The Beauty Industry's Plastic Problem: What Exactly Is Being Done About It?

To mark #WorldOceansDay, today on Byrdie UK we're sharing all the ways we can be kinder to the ocean—and the wider planet—with our beauty choices. As well as investigating the beauty industry’s plastic problem, we’ll be exploring the art of conscious beauty consumptionzero-waste routinesplastic-free products and teaching you, once and for all, how to recycle your beauty packaging. Plus, follow our Insta Stories for ways you can reduce your plastic usage, not only in beauty but across your entire daily routine.

Photo: Stocksy

Getting into a new beauty product is never easy. First, you've got to tackle the layers of cardboard, cellophane, tissue paper and boxes until you reach the end goal: a plastic container housing the product you've been waiting for. Undoubtedly, packaging plays a huge part in the allure of a new beauty purchase (and that's even before you perfect your Instagram flat lay).

But there's a darker side to all this packaging, and our Insta-feed's gain is the environment's loss. Yes, we can recycle the cardboard boxes (although there's still debate over how successful an endeavour that truly is) but as for plastic? It can't break down naturally, so if the container isn't recycled correctly, where exactly will it end up?

We get it. It's all too easy to ignore an overpackaged tub of body cream when your shins are drier than a cream cracker. But it's probably about time this "life in plastic, it's fantastic" approach came to an end. We simply can't ignore the impact it's having on our environment any longer. But just how bad is it?