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The beauty world has finally woken up to the problem of packaging waste, with many brands switching to recycled plastic pumps, aluminium bottles, compostable wrappers and more in a bid to reduce their contribution to landfill. And taking things a step further, the sustainable solution that’s rapidly gathering pace in the industry now is refillable beauty packaging.
Just as we’ve become used to bringing our own bags to carry home our groceries, the inevitable next step is bringing our own shampoo bottles to the salon when we’ve run out of shampoo, or having our perfume bottles refilled once we’ve spritzed the last drop. Bringing single-use packaging down to an absolute minimum, this route tackles waste as well as encouraging brands to create objects built to last for years rather than the lifespan of one product – take Kjaer Weis’s ultra-chic silver make-up compacts, which are designed to be used again and again.
Of course there’s an element of effort involved on the part of the consumer, which is why putting our spending power behind the brands making a difference is so powerful. Anitra Marsh, associate director of brand communications for global skin and personal care brands at Procter & Gamble, says that a new refillables initiative being trialled at Olay is kicking off with just one product, but that the company hopes to expand it further if it’s successful.
“This initial pilot will help us learn more about whether people like the idea of refills and whether the package design is intuitive and enjoyable,” she told us. “We feel we have a unique opportunity to impact how people shop for skincare products… it’s important for us to learn and experiment to see what works and figure out the best path forward.”
Many brands also offer incentives for those making the effort to shop more sustainably, such as reward schemes or savings on refills in-store. Preserving the planet as well as getting a better deal? There’s really no excuse not to. Discover some of the brands making the change below.