There has been progress in sustainability efforts within the beauty industry in the last few years, with more and more brands (notably small, independent companies) making earth-friendly choices where possible that contribute to the larger fight for the climate.
When it comes to product packaging, the minimum we should be asking from our favourite beauty brands is recyclable or better yet, compostable containers.
From creating our own skincare line as a small business, we have experienced how difficult it is to source completely earth-friendly packaging. Many larger companies have the capital and resources to pave the way and make it easier and more cost friendly for smaller beauty/ skincare companies to access sustainable packaging but unfortunately it usually comes down to maximizing profit instead.
As so many new brands emerge, we should be wary of"greenwashing" when it comes to marketing the products and packaging. Where we can, supporting the brands that are making a continued and genuine effort towards sustainability and demanding change from those who aren't, especially when all of the resources are available, is how we can make a difference.
How we dispose of our different containers is hugely important. Here's some tips for how and where to recycle empties and suggestions for other ways to make environmentally-friendly choices.
The best thing we can do with containers is properly sort and recycle them locally. Educate yourself on what-goes-where in your area, ensure you clean and separate as needed but just don't throw them in the garbage if you can help it!
Some things like pumps and lids may have to be disposed in the garbage or taken apart to recycle properly.
Some things won't be accepted by your local recycling, mainly makeup packaging like mascara, lipstick tubes, eyeliner pencils etc. With these harder to recycle items, London Drugs offer a program with TerraCycle which sends all of these items to sortation facilities within Canada and is broken down and sold to manufacturers to for use in the production of new products.
They state that 97% of all materials received are successfully recycled, with only 3% being disposed of due to contamination or other concerns.
You can find out which London Drugs locations have TerraCycle drop off points on their website.
TAKE ADVANTAGE OF REFILL OPTIONS
Refillable products are also another great option to minimize waste and sometimes, with online purchases, you can even opt for automatic re-fills that are sent to you periodically in minimal packaging. Be sure to also see what's available in your local area!
we currently offer re-fills of local Vancouver body care brand KOV (lotion + wash) as well as our house brand (just not the mist!), at a saving of around 15-20% each time compared to the boxed products. Simply come into store with your containers and have them re-filled right then and there.
You can wash and dry your containers before coming by for a refill or come by when you have a tiny bit of product left. Just make sure if you're washing that there's no moisture when you bring them in to keep the process sanitary!
Another way to cut down on packaging is to opt for items that are zero-waste.
We carry local brand Good Juju that specializes in offering zero/low-waste personal care items that are good for you and good for the planet. We're all big fans of their shampoo and conditioner bars which make great options for travel too.
Other travel-friendly, zero-waste options include Orris Soaps that are intended for face and body. Yes, you read that correctly. After everything we've learnt in skincare, our instincts might be telling us to avoid bar soaps on face at all costs but these soaps were designed specifically for face, using nourishing plant-based ingredients that are actually beneficial for skin. Each soap caters to different skin concerns and types.
SKIP THE BAG
Simple but important nonetheless! In BC we are now mandated to charge $0.25 for our paper bags so if you can, bring a reusable bag to skip the extra charge and save a bag.
Also a good reminder if you opt for local pick-up with us, typically with an order of more than 2 products, we'll pop it in a bag to keep everything together but you can always leave it with us when you collect your order if you don't have far to go or have your own bag!
*For online orders we make sure to re-use as much packaging from shipments we receive as we can which is why your box may have brand stickers on it! We also use water activated tape to seal up your orders, making it near-impossible to tamper with as well as being much more earth-friendly than traditional tape.