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Waste sustainability single use care products  glorified garbage | Upload Household

Sustainability Single-Use Care Products: Glorified Garbage

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by: Joris Zuid
sustainability single use care products  glorified garbage | Upload

Sheet masks are trash. Unnecessary, they’re superfluous! They come wrapped in plastic. Sheet masks are, quite literally, pre-packaged piles of glorified garbage. Harsh, maybe but as the news cycles through stories on climate change and carbon emissions and what to do about the planet’s compounding pollution problem, it is understandable where it’s coming from.

Entire cities have banned plastic straws and plastic bags. Extinction Rebellion protested at London Fashion Week while Greta Thunberg petitioned for political involvement at the United Nations Climate Action Summit. Fashion houses are pledging carbon-neutrality. And beauty? While clean beauty is a growing category, and many brands are implementing sustainable practices, single-use items are a special cause for concern.

Recommended: Sustainable Fashion: Fungi, Roots From MycoWorks, Inspidere

Sustainability Single-Use Care Products

Beauty products made to use once and throw out, like makeup wipes and sheet masks, create a lot of unnecessary refuse. In the case of sheet masks, there’s a pouch, the mask, and sometimes the mask is wrapped in a plastic sheet. Usually, none of the components are recyclable and all of them end up in the trash post sheet-masking session, making it one of the more wasteful things one can do in 20 minutes or less.


                                                         How to make a DIY non wasteful clay face mask

Single-Use Care Products: Glorified Garbage

The pouches that hold sheet masks are often a combination of aluminum and plastic, which cannot be recycled. The stiff, inner plastic sheets likely can’t be processed in recycling plants either (as is the case with a surprising amount of plastics). At best, these materials end up in a landfill; at worst, they end up in the ocean.

Do facial masks work?
Although there is no independent evidence that mud masks, clay masks, cream masks, or sheet masks provide any long lasting benefit to the skin, they can be hydrating, soothing and provide some keratolytic/exfoliant effect.

Plastic can take hundreds of years to decompose, breaking down over time into harmful microplastics—pieces of plastic less than five millimeters long that are manufactured using different toxic and carcinogenic chemicals. Research has proven that microplastics are abundant in water, air, and the food we eat. Besides the potential health hazards of consuming microplastics, the particles release methane as they break down. Methane emissions contribute to global warming, and global warming affects our climate, creating more severe and unpredictable weather patterns that impact entire ecosystems.

Single-Use Care Products: The Mask

3 People With face Masks

Then, of course, there’s the mask itself. Most are made with a blend of synthetic materials (nylon, plastic microfibers, polyester), which equates to laying saturated molten plastic over your face. As appealing as that sounds, there’s a downside: These “cannot be composted and must go in the garbage bin.

Recent hydrogel versions are either made of synthetic polymers essentially, plastic—or eco-friendly biocellulose, but biodegradable sheet masks aren’t always better. Some come soaked in serums thick with silicones, a class of ingredients that leaves a thin, plastic-y film on the skin’s surface to create the illusion of ‘a glow’. This film is bioaccumulative, and prevents the ‘biodegradable’ biocellulose or bamboo base from fully breaking down. Instead, silicone-coated sheet masks join their synthetic counterparts in ‘leaking toxins into the soil’ for years. The same goes for under-eye masks, makeup wipes, and daily toning and exfoliating pads.

Organic Cotton Masks Not Sustainable At All

When you zoom out to consider the effort and emissions that go into producing the product in the first place (one organic cotton mask could require thousands of gallons of water) and the shipping materials associated with online orders, that’s a massive mountain of waste for a momentary thrill. Yet, the single-use sector continues to thrive. 'The usage of wet wipes is increasing by 15% each year and the face mask market is expected to grow to over $50 billion by 2025. Ongoing production of non-recyclable, non-compostable, and non-biodegradable products will have a considerable impact on the environment. (On a superficial note: Pollution particles will also have a considerable impact on your skin, hence the popularity of antioxidant beauty products. So technically, cutting down on waste isn’t only better for the earth, it’s better for your face.
Is this to say that skin-care is single-handedly polluting the planet? Not at all. Rather, tracing a sheet mask’s face-to-waste-bin journey should highlight just how easy it is to reduce your environmental footprint.

What is the best organic face mask?
The Best Natural Face Masks For Every Skin Type:
  • Andalou Naturals Instant Brighten & Tighten Hydro Serum Facial Mask
  • Naturopathica Aloe Replenishing Gel Mask
  • One Love Organics Love + Charcoal Masque
  • Eminence Organic Skin Care Yam and Pumpkin Enzyme Peel
  • Arcona Tea Tree Mask
  • Inlight Beauty Chocolate Mask


Sheet Masks, Choose Compostable Ones

‘Beauty Heroes’, started a zero-waste beauty section on their website because we know that customers are conscious consumers and genuinely wants to do better for the planet, they just need the tools. One of those tools is the Orgaid Organic Sheet Mask, which is 100% biodegradable and compostable, made with organic ingredients, and packaged in recyclable cardboard. When you’re done with the mask, you can place it right in your compost bin, where it leaves no evidence of its existence behind (besides your dewy, hydrated skin).

Package Face Mask Beauty Heroes

Refuse, Reduce, Reuse

It’s great if it’s in cardboard, and recyclable packing is awesome but it’s still an unnecessary single-use product. Recycle, after all, enters into the equation after reduce and reuse for a reason. Refuse is even better! It’s not even having the product in the first place. Does this make you feel beautiful? Does this make you feel happy? Is the trash that this is going to create worth the moments of joy that you feel from it? Usually, the answer is no!

                                                                  I Tried to Go Zero Waste for 7 Days

Beauty Habits, Balance Them

If you absolutely cannot bear the thought of a self-care Sunday or cross-country flight sans sheet mask, there’s no need to shame-spiral. If sheet masks are that one thing in life that make you super happy, more than anything else, then don’t try to get rid of your sheet mask—look for other ways to reduce your waste first. The Package Free Shop (which just closed a $4.5 million seed round led by Primary Venture Partners) is a great place to start.

Lady Head Package Free Shop

Bioaccumulative Ingredients, Eliminate them

Cross-check your products with the Environmental Working Group’s Skin Deep database. It rates ingredients in terms of ecotoxicology and personal health, making it pretty easy to eliminate bioaccumulative substances - like silicones, triclosan, and triclocarban - from your routine.

Recycling

Most products’ caps, pumps, droppers, and plastic bottles - especially those of the squeeze-y variety - aren’t recyclable on a local level. However, TerraCycle, Credo, and Ayond have programs in place to collect and properly recycle these items for you.

Green terra Cycle Logo

Single-Use Products, Swap Them

Ahead, discover 10 sustainable (and super-luxe) skin-care products to replace your single-use sheet masks, makeup wipes, and more. You don’t ever want to have reducing your waste feel like giving something up—it’s always a positive thing.

Before you go!

Recommended: Getting Healthier By Eating Sustainable Food And Taking Exercise

Did you find this an interesting article or do you have a question or remark? Leave a comment below.
We try to respond the same day.

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Click on 'Register' or push the button 'Write An Article' on the 'HomePage'

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Sustainability Single-Use Care Products: Glorified Garbage

Sheet masks are trash. Unnecessary, they’re superfluous! They come wrapped in plastic. Sheet masks are, quite literally, pre-packaged piles of glorified garbage. Harsh, maybe but as the news cycles through stories on climate change and carbon emissions and what to do about the planet’s compounding pollution problem, it is understandable where it’s coming from. Entire cities have banned plastic straws and plastic bags. Extinction Rebellion protested at London Fashion Week while Greta Thunberg petitioned for political involvement at the United Nations  Climate Action Summit. Fashion houses are pledging carbon-neutrality. And beauty? While clean beauty is a growing category, and many brands are implementing sustainable practices, single-use items are a special cause for concern. Recommended:  Sustainable Fashion: Fungi, Roots From MycoWorks, Inspidere Sustainability Single-Use Care Products Beauty products made to use once and throw out, like makeup wipes and sheet masks, create a lot of unnecessary refuse. In the case of sheet masks, there’s a pouch, the mask, and sometimes the mask is wrapped in a plastic sheet. Usually, none of the components are recyclable and all of them end up in the trash post sheet-masking session, making it one of the more wasteful things one can do in 20 minutes or less.                                                          How to make a DIY non wasteful clay face mask Single-Use Care Products: Glorified Garbage The pouches that hold sheet masks are often a combination of aluminum and plastic, which cannot be recycled. The stiff, inner plastic sheets likely can’t be processed in recycling plants either (as is the case with a surprising amount of plastics). At best, these materials end up in a landfill; at worst, they end up in the ocean. Do facial masks work? Although there is no independent evidence that mud masks, clay masks, cream masks, or sheet masks provide any long lasting benefit to the skin, they can be hydrating, soothing and provide some keratolytic/exfoliant effect. Plastic can take hundreds of years to decompose, breaking down over time into harmful microplastics—pieces of plastic less than five millimeters long that are manufactured using different toxic and carcinogenic chemicals. Research has proven that microplastics are abundant in water, air, and the food we eat. Besides the potential health hazards of consuming microplastics, the particles release methane as they break down. Methane emissions contribute to global warming, and global warming affects our climate, creating more severe and unpredictable weather patterns that impact entire ecosystems. Single-Use Care Products: The Mask Then, of course, there’s the mask itself. Most are made with a blend of synthetic materials (nylon, plastic microfibers, polyester), which equates to laying saturated molten plastic over your face. As appealing as that sounds, there’s a downside: These “cannot be composted and must go in the garbage bin. Recent hydrogel versions are either made of synthetic polymers essentially, plastic—or eco-friendly biocellulose, but biodegradable sheet masks aren’t always better. Some come soaked in serums thick with silicones, a class of ingredients that leaves a thin, plastic-y film on the skin’s surface to create the illusion of ‘a glow’. This film is bioaccumulative, and prevents the ‘biodegradable’ biocellulose or bamboo base from fully breaking down. Instead, silicone-coated sheet masks join their synthetic counterparts in ‘leaking toxins into the soil’ for years. The same goes for under-eye masks, makeup wipes, and daily toning and exfoliating pads. Organic Cotton Masks Not Sustainable At All When you zoom out to consider the effort and emissions that go into producing the product in the first place (one organic cotton mask could require thousands of gallons of water) and the shipping materials associated with online orders, that’s a massive mountain of waste for a momentary thrill. Yet, the single-use sector continues to thrive. 'The usage of wet wipes is increasing by 15% each year and the face mask market is expected to grow to over $50 billion by 2025. Ongoing production of non-recyclable, non-compostable, and non-biodegradable products will have a considerable impact on the environment. (On a superficial note: Pollution particles will  also  have a considerable impact on your skin, hence the popularity of antioxidant beauty products. So technically, cutting down on waste isn’t only better for the earth, it’s better for your face. Is this to say that skin-care is single-handedly polluting the planet? Not at all. Rather, tracing a sheet mask’s face-to-waste-bin journey should highlight just how easy it is to reduce your environmental footprint. What is the best organic face mask? The Best Natural Face Masks For Every Skin Type: Andalou Naturals Instant Brighten & Tighten Hydro Serum Facial Mask Naturopathica Aloe Replenishing Gel Mask One Love Organics Love + Charcoal Masque Eminence Organic Skin Care Yam and Pumpkin Enzyme Peel Arcona Tea Tree Mask Inlight Beauty Chocolate Mask Sheet Masks, Choose Compostable Ones ‘Beauty Heroes’, started a zero-waste beauty section on their website because we know that customers are conscious consumers and genuinely wants to do better for the planet, they just need the tools. One of those tools is the Orgaid Organic Sheet Mask, which is 100% biodegradable and compostable, made with organic ingredients, and packaged in recyclable cardboard. When you’re done with the mask, you can place it right in your compost bin, where it leaves no evidence of its existence behind (besides your dewy, hydrated skin). Refuse, Reduce, Reuse It’s great if it’s in cardboard, and recyclable packing is awesome but it’s still an unnecessary single-use product.  Recycle , after all, enters into the equation after  reduce  and  reuse  for a reason. Refuse is even better! It’s not even having the product in the first place. Does this make you feel beautiful? Does this make you feel happy? Is the trash that this is going to create worth the moments of joy that you feel from it? Usually, the answer is no!                                                                   I Tried to Go Zero Waste for 7 Days Beauty Habits, Balance Them If you absolutely cannot bear the thought of a self-care Sunday or cross-country flight  sans  sheet mask, there’s no need to shame-spiral. If sheet masks are that one thing in life that make you super happy, more than anything else, then don’t try to get rid of your sheet mask—look for other ways to reduce your waste first. The Package Free Shop (which just closed a $4.5 million seed round led by Primary Venture Partners) is a great place to start. Bioaccumulative Ingredients, Eliminate them Cross-check your products with the Environmental Working Group’s Skin Deep database. It rates ingredients in terms of ecotoxicology and personal health, making it pretty easy to eliminate bioaccumulative substances - like silicones, triclosan, and triclocarban - from your routine. Recycling Most products’ caps, pumps, droppers, and plastic bottles - especially those of the squeeze-y variety - aren’t recyclable on a local level. However, TerraCycle, Credo, and Ayond have programs in place to collect and properly recycle these items for you. Single-Use Products, Swap Them Ahead, discover 10 sustainable (and super-luxe) skin-care products to replace your single-use sheet masks, makeup wipes, and more. You don’t ever want to have reducing your waste feel like giving something up—it’s always a positive thing. Before you go! Recommended:  Getting Healthier By Eating Sustainable Food And Taking Exercise Did you find this an interesting article or do you have a question or remark? Leave a comment below. We try to respond the same day. Like to write your own article about sustainability? Click on  'Register'  or push the button 'Write An Article' on the  'HomePage'
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