Plastic-free beauty is easier to find than you’d think

These are the brilliant brands limiting beauty’s burden on the environment

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By Elle Turner on

We all know that we’ve got a problem with packaging – more and more, we’re becoming aware of the effect it has on the environment. It’s not just the dulcet tones of David Attenborough bringing it to our attention, national treasure though he is. Current statistics estimate that more than eight million tonnes of plastic make their way into our oceans each year.

It’s terrifying, of course, and, unsurprisingly, we don’t want a part in it. Research from Mintel’s Global Packaging Trends 2018 found that increasing concerns over safe packaging disposal will influence the products we choose. In fact, 72 per cent of us in the UK would be interested in buying products made from recycled packaging. Clearly, it’s in our consciousness and on our conscience. Even so, despite recycling 90 per cent of our kitchen waste, a study by Garnier found that over 56 per cent of us Brits (4.5 million people) don’t recycle our bathroom products because it’s inconvenient. That’s 2.7bn plastic bottles from shampoos, body washes and cleansers hitting landfills every year.

But, there’s a sea change afoot. Just last year, the ban on microbeads was passed in the UK – prohibiting the use of teeny-tiny beads in our toothpastes and face washes, which will prevent them contaminating our oceans. And, increasingly, brands are making it their mission to provide consumers with jars, pots and bottles that don’t negatively impact the environment, whether that's decreasing their use of plastic, upping their use of recycled and recyclable products or providing incentives to get us binning our beauty bits responsibly. So, with that in mind, here's our top pick of the beauty brands doing just that – and what to buy from them.

Click here for the Eco-Friendly bathroom edit


Shop Smarter is part of our regular series on finding simple ways to shop in an eco-friendly way

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