5) Beauty chemicals are killing our coral reefs – Every cosmetic we use eventually washes off and ends up in our oceans. Often, shampoos, sunscreens, creams, and lotions contain harmful chemicals which cause damage to the environment.
Parabens and triclosan are the biggest culprits and have been tagged as endocrine disruptors and linked with cancer. The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration calls the world’s coral reefs ‘one of the most valuable ecosystems on Earth’, yet they are subjected to 4,000 to 6,000 tons of sunscreen every year.
A common chemical ingredient used in almost every sunscreen is ‘Oxybenzone’ also known as ‘Benzophenone-3′. This is an active chemical that absorbs UVA and UVB rays which protects skin from the sun. Whilst this ingredient is very effective at protecting your skin, it is a culprit in the massive destruction of coral reefs in the world’s oceans.
Studies show that Oxybenzone damages the coral’s DNA and interferes with the reproduction and growth of young coral. Coral reefs house diverse ecosystems that provide habitat and food for many marine organisms, they also generate billions of tourist dollars to local economies. Chemical ingredients like BHT, sodium Laureth sulfate, and BHA have also been found to cause changes to the biochemistry of aquatic life.
They reduce the animal plankton population – a crucial food source to marine life and even result in fish death. Once these chemicals enter our waterway they are hard to remove. Even after sewage treatment, some of these chemicals remain in our water supply.
What pollution is from the cosmetic industry?
Microplastics – Microplastics in beauty products are of significant concern because they do not biodegrade. Microplastics are potentially the most common cause of beauty industry pollution, originating from plastic packaging. Polyethylene, the most frequently used skincare packaging material, is responsible for most water, soil, and air microplastic contamination.
Most people think of plastic pollution as visible – water bottles and shopping bags floating in the ocean. Micro and nano plastics persist in the environment, possibly forever. As they get smaller, they increase their ability to disperse. They are small enough to make it into dust and cross cell membranes into tissues, including the placenta.
This means we are eating, drinking, and breathing microscopic particles of plastic. Determining the actual impact on human, animal, fetal, and ecological health is impossible because these plastics are literally everywhere. There’s no way to control exposure to perform proper studies.
How does hair products affect the environment?
How do haircare products impact the environment? – Haircare products impact the environment in many ways, including irresponsible sourcing. Many everyday haircare products come in single-use plastic packaging. Consumers in the UK throw away 520 million bottles of shampoo every year without following proper recycling procedures.
A study by WRAP found that 2 in 5 people (38%) are uncertain about how to recycle such items, meaning the empty bottles are sent to landfill. Microplastics are found in some cheap shampoo and conditioners and enter our waterways once washed down the drain. According to the Plastic Soup Foundation, 3,755 tons of microplastics from cosmetic products enter the ocean and are consumed by marine life, greatly impacting aquatic health.
Palm oil is an ingredient linked to deforestation and habitat degradation. There are 20 different ingredient names given for palm oil, which can be misleading to consumers. Due to the high use of palm oil, 98% of Indonesian and Malaysian rainforests could be gone within ten years.
How fast fashion affects the environment?
Are you sure you want to print? Save the planet. Opt not to print. New season, new styles, buy more, buy cheap, move on, throw away: the pollution, waste, and emissions of fast fashion are fueling the triple planetary crisis, The annual Black Friday sales on 25 November are a reminder of the need to rethink what is bought, what is thrown away, and what it costs the planet.
- Sustainable fashion and circularity in the textiles value chain are possible, yet this century the world’s consumers are buying more clothes and wearing them for less time than ever before, discarding garments as fast as trends shift.
- The United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) is spearheading an initiative towards a zero waste world,
As part of this ambitious outlook, UNEP has partnered with Kenyan spoken word poet Beatrice Kariuki to shed light on high-impact sectors where consumers can make a real difference. “We need circular industries where old looks are made new,” Kariuki says in the video.
- Less packaging, more reuse.
- Threads that last.” The Ellen Macarthur Foundation, a UNEP partner, has estimated that a truckload of abandoned textiles is dumped in landfill or incinerated every second,
- Meanwhile, it is estimated that people are buying 60 per cent more clothes and wearing them for half as long.
Plastic fibres are polluting the oceans, the wastewater, toxic dyes, and the exploitation of underpaid workers, Fast fashion is big business, and while the environmental costs are rising, experts say there is another way: a circular economy for textiles,
At this month’s UN Climate Conference ( COP27 ) in Egypt, UNEP and the non-profit Global Fashion Agenda (GFA) held an event on ‘ Circular Systems for a Net Positive Fashion Industry ‘, which drew industry leaders to discuss routes towards a circular economy for the industry, with less waste, less pollution, more reuse, and more recycling.
Related Now, UNEP and GFA are spearheading a consultation across the fashion industry to define a path towards becoming net-positive—meaning an industry that gives back more to the world than it takes out. UNEP is also producing a roadmap towards sustainability and circularity in the textile value chain and working on shifting the narrative of the sector, looking at the role of consumption with a guideline to sustainable fashion communication.
- The fast fashion business model of quick turnover, high volume, cheap prices is under pressure from consumers who are demanding change.
- They want resilient garments from a sustainable industry, a goal supported by the UN Alliance for Sustainable Fashion,
- A prominent example of how the garment industry can embrace the principles of a circular economy is the US outdoor clothing brand Patagonia, winner of a UN Champion of the Earth award in 2019.
Patagonia has gone further still, announcing earlier this year that it would transform into a charitable trust with all profits from its US$1.5 billion in annual sales going towards climate change, making the planet its only shareholder. There are many others in the industry also making important changes.
This week, UNEP organized a timely webinar titled, ‘Shifting the Fashion Narrative: Rethinking aspiration in a world of overconsumption,’ available to watch here, To fight the pervasive impact of pollution on society, UNEP launched #BeatPollution, a strategy for rapid, large-scale and coordinated action against air, land and water pollution.
The strategy highlights the impact of pollution on climate change, nature and biodiversity loss, and human health. Through science-based messaging, the campaign showcases how transitioning to a pollution-free planet is vital for future generations.
What is the most damaging thing to the environment?
5. Waste – Overuse of resources and the creation of plastic is a major problem for the earth. Developed countries are notorious for producing large amounts of waste and dumping it into the oceans. Nuclear energy waste is the most dangerous of these wastes, causing many health issues.
Why are beauty products eco-friendly?
2. Increased Effectiveness – Natural and oleochemical ingredients are less likely to cause skin irritation or allergic reactions. Without synthetic, toxic chemicals or artificial colors, sustainable products rely on the healing properties found naturally in plants and animals — the ingredients humans have been using for centuries.
Consider glycerine, a natural derivative of palm oil. The clear, non-toxic liquid is used in soaps, pharmaceuticals and cosmetics. Since it is a humectant, glycerine can retain water, making it an excellent moisturizer. Glycerine enhances the body’s hygroscopic characteristics, encouraging the skin to absorb and hold on to water.
As a non-irritating substance, it can be applied anywhere on the body. It is an effective anti-aging ingredient and, due to its anti-microbial properties, can also serve as an acne treatment. An oleochemical that has all the power of synthetic chemicals without any of the toxicity, glycerine is a perfect example of the natural effectiveness of sustainable cosmetics.
Is makeup unsustainable?
Eco Friendly Makeup
- Eco Friendly Makeup
According to Forbes the global cosmetic industry is worth about $532 billion, and estimated to grow to a market value of almost $805 billion by 2023. However, with the makeup industry is responsible for high levels of water usage, global emissions and single use plastic; this mass consumption of finite resources currently makes the cosmetic industry one of the least sustainable in the world. The makeup industry is far from sustainable, but the tide is turning. Whilst the historical origins of cosmetics lie in ancient Egyptian and Roman times, it was the Hollywood film era of the 1920s that sparked a global industry ; technological advancements at the time enabled a rise in production; along with regulation of products.
- Companies in the US were (and still are) governed by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) under the 1938’s Food, Drug, and Cosmetic Act; which was updated in 1960 to account for the growing number of side effects and carcinogenic potential within makeup products,
- In Europe, the EU has the 2009 “Cosmetic Regulation”.
Post World War 2 cosmetic corporations focussed on the emerging female market; using advertisements endorsing the benefits of being “attractive” and the global makeup industry has been growing ever since, both in terms of its revenue and negative environmental impact. The Hollywood film era of the 1920s sparked a global make up industry The Derm Review documents a, common in many cosmetic products, and below we highlight three to really avoid. Petroleum Goop’s interview with Karen Behnke (author of Juice Beauty) reveals that petrochemicals are incredibly prevalent in beauty products,
- They are a huge health concern, take 1,4-dioxane for example; a substance known to potentially contribute to some cancers; it’s a kidney toxin, neurotoxin and a respiratory toxin.
- The Environmental Working Group (EWG) found that an alarming 22 percent of all conventional personal care products contain unsafe levels of 1,4-dioxane.
Parabens Awareness has grown considerably about the existence of parabens within cosmetics. Parabens are known to be xenoestrogens, i.e. they mimic oestrogen in the body. This has been linked to breast cancer and reproductive issues. Researchers believe there is a relationship between parabens and tumors.
It also appears that parabens can be stored in the body, resulting in a cumulative effect that can damage health over time. While there is currently no scientific evidence to confirm that parabens directly cause cancer, research is ongoing. Phthalates Phthalates are substances widely used as plasticizers.
Found in almost all polyvinyl chloride (PVC) products, Phthalates have also been used in perfumes, deodorants, hairsprays, gels, nail polish, aftershave lotions and lubricants. They serve mainly as fixing agents so that a nail polish flakes less quickly and a perfume lasts longer. From skin irritations to more serious health issues such as kidney problems and cancers, are attributed to a number of toxins found in make up. Do you want to have a direct impact on climate change? Sir David Attenborough said the best thing we can do is to rewild the planet. So we run reforestation and rewilding programs across the globe to restore wild ecosystems and capture carbon. Despite scientific research emerging to warn us of the dangers having synthetic and chemical ingredients in our cosmetics can have on human health; there is a lack of evidence on what they do to the natural environment.
- Two particularly contentious ingredients are octinoxate and oxybenzone ; known for UV ray protection in sunscreens (but which also appear in foundations, hair dye, shampoo, nail polish and lip balms).
- They have been labelled responsible for bleaching coral reefs by leaching from the skin of sunbathers into the ocean.
As you can see, in the Chemicals of Concern list below, all 7 cosmetic companies are yet to employ a policy on these chemicals despite Hawaii’s ban on non reef-friendly sunscreen starting Jan 2021. Along with octinoxate and oxybenzone; butylparaben has been shown to cause coral reef bleaching, whilst other parabens have been showing up in dolphin and polar bear biopsies,
- Another alarming ingredient is palm oil; according to Vogue “its derivatives also lurk in an astounding 70% of our cosmetics, where they serve as emulsifiers and surfactants”.
- Of course, we are no longer blind to the and devastating effects mono-cultured palm plantations have on native rainforests.
- The growth of the palm oil industry has resulted in 39% of forest loss on the biodiversity-rich island of Borneo between 2000 and 2018.
Other crucial, climate regulating rainforests are also being destroyed in Brazil, Malaysia, West Africa and other parts of Indonesia; including 43% of Tesso Nilo National Park in Sumatra. Look for the ingredient: Elaeis guineensis, to know if your beauty products contain palm oil. Coral reefs and other marine ecosystems are under threat from toxin ingredients found in non eco friendly makeups, sun creams and other cosmetics. The biggest industries are located in the US, Japan and Europe; with the world’s current largest cosmetic companies L’Oréal, Unilever, Shiseido, and Estée Lauder. Creating sunscreen by using non-nano zinc oxide and oils with naturally occurring SPF has taken over DIY cosmetic blogs such as, Making your own makeup is following suit; you can now find recipes for, There’s even a recipe for, Plastic Free Mermaid has put together recipes for entirely natural makeup in her new book “I quit plastics”, including, saying if she wouldn’t eat it, she wouldn’t put it on her face. Making your own eco friendly make up can be fun, creative and theraputic. Give it a go! Talking about plastics, most makeup products rely on single-use plastic packaging. The Telegraph reported the global cosmetics industry, generated over 142 billion units of packaging in 2018, most of which being non-recyclable,
Yet the big companies are committing to change. L’Oreal is aiming to make 100 percent of its packaging reusable, refillable, or compostable by 2025, and to source 50 percent of that packaging from recycled material. Makeup not only relies on the packaging for its products, but there is also the added step of makeup removal.
Cotton wool and synthetic face wipes are notoriously wasteful; yet there has been a resurgence of reusable cloth or eco friendly bamboo makeup pads such as Marley Monsters and Eco Panda wipes, which can be found at To learn more, we can recommend reading our guide. Wield your purchasing power and buy plastic free makeup and bathroom products. Despite being a ban being enforced in many countries such as The US, UK and New Zealand, microbeads are worryingly, still showing up in our personal hygiene and cosmetics products, incuding Polyethylene (PE), Polypropylene (PP), Polyethylene terephthalate (PET), Polymethyl methacrylate (PMMA) or Nylon. An indispensable tool on your quest in sourcing plastic free makeup products. It may be easy to sign off with the sentiment that those who choose to wear makeup should at least invest in conscious, sustainable cosmetic companies, who are purpose driven, with strong social values and environmental incentives; not just economic.
- , in Brighton and all have ideas and options to shop zero waste makeup, whilst here are some ethical and sustainable makeup brands to look out for that shouldn’t break the bank:
- Vapour: plant-powered, organic, vegan, cruelty-free, refillable, plastic free makeup.
- All Earth (vegan, natural ingredients, plastic free, refillable, sustainable makeup materials) available from
- Zao: vegan, organic, bamboo packaging, refillable, eco friendly makeup
- Lush Cosmetics: vegan, cruelty-free, handmade, ethical, naked packaging
- Thankfully, affordable, sustainable makeup brands have become more successful and transparency is starting to emerge regarding cosmetics.
Affordable, sustainable makeup brands are becoming more readily available. The sustainable makeup how to Read product labels and avoid: phthalates, parabens, petroleum, octinoxate and oxybenzone Cross check the brands you buy with the “Campaign for safe cosmetics” scale Make your own eco friendly makeup Source plastic free make up and personal care products Download the “Beat The Microbead” app to find zero waste beauty products.
- “6 Trends Shaping The Future Of The $532B Beauty Business” –
- “What’s In Your Personal Care Products?” –
: Eco Friendly Makeup
How is soap harmful to the environment?
Soaps and detergents actually break up oil and send it lower into the water column, causing damage to more marine organisms. And when spilled in our waterways, soaps and detergents in and of themselves are actually a pollutant that may be harmful.
Who pollutes the most plastic?
Countries Feeding the Plastic Problem – Some might think that the countries producing or consuming the most plastic are the ones that pollute the oceans the most. But that’s not true. According to the study, countries with a smaller geographical area, longer coastlines, high rainfall, and poor waste management systems are more likely to wash plastics into the sea.
|Rank||Country||Annual Ocean Plastic Waste (Metric tons)|
|🌐 Rest of the World||176,012|
ul>The Philippines —an archipelago of over 7,000 islands, with a 36,289 kilometer coastline and 4,820 plastic emitting rivers—is estimated to emit 35% of the ocean’s plastic.In addition to the Philippines, over 75% of the accumulated plastic in the ocean is reported to come from the mismanaged waste in Asian countries including India, Malaysia, China, Indonesia, Myanmar, Vietnam, Bangladesh, and Thailand. The only non-Asian country to make it to this top 10 list, with 1,240 rivers including the Amazon, is Brazil,
Do microplastics come from cosmetics?
Did you know almost 9 out of 10 cosmetic products contain microplastics? And we’re not talking about the packaging, either. The formulas you put on your hair, face, and body, are packed with tiny pieces of plastic that get absorbed into our skin or washed into the oceans.
- It’s terrifying, but it’s fixable.
- Plastic doesn’t need to be in your beauty routine, and there are many brands (like Mazillo !) formulating completely plastic-free beauty products,
- If we all work together to educate, identify, and ditch microplastics, there’s hope for a plastic-free future for cosmetics.
What does microplastics mean? You might think microplastics are simply small pieces of plastic, but the definition isn’t that simple. In recent years it’s even been a source of controversy. Originally, microplastics referred to larger pieces of plastic washed up onto beaches and into the ocean that have broken down into tiny particles.
Now, campaigners argue we need to take a much wider approach that encompasses liquid microplastics – the kind most commonly found in cosmetics. Madhuro Prakhakar is project leader at Beat the Microbead, an international campaign against plastic in cosmetics by the Plastic Soup Foundation. She explains that, if we leave out liquid microplastics in the definition, they’ll be left out in legislation.
That means companies can claim to be ‘microplastic-free’ despite intentionally using plastic in their products (hello greenwashing!). In a podcast episode with Formula Botanica’s CEO Lorraine Dallmeier, Madhuro points out that 10 years ago nobody cared about solid microplastics or thought they were a problem. Now that we know they are, she believes we should learn from this lesson and be as mindful as possible as we move forward.
To hold together the ingredients of the product To dilute other solids To increase the thickness To stop the oil and liquid components from separating To form a thin coating on the skin, hair, or nails To add waterproof properties To set hair As an adhesive for nails
It’s important to note that there are already alternatives out there serving all these purposes, without plastic. Microplastics and the planet Every time we wash, apply sunscreen, or do our makeup, we’re adding to the ‘plastic soup’ in the oceans.38 thousand tonnes of microplastics are released into the environment through cosmetics alone each year.
- While recycling plastic packaging can help, the tiny plastics inside of products are invisible to the naked eye and can’t be collected.
- They flow straight down the bathroom drain, through the wastewater treatment plants, and into the oceans.
- Once they reach the oceans, they’re almost impossible to remove.
They’re consumed by sea animals and passed along the food chain to reach humans. Microplastics and human health We know that what’s better for the planet, is better for our health. Whether that’s walking instead of driving, eating plant-based foods, or opting for natural skincare.
It works the other way round too: the damage we’re doing to the planet is damaging our health. Microplastics in the environment attract harmful bacteria (pathogens). Research has even found the pathogen responsible for causing cholera attached to microplastics in the North and Baltic seas. If these pathogens enter our bodies, which they can easily do through microplastics in the food chain, they increase the risk of nasty diseases and infections.
The microplastics in our cosmetics aren’t just swimming in the oceans, they’re flowing through our bloodstream too. A recent study found microplastics in human blood of 80% of people tested. According to The Plastic Health Coalition, the chemical additives in plastic are associated with serious health problems such as hormone-related cancers, infertility, and neurodevelopment disorders.
- We still know very little about the long-term health effects of plastic and research is ongoing in the area.
- When you think about how often we use personal care products and how easily they can enter our bodies, however, it’s best to veer toward the side of caution and plastic-free beauty.
- Who knows what the long-term effect of licking lipstick or wiping away waterproof mascara might be when we know very little about what’s in them? Plastic-free beauty: the future of the industry All this information can be daunting, especially if you had no idea about the plastic in your products before.
But remember, green beauty has come a long way in recent years and numerous formulations contain no plastic at all. At Mazillo, we’re committed to using natural and sustainable ingredients that are safe for the planet, safe for you, and completely plastic-free. By choosing trustworthy and transparent brands, you can help reduce your personal plastic pollution. To make it easier for you, Beat the Microbead has created an App that allows you to scan the ingredients list on your products for plastic-derived ingredients.
It empowers you to make informed choices in your purchases, so you can be part of the solution. As Madhuro says, Plastic in cosmetics is a design error. It’s completely unnecessary. There are so many alternatives already out there. If we can prevent it, then we should do it. What are we waiting for? We hope you’ve found this post helpful and feel inspired to take action.
If you’re looking where to start, here are 5 things you can do to fight for plastic-free beauty today: Listen: Formula Botanica podcast – Microplastics in cosmetics Read: ‘ Beat the Microbead’ report Download: ‘ Beat the Microbead’ App Watch: Plastic Health Summit video– A Plastic Life Sign : ‘Beat the Microbead’ petition to ask the EU to ban microplastics in cosmetics
Are cosmetics a source of microplastics?
What are microplastics and why do they cause problems? – Microplastics are very small plastic particles that cause a very big problem. We commonly encounter microplastics in cosmetics. They’re of concern, because they have a combination of the following properties:
- Microplastics are smaller than 5 mm, which means they can be eaten by both animals and humans
- They’re indestructible, which means they remain in the environment for a long time
- They’re difficult to remove from the environment, which leads to them ending up in our drinking water.
- Microplastics degrade into smaller and smaller pieces, making the above 3 points even worse
Microplastics are mainly a problem if they end up in the environment, because they accumulate there. This will eventually cause damage to both nature and people.
Do plastic factories cause pollution?
Dirty Water and Air – There are more than 100 concerning chemicals in the air pollution from these crackers, including carcinogens such as benzene, toluene, ethylbenzene and xylene. Air pollution from petrochemical facilities can contribute to health problems in neighboring communities: asthma, lung cancer, brain and organ damage, vomiting, diarrhea and cardiovascular diseases.
Turning fossil fuels into plastics pollutes the water. The tiny pellets produced by these facilities often spill into waterways to be eaten by birds and fish. In addition to the pellets, crackers pollute our rivers and oceans with nasty chemicals that can be toxic to aquatic animals and accumulate in the food chain.
The oil industry’s push to expand plastics is just one more reason to keep dirty fossil fuels in the ground.
What causes aesthetic pollution?
Visual Pollution | ASLCORE Architecture Visual pollution is an aesthetic issue and refers to the impacts of pollution that impair one’s ability to enjoy a vista or view. Visual pollution disturbs the visual areas of people by creating harmful changes in the natural environment. Billboards, open storage of trash, antennas, electric wires, buildings, and automobiles are often considered visual pollution.
- An overcrowding of an area causes visual pollution.
- Visual pollution is defined as the whole of irregular formations, which are mostly found in nature.
- Effects of exposure to visual pollution include: distraction, eye fatigue, decreases in opinion diversity, and loss of identity.
- Description sourced from Wikipedia,
Image sourced from Wikipedia, : Visual Pollution | ASLCORE Architecture