it comes to packaging?   Manufacturers have responded to the plastic pollution crisis with several alternatives, namely compostable plastic containers. While these products are certainly innovative since they are produced from renewable resources as opposed to petrochemicals, it is important to note that, according to Greenbiz, “If these materials are not correctly disposed of at their end of life, they will cause just as much damage to our land and marine environments as traditional petrochemical-based plastic litter.” Simply put, there has yet to emerge a “silver bullet” that is poised to solve our plastic pollution crisis. As TerraCycle’s founder and CEO Tom Szaky says, one of the best ways to elicit change is by voting with your dollar since, while we may cast a vote for a political candidate every so often, we decide what brands to support every day through the purchases we make. If brands are willing to innovate by making their product packaging more environmentally friendly, the conscious consumer will respond to their efforts. A lot of brands have already reacted to increased consumer demand for more eco-friendly packaging by either cutting-down on existing packaging or by reinventing their packaging from the ground up through TerraCycle’s Loop, a platform designed to take us from disposability to reusability through cutting-edge technology and packaging design.   What are the most conscious options for packaging that exist today?   Since much of the packaging currently utilized by beauty brands is comprised of different materials like plastics, glass, and metals, it can be too costly (in terms of time and money) to separate and process. As a result, much of the beauty packaging waste thrown in the blue bin is sorted out by municipal recycling centers and relegated to landfills because even if the consumer does their best to recycle the conventionally recyclable parts of beauty/cosmetic packaging (i.e. cardboard, #1 and #2 plastics, and glass bottles), the remaining pumps, trigger heads, and product tubes are still not accepted by many municipal recycling programs. A good example of this phenomenon are deodorant tubes, described in an article by National Geographic. While the consumer can easily recycle the cardboard box the deodorant might be packaged in, they would need to dismantle the entire deodorant tube (including its tiny plastic pieces) in the hopes of getting it recycled. Even then, the separated plastic components will not be recycled if the municipal recycling facility does not process that specific type of plastic. Even with the best intentions, the act of throwing waste in the blue bin without first consulting your town’s recycling guidelines is known as wish-cycling and is a major stressor for recycling experts. To avoid this, it is recommended that consumers check their town’s specific guidelines via the resource offered by Call2Recycle. Reusable packaging, like that employed by TerraCycle’s Loop, is resoundingly the most eco-conscious option, but since glass is 100% recyclable and can be recycled continuously without any loss in the resulting quality, it is the next best thing compared to reusable models.   What advice would you give a founder who’s in the research & development phase of a future brand?   As aforementioned, eco-friendly packaging design, in the form of reuse models such as Loop, or containers that utilize recycled or less overall material, seem to be the trajectory of packaging design. As consumers become hyper-aware of environmental stories like the Great Pacific Garbage Patch, for instance, they will begin to expect more environmentally friendly alternatives.   How is TerraCycle helping brands make a smaller environmental footprint?   The following is an excerpt from TerraCycle’s website on the environmental benefits of recycling through TerraCycle: “By sending waste to TerraCycle you will avoid it ending up as litter, in a landfill or incineration facility. Instead, new materials and products will be made with your collected waste, reducing the need to extract new materials from the planet. This avoided impact is not small; for an average product over 90% of the environmental impact comes from extracting and refining the raw materials from which it is made.”   Well, there you have it. As members of the beauty industry, we need to wake up and start making some serious changes. As TerraCycle said above, there are a handful of simple things we can all do to help…  
  1. Send our used products to TerraCycle, which is free and takes two seconds to sign up for.
  2. Discard residue from packaging in a non-recyclable container (aka any type of multi-layered plastic bag or pouch) and throw it in the trash instead of flushing it into the water system.
  3. Buy less single-use products like wipes and sponges and switch to reusable options instead.
  4. Contact your local government officials to find out best recycling practices.
  5. Shop less.
  6. Spread the word and share this article with your community.
  Here’s to making smarter choices for our planet! Photo: Angela Compagnone via Unsplash DANA RAE Dana Rae is a published makeup artist with two decades of experience in the beauty industry. She is also a founder, product innovator, brand consultant, contributing writer, and creative.

What Indie Beauty Brands Can Do To Support Retailers Reeling From Store Shutdowns

With a large portion of storefronts shuttered across the country, the retail business is being slammed by the fight against COVID-19. In this edition of Beauty Independent’s ongoing series posing questions relevant to beauty entrepreneurs, we ask 12 retailers: What can beauty brands do to help you get through this crisis?

Beauty Packaging Goes Green

The beauty industry is embracing innovative solutions for tackling waste–and winning more customer loyalty in the process.   There’s no doubt that the beauty industry does a lot of good, from enhancing personal hygiene and contributing to self-esteem, to giving back through charitable causes. There is also no way to ignore the environmental impact packaging from such a massive business has on the Earth. With plastic taking some 400 years to degrade and filling what’s believed to be more than 70 percent of landfills, the prediction that there’ll be more plastic in the ocean than fish by the year 2050 seems devastatingly plausible.   According to TerraCycle, a company that helps brands and individuals recycle and upcycle to reduce the level of unnecessary landfill waste, the global cosmetics industry produces 120 billion units of packaging annually, contributing to the loss of 18 million acres of forest each year.   Motivating consumers to recycle personal care items has challenges. For one, it takes extra effort since these products are often housed in bathrooms, away from the standard kitchen recycle bin. TerraCycle reports that 50 percent of people don’t recycle bathroom waste including shampoo and shower gel bottles because they feel it is inconvenient. That said, the industry has taken responsibility in the past and made an impact. “While statistics are dire, the beauty industry has had success stories with the banning of plastic microbeads in the U.S., U.K. and Canada but has plenty of room for improvement to become environmentally friendly,” says Alex Payne, a spokesperson for TerraCycle.   While swapping plastic for eco-friendly packaging may increase manufacturing costs initially, the increase can likely be offset with potential government subsidies and more customers who prefer sustainable packaging. In fact, the decision to "go green" in formulation, manufacturing practices and packaging could pay off big. Fifty-five percent of people polled in a recent report by J. Walter Thompson Intelligence titled The New Sustainability: Regeneration stated they are more likely to buy beauty products if the company claims to be sustainable. Interestingly, the same report found that 77 percent of people think products with a negative environmental impact should cost more.   Recycling and Reusing   A handful of beauty brands including Burt’s Bees, Eos Products, LimeLife by Alcone and L’Occitane have teamed up with TerraCycle to offer consum- ers easy and free options for recycling. Customers can access a prepaid shipping label from TerraCycle’s website, fill any box with the brand’s cleaned waste and ship it out to be remolded into new products. Herbal Essences, Josie Maran, Garnier, Tom’s of Maine and Weleda are also part of TerraCycle’s free recycling solution. For a fee, TerraCycle offers an option for other cosmetic brands in the form of their zero-waste box. Empty eye shadow palettes, lipstick tubes, makeup brushes and deodorant sticks can be shipped to the company, and thus saved from the landfill.   Just this year, TerraCycle launched an intiative called Loop to introduce a new circular shopping system in Paris and select states within the U.S. designed to eliminate plastic packaging. “The world is in a waste crisis and we can’t recycle our way out of it. We must attack the issue at the root cause, which is single-use packaging,” explains Eric Rosen, spokesperson for Loop. The concept of Loop is like a modern-day milkman delivery system, rebooted with loads of items from personal care to household. Consumers go online and choose the products they’d like to order, which arrive in durable, reusable containers inside Loop’s exclusively designed reusable tote. “Consumers will no longer own the packaging, only the product,” Rosen explains. Beauty brands with products available from Loop include Soapply, Herbal Essences, The Body Shop, Love Beauty and Planet, Ren Clean Skincare and Pantene.   After use, consumers schedule a pickup time and send Loop’s containers to be cleaned, sanitized and reused again and again, removing plastic and shipping cardboard from the equation completely. Loop is currently available in select states and planning on expanding to new cities in 2020. Loop is made possible with the help of partner retailers like Walgreens and Kroger in each market launched. There is no membership or subscription fee; the only cost a consumer incurs is for the product and a refundable deposit for containers, tote and shipping. Brands big and small are stepping up and making commitments to change. Both Unilever and L’Oreìal have promised by the year 2025 to convert plastic packaging to reusable, recyclable or compostable. Esteìe Lauder Companies are on board too, aiming to have 75 to 100 percent of packaging recyclable, reusable or refillable by 2025 and increasing postconsumer recycled material in packaging by up to 50 percent.   Procter & Gamble (P&G) plans to offer 100 percent recyclable packaging by 2030 and has partnered with Loop to offer refillable options. Just this year, P&G’s brand Pantene launched an aluminum bottle for shampoo and conditioner through the service.   Green Materials and Rethinking Plastic   Alternative material options are gaining popularity in the beauty packaging world as brands shift into a “greener” mindset. Bamboo, for example, is biodegradable, compostable and one of the fastest-growing plants in the world. Cosmetic companies like Antonym are using bamboo for eyeshadow and blush palettes and as the base for makeup brushes. Reusable and refillable, glass is an ideal alternative for companies looking to stay clean and minimal, such as RMS Beauty. Like glass, metal is another smart option. Kjaer Weis uses quality metal in makeup palettes meant to be kept and reused as part of the company’s refill system. Already recycled solutions such as paperboard made from recycled paper pulp and recycled plastic are widely used alternatives. Garnier Fructis has adapted this practice for its shampoo and conditioner bottles, with 50 percent of the material coming from postconsumer recycled plastic.   Since plastic isn’t going away overnight, savvy solutions for repurposing are key. The Body Shop recently launched Community Trade recycled plastic from Bengaluru, India, an initiative in partnership with Plastics for Change: “We don’t think plastic–as a material–is bad. In fact, it’s one of the most versatile materials ever made and, if used responsibly, can be sustainable. The problem is when we don’t value plastic and see it as trash, rather than something we can recycle and reuse,” says Lee Mann, global community trade manager for The Body Shop.   With this initiative, The Body Shop also recognizes the human side of the plastic story. The program helps to empower the marginalized waste pickers in Bengaluru, who can receive a fair price for their work, predictable income and access to better working conditions. By the end of the year, The Body Shop will have purchased 250 tons of Community Trade recycled plastic to use in the brand’s 250 milliliter haircare bottles, with plans to scale up purchasing to 900 tons within three years. The bottles created contain 100 percent recycled plastic (excluding the bottle caps) with 15 percent derived from Community Trade recycled plastic. “Brands are starting to be more sustainable and aware of their plastic use. We absolutely want to encourage other brands to start using recycled plastic picked by waste pickers,” Mann says.   It appears that all generations, not just millennials and Generation Z, are taking a stand on sustainability. According to J. Walter Thompson Intelligence’s recent sustainability study, 90 percent of adult consumers think companies and brands have a responsibility to take care of the planet and its people. The same report concluded 91 percent of adults think companies and brands that pollute the environment should be fined.   We have officially entered the age of “less is more.” Retailers must factor sustainability into the brands they work with–and they may even want to go a step further and green their own business. Manufacturers and retailers alike will win by delivering big on product, but light on packaging.