Sunday, May 24, 2009

MAKEUP PACKAGING WASTE: how to MAKE-OVER wasteful habits!

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Did you know that Women tend to have about about 12 cosmetic products in their
vanities? (according to an April 2008 survey commissioned by O.B. Tampons).

With 112,804,773 women over 20 years old living in the U.S., most of this packaging is being thrown away. According to the EPA, approximately 1/3 of landfill waste is from plastic packaging from items such as cosmetics. (for more info please click here.)

What many people aren't aware of, is that most cosmetic containers, specifically those used for makeup, are unidentifiable plastics, and therefore are rarely recycled. Makeup tend to be in disposable containers, and over the years these will pile up in our landfills.

In Kawamura's Fashionology, she explains that "fashion includes the production, distribution, and consumption of goods and services," (Kawamura, 2006). If makeup companies can design products with packaging that is bio-degradable and safe for the environment, it can be a widely adopted practice in consumer culture. Because production, consumption, and distribution is part of fashion, it is important to keep these socially responsible design aspects in mind, including the disposal of these cosmetics.

Until we can achieve biodegradable packaged cosmetics try these tips for recycling your makeup containers:

  • reuse any old eyeshadow pots, compacts, etc. as travel mirrors or travel sized containers for creams, paints, liquids, or any other cosmetics.
recycle all products responsibly, and research a specialized cosmetic recycling program in your area: some drug stores have a lipstick recycling bin

*other major makeup retailers such as MAC have offered a take-back program where if you bring in any 6 empty containers you get 1 free lipstick! Origins also has a recycling program for all cosmetics.
  • Be smart about your purchasing choices! Buy larger containers for items you use frequently and opt for more organic/natural makeup which won't harm the environment. Also try to choose products with less packaging if not recycle friendly!
Here is a video on more makeup recycling tips:

Hopefully these ideas will keep our environment and your face absolutely gorgeous!

- Elaine de Lara

Fashionology by Yuniya Kawamura

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