Jul 21, 2022
In this Green Beauty Opinion, we pick up on key issues of plastic waste raised in the last episode with guest Peter Wang Hjemdahl, co-founder of rePurpose Global. Here, Formula Botanica CEO and podcast host Lorraine Dallmeier sounds a note of realism and cautious optimism about how beauty can tackle its plastic dependency.
While sceptical of offsetting and plastic waste credit schemes, Lorraine says that realistically a plastic-free beauty industry is not likely in our lifetimes. Offsetting and credits that help pay for the removal of plastic and global activism on plastic pollution are valid. Entities like rePurpose Global are making us aware of our responsibility to reduce, recycle and repurpose plastic already in circulation. This in itself is a first vital step to tackling the issue.
Sustainability is a journey not a destination and we have to acknowledge that plastic is here to stay. Lorraine explains that plastic in itself is a fantastic invention. It is our use - or misuse - of plastic coupled with the lack of capacity worldwide to recycle and retain plastics within the supply chain that are at fault. Plastic is not the enemy. We are, along with the waste we create.
Beauty and personal care industries should embrace circularity. We have seen this in action with past podcast guests; the US personal care company Meow Meow Tweet is a pioneer of return-and-refill schemes that keep plastic packaging in circulation. If all plastic in beauty could be cleaned and refilled and also made of PCR plastics that would be an enormous achievement.
Lorraine challenges us to seek out beauty brands that use plastic responsibly and to cut down on our own consumption. Using less plastic and being responsible for the plastic on our doorstep is how we start to tackle those staggering figures on plastic waste, and make the beauty industry a more sustainable and better place.