This Plastic Free Beauty Day we are looking at why it is important for the beauty industry to play an active role in the world’s global sustainability efforts and what small lifestyle switches you can make to reduce the plastic use in your beauty regimes and create a plastic free makeup routine.  


Many of us are taking a closer look at what’s inside our makeup bags, are we seeing a lot of plastic free makeup? “Sub-zero waste” was one of the biggest trends for 2019 in cosmetics and personal care, as consumers look for ways to reduce waste in all aspects of their lives, especially plastic free cosmetics.

But not only do we need to start making small lifestyle changes, the beauty industry has a responsibility to make changes to stop plastic reaching our Ocean.  

Until now, sustainable beauty has mainly focused on organic formulas and clean-ingredients, free of sulphates, silicones, phthalates, and the plastic in beauty products. But the conversation is shifting to the way in which these products are produced and packaged and what impacts they’re having.

Brands big and small are waking up to this realisation and have been finding different ways to reduce waste.  

Is recycling enough? 

How many times have you wrestled with the layers of plastic our products are wrapped in? Consumers need to recycle more, however, the more consumers recycle, the more companies will need to produce the plastic packaging our products are wrapped in. A lot of it is supply and demand.  

Statistics report that 120 billion units of packaging are produced every year by the global cosmetics industry, bulked out by the use of complex lids, multi-layered boxes and cellophane, much of which is non-recyclable and can usually end up in our Ocean. 

Plastic in the beauty industry

Another staple of the beauty industry is the use of dark plastics — such as black, navy, or dark brown. As sleek as they look, they are often missed by sorters in recycling facilities and end up in landfills," says Sarah Dearman, vice president of circular ventures for The Recycling Partnership.  

Yes, we can recycle the cardboard boxes, but plastic does not break down naturally. So, if the container isn't recycled correctly, where will it end up? A recent study revealed that in the UK, only 31% of plastic waste is actually successfully recycled, putting a huge burden on our landfill sites and Ocean.  

What can I do? 

We need to see more plastic free personal care products. There are some great sustainable alternatives out there which are just as effective as the plastic products. We want to champion beauty brands who are reducing their plastic output – we hope with enough support around #PlasticFreeBeautyDay other brands will follow in their footsteps.   

What are some Alternatives? 


Stopping plastic polluting our Ocean depends on the choices we make

Why not explore different products and solutions that are on different levels of Plastic Intelligent choices.

Use this tool to help you make Plastic Intelligent choices. Save this as a screensaver on your phone. And every time you’re confused about which item to choose to make the most plastic intelligent choice you can, answer these simple questions to get a clear steer: 

Plastic Free Beauty Webinar

Ocean Generation was delighted to partake as the sustainability expert on the Plastic Free Beauty: It’s Time to Make a Change webinar on June 11th. Hosted by the British Beauty Council and its CEO Millie Kendal, Yolanda Cooper Founder of Plastic Free Beauty Day and WE ARE PARADOXX and Ben Proctor, Director of On Repeat.  

The panel focused on the role the beauty industry can play in tackling the global plastic pollution crisis impacting our planet. We all interact with the beauty industry daily, from brushing our teeth to washing our bodies. The way all these products are packaged and made, in some instances ingredients are filled with micro-plastics have dire consequences on our eco-system.  

Ocean Generation presented a series of facts around plastics, the realities around alternatives like bioplastics and bio-degradable products.

We delved into greenwashing, discussions around education both for the industry and consumers alike, and lastly truly sustainable alternative options for beauty brands to start using. We also touched upon the challenges for beauty brands to become more sustainable, accessible price points and quantity requirements with suppliers.

The need for larger players in the beauty industry to support and finance innovation in the sector and support smaller companies leading the change.  

You can watch the recorded version of the Plastic Free Beauty webinar here.

Reuse, Reuse, Reuse!  

Reuse is one of the best ways to cut down on your plastic footprint. 

Check out WILD, they’re the world's first zero-plastic deodorant refill made from plants, packaged in plants, and can be composted down to feed new plants! 

Small Steps 

Systematic change won’t happen overnight, but these small changes are a great start to reduce your plastic footprint.    

We at OG are not a plastic free organisation, we are all about being Plastic IntelligentSo, the next time you unwrap your latest beauty haul, spare a thought for our Ocean and remember, if you can’t reuse it, refuse it.

Join the Ocean Generation

The Ocean Generation is coming together to restore a healthy relationship between humanity and the Ocean. Because as the first generation to understand ocean issues, we are also the last generation who can stop them. We are all the Ocean Generation. Join the movement.