I’m sure it’s no surprise that plastic pollution is one of the greatest environmental issues of our time, with the plastic industry booming and single use plastics everywhere we look, the zero-waste and plastic-free movement has never been more important. In an effort to help the environment we live in, we are all being encouraged to take steps to reduce waste and try to eradicate single use plastics where possible – and small swaps make the biggest impact as they are sustainable within our lifestyles and become the new normal (think bamboo toothbrushes and reusable coffee cups). One area that I find the easiest to make simple eco-switches is my beauty routine, and plastic-free July seems like the ideal time to raise awareness of the plastic crisis, and highlight just how easy it is to make the plastic-free switch with a little help from Lovethical…
Plastic Pollution: The War on Single-Use Plastic
Since WW2, plastic manufacturing has soared, revolutionising the way we live from medical advances to the transport we use on a daily basis. Yet with plastic production at an all-time high, increasing from 2.3 million tonnes in 1950 to a whopping 448 million tonnes in 2015, the number of plastics being manufactured is set to double by 2050.
We must understand that not all plastic being manufactured is bad, however it is single use plastic that is causing so many issues. Single-use plastics makes up around 40% of all the plastic manufactured worldwide and unfortunately, the throwaway culture of today, the low cost and convenience of plastic packaging means that around 8 million tonnes of plastic waste ends up on coastlines each year. This plastic, which has only had an incredibly short time serving its purpose before being discarded, has an average lifespan of around 100 – 400 years; so no surprise that plastic pollution is such a growing issue!
The Impact of Plastic Pollution: Gone but Not Forgotten
So what does the plastic crisis actually mean? Well not only is plastic pollution not aesthetically pleasing but it is also incredibly harmful to wildlife, ecosystems and even humans. The largest threat to wildlife is starvation, as plastic can either prevent an animal from hunting and eating, or when consumed, causes digestive problems. Microplastics are also incredibly harmful, as when plastic waste is exposed to the elements, they begin to break down into incredibly small particles which can eventually end up in the food we eat, water we drink and even the air we breathe.
These microplastics may be small and not have too much effect on us at this moment in time, but with the number of single use plastics becoming greater each year, who knows what effect this will have down the line.
Reducing Plastic Pollution
Things may seem bleak yet there are so many ways you can reduce your own plastic footprint that are simple and cost effective too. Making small changes can really have a big impact as they are easier to maintain long term and are more likely to become a way of life than those big gestures.
The one area of my life i’ve found the easiest to reduce single use plastic is in my beauty routine by actively purchasing products that are housed in biodegradable, reusable or plastic-free packaging – or opting for refills where possible. These changes are easy and have a significant effect on the amount of plastic you’re using on a daily basis (just remember – the majority of each single piece of plastic you have ever used is still out there. It is a daunting thought but a great incentive to be the change you want to see).
Lovethical: Making Plastic-Free, Hassle-Free
Lovethical are a new cruelty free online store for all things beauty, taking the guesswork out of buying with an icon system on each item so you can easily identify whether it matches your own ethics and values. You can find out more about this, and the shopping experience, in my recent review here.
Lovethical have a plastic free section of their website which is full of great products that are Earth-conscious, cruelty free and vegan friendly, so you can easily identify exactly what you’re looking for in a time effective manner. When ordering, you can also be safe in the knowledge that whatever you order, whether it be plastic free of not, will arrive in plastic free or reused packaging. It is great to see an online store taking these extra steps to help support those brands who strive to be as eco-friendly as possible, especially when they have only been a business for two months…
My Top Plastic Free Picks from Lovethical
I couldn’t wait to share my top plastic-free products from Lovethical to demonstrate that you don’t have to compromise on quality or stylish packaging when purchasing plastic free; and that you really can reduce those single use plastics from your routine with minimum effort and affordable items…
This is a repurchase for me as I am a huge fan of Bloomtown as a brand and this product in particular. The tinted balm not only smells of berries but has the most beautiful, yet subtle, berry red hue that is flattering and very wearable. It applies beautifully to the lips to give a nourishing wash of colour and I also like to pop a little on my cheeks to give a delicate flush of colour too.
I used to love sheet masks but gave them up when I realised how bad they were for the environment. I am pleased to have found a plastic free version that is made from organic cotton and paper packaging and performs in the same way (or if not better) than conventional sheet masks. The serum in this mask in particular is incredibly nourishing with a soothing formulation that great for Summer skin.
Soap bars are by far my favourite Earth-conscious switch as they are long lasting and great on the skin. Friendly Soaps are among my favourite brands as they are affordable, perform incredibly well and have a great selection of scent options in their range. The Peppermint and Poppy Seed is my personal go-to Friendly Soap bar as it is fresh and has a multifunctional quality as the bar gives the skin a gentle exfoliation at the same time as cleansing the skin.
Face cloths and reusable cotton pads make light work of cleansing and are a great alternative to products such as cleansing wipes or cotton wool. These reusable pads from Moonie are a great size and the black fabric is perfect for removing eye make-up or face masks that are likely to stain lighter flannels or face cloths. They are incredibly soft on the skin and wash well too, making them a cost-effective and eco-friendly option when it comes to your cleansing and make-up removal routine.
Upcircle are a fantastic brand that are not only dedicated to Earth-conscious packaging but also utilise recycled ingredients such as coffee grounds, or in this case, date seeds, that would otherwise be discarded. This generous jar of body cream has a beautiful lightweight texture that applies to the skin with ease, is fast-absorbing and keeps dry patches at bay all day long.
Multipurpose products are a great way to streamline your routine to save you time, money and reduce the amount of products you are using and discarding. The Almighty Balm from Zero-Waste Path is the perfect nourishing treat for lips, cuticles and any dry patches you have on your body. It is also fragrance free for handy for even the most sensitive of skin types.
Will you be making any switches for plastic-free July? If you are looking to help reduce plastic pollution I hope that this has been a helpful guide to making some changes to your beauty routine. If you thinking of making a purchase, you can also get 15% off any order at Lovethical with the code BEAUTYFOLIO15 (not affiliated).
Emma @ Beauty Folio x
Sources: Natural Geographic