Kinder Beauty Partners with EcoCart on Earth Day to Help Clean Up Oceans
Look at anybody’s bathroom counter and drawers, and it will likely be filled with bottles and containers for everything from lotions, concealer, toothpaste, mascara, hairspray, and so on. Even those with a simpler beauty routine probably have multi-step process involving a few favorite products. Regardless of how intensive the routine, virtually all of them have one common denominator: plastic.
That’s why, this Earth Day, Kinder Beauty is taking steps towards helping the beauty industry clean up its act!
Kinder Beauty partners with EcoCart
Beginning on Earth Day, Kinder Beauty has partnered with EcoCart to offset its carbon emissions and help clean up the oceans.
EcoCart uses a global network of suppliers to sequester, reduce, and offset carbon emissions for its partners as well as partners with organizations that are cleaning up plastics firsthand.
Carbon offsets are an effective way to help reduce the effects of climate change. The funding goes towards renewable energy, forestry, and clean water projects. These projects reduce emissions of carbon dioxide and other greenhouse gases to compensate for emissions made elsewhere, such as shipping emissions.
Plastic offsets function in a similar way, funding projects that are working to clean up plastic pollution. The project that Kinder Beauty is supporting, the TONTOTON, works to directly remove plastic trash from the oceans. A very worthy cause, if you ask us!
How does EcoCart work?
This is where you, the consumer, comes in!
It’s easy to support plastic pollution cleanup—here are the three steps it takes for you to get started.
Step 1: Shop at Kinder Beauty, either in our clean, vegan, and cruelty-free marketplace, or sign up for a monthly subscription to our beauty box! Add items to your cart, and get ready to see the magic happen when you check out.
Step 2: EcoCart’s built-in algorithm determines the exact cost of offsetting the pollution from manufacturing and shipping for all the items in your cart.
Step 3: You then have the option to check a box to make the order carbon-neutral, usually adding 1-2% to the total cost.
Step 3: Pay for your order and carbon emissions, and sleep tight knowing your new beauty products are carbon neutral and helping to tackle the plastic crisis by funding projects that are cleaning up the oceans.
Plastic pollution in the beauty industry
You might be wondering: is plastic pollution really such a big deal in the beauty industry? Unfortunately, the answer is yes.
Thanks to growing awareness about the impact our lifestyles have on the environment, companies and consumers have been “greening” all kinds of products by minimizing harmful impacts wherever possible—from developing electric cars to using fewer toxic chemicals in cleaning products.
The beauty industry is no different. Over the last couple of years, the green beauty market has grown significantly. The green beauty movement has primarily focused on organic formulas, plant-based ingredients, and environmentally friendly sourcing. It also encompasses “clean” ingredients that are free of sulfates, silicones, phthalates, and other polluting compounds. Many brands also opt for reef-safe ingredients and reducing their carbon footprints.
While all of these things are very important, one big part of the conversation tends to be overlooked: packaging. And in the beauty industry, packaging usually means plastic.
Up to 12.7 million tons of plastic enter the oceans every year, which is the equivalent of a truckload of plastic every single minute. While beverage companies such as Coca-Cola and PepsiCo are the biggest contributors, the beauty and personal care industries are close behind, responsible for more than 120 billion units plastic waste every single year.
Over the past 50 years, the world’s plastic dependency has grown significantly. The plastics industry is heavily subsidized by taxpayers, helping make plastic the cheapest material for many companies to use—yet this calculation ignores the serious environmental consequences that come with producing and disposing of plastics.
Due in part to these subisdized costs, consumption rates have exploded in recent decades. In 1974, the global plastic consumption per year was just 4.4 pounds per person, and has now increased to a staggering 95 pounds.
If plastic consumption continues at this rate, National Geographic predicts that by 2050, there will be 12 billion metric tons of plastic in landfills. In 2020, the US cosmetics market generated $341 billion—and is expected to grow to over $560 billion by 2030.
Bottom line: as consumers’ interst in beauty products grows, so does the plastic problem attached to it.
The problem with plastic recycling
While much of the messaging and marketing surrounding plastic has been focused on recyclability, since most plastics are supposed to be recycled (right?), the truth is much more complicated.
One of four things happens to each piece of plastic produced and thrown out: they are either recycled, landfilled, incinerated, or littered. Since the 1950s, only 9% of the world’s plastic has been recycled. About 16% is incinerated each year, and very little is littered. This means the majority of the 120 billion units produced by the beauty industry end up in landfills.
There are seven different types of plastic based on how they’re manufactured. A recent study by Greenpeace USA discovered that only #1 and #2 plastics could legally claim to be recyclable in the United States—leaving the remaining five types headed straight to landfill.
Unfortunately, many cosmetic and personal care products are packaged in plastics that are not #1 or #2 and, therefore, not recyclable.
Aside from the build-up in landfills, plastics also shed microplastics. Microplastics are tiny fragments that break off from larger plastic into smaller pieces. These microplastics are clogging up oceans, drinking water, and the food supply. It’s estimated that there are 14 million tons of microplastics globally in the oceans alone.
Microplastics affect the environment in a variety of ways. Wildlife can ingest microplastics which can block their gastrointestinal tracts or trick them into thinking they do not need to eat, which can lead to starvation. Plastics are also typically laced with toxic chemicals, which wildlife is then exposed to.
Humans also consume microplastics through food and water. The average person eats 70,000 microplastics each year, which equals approximately 100 bits of microplastic in every meal. How’s that for appetizing?! A recent study also found microplastics in human blood for the first time.
More things you, as a consumer, can do
While solving the plastics crisis may seem like an impossibly huge task for us individual consumers, the truth is that we hold more power than we often realize.
Consumer demand led California to pass a law last year making it a requirement for all plastic bottles to be made with at least 15% recycled plastic. The law also increases that 15% to 25% in 2025 and 50% in 2030. This is a huge win for the environment.
Requirements like these are really brought on by consumers demanding better from brands. Every time we make a purchase, we can, and are, voting with our dollars. Our support of more sustainably minded brands gives cues to the industry, showing them what we want more of. This can truly result in large changes across the sector.
Tips for reducing plastic waste
It might seem like a daunting task to look for brands to support and decide which products to buy, especially since it may be hard to avoid plastic altogether. However there are many steps consumers can do to reduce their plastic usage.
First and foremost, look for products with limited or no packaging. There is an increasing number of brands that are opting for solid bars instead of filled bottles. The most popular products that can be found in bar form are hand soaps, shampoos, and conditioners.
If you have to buy plastic, look for products that use #1 or #2 plastic in their packaging. While many brands use unrecyclable plastics, there is an increase in options using #1 and #2 plastics, which are actually recyclable.
Additionally, always opt for the large-sized bottles of your favorite products. Many self-care and beauty products come in a variety of sizes, so if you are looking to cut down on plastic use, choose large bottles so you need to purchase the product less often, which results in less plastic overall.
Buy products packaged in glass or aluminum if possible. Both of these materials aren’t used as often but are becoming more popular in the beauty industry. Glass is indefinitely recyclable, and aluminum is much more easily recycled over plastic, making both better options.
As the plastic problem becomes more front and center, there is a ton of innovation when it comes to sustainable packaging. Materials such as cardboard, cork, and mushrooms are new options showing up in the beauty aisle—so keep your eyes peeled!
Brands tackling plastic packaging
Kinder Beauty always looks for brands going above and beyond to offer exceptional products that are good for your skin and the planet. And some of Kinder’s most popular brands are directly tackling plastic usage in their operations.
One of Kinder Beauty’s favorite brands, Earth Harbor, is dedicated to reducing its plastic use. The company uses 100% reusable and recyclable packaging across its product range and is working towards becoming zero-waste. Its resin closures are made from post-consumer waste, including ocean plastic, and the shipping materials are 100% compostable. Even better: the brand is on target to launch compostable and recyclable this year—so stay tuned, and check out some of these projects worthy to purchase on Earth Day!
Also check out our interview with Earth Harbor founder Ali Perry-Hatch!
Earth Harbor Hydrating Bundle
Beat the winter blues with this collection designed to hydrate, plump, and repair your skin. A creamy cleanser, a hyaluronic acid-forward peptide serum, a silky hydrating cream, and a wrinkle-reducing eye creme will have you feeling fresh-faced no matter the season.
Earth Harbor GLOW JUICE Refining Enzyme Mask
This lightweight, cooling gel mask not only looks beautiful in the jar but will also help improve how your skin looks by smoothing out your skin’s texture and tone. This mask can target dull skin, redness, acne, and excess oil, or it can double as a leave-on spot treatment if you only need a quick touch-up before a big event. As always, Earth Harbor’s products are all-natural, sustainable, and pH-optimized, so you know you’re treating both your skin and the planet with respect.
Earth Harbor SUNSTONE Hair Revive Elixir
Here’s some food for thought: you should feed your hair! This silky elixir delivers vital nutrients to your hair to overcome dulling damage. Superfoods including seaweed and coconut provide nutrition while jasmine and calendula flowers shield against pollution. Carrot seed oil completes the meal, leaving your hair ultra-rejuvenated.
J&L Naturals worked with its manufacturers to develop more sustainable containers. As a first option, the company uses kraft containers for as many of the products as possible. Kraft containers are both compostable and biodegradable and break down much easier than other options. When kraft is not an option for certain products, J&L turns to glass.
When it comes to recycling glass, you have the option of tossing empties into the blue bin, or you can send it back to J&L Naturals for them to recycle. The company’s in-house recycling program takes glass and recycles them into new products over and over again. This way, nothing ends up in a landfill. Plus, the company gives consumers a $10 gift card every time they recycle their containers—talk about a nice incentive!
Shipping materials are also usually riddled with plastic. All of J&L’s orders are carbon neutral and 100% plastic-free. No annoying peanuts, bubble wrap, or plastic tape here.
Superzero has a serious aversion to waste: both in terms of water and plastic.
Did you know that many shampoo and conditioner companies add a lot of water to products? Sometimes products can be filled with up to 90% water—but this is all for show and a total waste of money and plastic. Adding water to products makes the volume look larger when really it just dilutes the formula.
And because water is far more difficult to package than, say, a bar product, companies often turn to plastic thanks to the material’s impervious qualities.
By crafting bar soaps without water, Superzero totally removed plastic from the equation. The shampoo and conditioner bars are packed with at least two bottles’ worth of product without the waste.
Superzero Shampoo Bar
Dry hair? Do care with this ultra-lathery shampoo bar that will lock in the moisture you need to regain your shining mane. This long-lasting bar helps your hair recover from damage, plus does wonders to preserve color treatment with nourishing and nutritious avocado oil and shea butter.
Superzero Conditioner Bar
Move over, bottled liquid conditioners; this pH-balanced bar brings a ton of natural benefits to your hair. Cocoa butter and natural silicone alternatives work to moisturize, reduce frizz, and detangle for a rich, silky comb-through experience. With a light lavender and chamomile scent, you may never go back to the bottle.
While the sheer amount of plastic packaging that fills most homes can be quite overwhelming, there are positive ways to offset this and opt for clean packaged items moving forward. Supporting companies like EcoCart and choosing products with more sustainable packaging are great steps towards cleaning up oceans.
Jackie Lutze has been writing about cruelty-free beauty for years and loves finding the best vegan products to help readers build their ultimate beauty routine.
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