5 Beauty Brands Tackling the Industry’s Plastic Problem

5 Beauty Brands Tackling the Industry’s Plastic Problem

Selfies and social media shots are becoming such a normal part of a girl’s daily life, that they’re becoming pros in looking so fab and oh so fine. With commonly used hashtags #nofilter or #wokeuplikethis indicating a return to makeup free beauty, others are opting for alternative ways to ‘natural beauty’. An app can be one way to tweak their looks post-selfie but still the most popular way? Using cosmetics and beauty products to achieve a ‘no make-up’ look. 

But all the cuteness in the world won’t do the planet any good when these skincare and makeup items come in plastic packaging that only end up in landfill or in our oceans. Make-up is probably one of the most complicated categories when it comes to packaging since it uses mixed materials. For example, the cosmetic products you buy usually come in plastic bottles, have plastic tubes inside or use plastic to compartmentalise colours, all of which will end up as garbage when no longer in use.

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According to TerraCycle, the global cosmetics industry produces 120 billion units of packaging every year. That is because most are packaged in cellophane and plastics that can’t or are too complicated to be recycled and even though some of the containers are recyclable, very few are accepted by the kerbside recycling programs. 

That’s why choosing eco-friendly beauty products with minimal plastic packaging is important. Fortunately, there are brands that are doing their part in the world to cut plastic waste – and thus helping you live a plastic-free beauty life.


Plastic-free packaging is good, and Lush creates a popular zero waste shampoo line, but Lush actually goes a step further and now has three packaging-free ‘Naked’ stores now open for business and plans to open a fourth.

These ‘Naked’ stores, located in Milan, Berlin and Manchester, allow customers to buy hair care, skin care, bath bombs and shower gels completely package free. Through this innovative move, Lush customers are able to save around 800,000 bottles ending up in landfill.

“When we look at the plastic waste produced by the global cosmetics industry, we know it is a problem, and we know that raising awareness is really important. But we can’t talk about ditching packaging until we have a solution – an alternative that is effective, good for skin, and good for the environment.” – Alessandro Commisso, Lush Global Brand Product Inventor

Package-free beauty from LUSH. Credit: LUSH.


Natural skincare brand BYBI have chosen a different route. Their products are placed in sugarcane-derived bioplastic tubes that are completely biodegradable and have chosen glass bottles for easier recycling.

A customer favorite is the Babe Balm, a multipurpose beauty balm that can be used for chapped lips, dry skin, to heal your skin from eczema or for smoothing fly aways.

BYBI products. Credit: LinkedIn.

Meow Meow Tweet

Meow Meow Tweet not only creates products that care for our skin but also makes sure that our planet is also being taken care of. With this belief, they house their products in glass containers, aluminium or wrapped in post-consumer waste paper.

Their deodorant stick also comes in biodegradable packaging which will compost in a year. It is made from a mixture of plant and mineral powders in Lavender Bergamot and Lemon Eucalyptus that will leave you smelling fresh and good all day.

They also have a packaging returns program and bulk refills to help customers go zero waste too.

Meo Meow Tweet plastic-free deodorant stick.


Vegan beauty brush brand Moda has teamed up with TerraCycle to implement the Moda Renew and Recycle program. This campaign allows shoppers to recycle their used cosmetics brushes. Consumers can send their make-up brushes to the brand’s offices to be recycled and in return, the shoppers will get a discount code to purchase new brushes from Moda.

Their brushes are made from 100% biodegradable handles which are made from a plant-based polymer.

MODA vegan beauty brushes. Credit: Discount Beauty Boutique.


Aveda is the first beauty company to use 100% post-consumer recycled PET. Now, over 85% of their skin care and hair styling bottles contain 100% post-consumer recycled materials. When they do use plastic for packaging, it is derived from plants. If Aveda can’t use 100 percent post-consumer recycled (PCR) materials, they combine PCR with bioplastic derived from sugarcane just as they did with their moisturizing masque tubes. This product helps moisturize your dry hair leaving it supple, soft and shiny.

Credit: Aveda.

If cosmetic and beauty brands are doing their part in the world to ditch plastic, why not take part in this action too? Let’s stretch Plastic Free July to Plastic Free All Year and choose products that make you look Insta-worthy but are kind to the environment too.

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Feature image via LUSH.

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