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5 Big Beauty Brands That Are Tackling the Industry’s Plastic Problem

Lauren Valenti
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5 Big Beauty Brands That Are Tackling the Industry’s Plastic Problem

From Garnier to Seed Phytonutrients, a closer look at the the big beauty brands making unprecedented change.

Since the spring of 1970, Earth Day has been celebrated worldwide to raise awareness and responsibility for the environment. And while the planet, and the living organisms that inhabit it, are being compromised by all kinds of pollution, plastic waste has steadily emerged as a sobering global crisis. According to the Plastic Soup Foundation, the production of plastic has increased every year by 8 percent and more of the polymeric material was produced over the last 10 years than during the entire 20th century. In the U.S. alone, over 60 million plastic bottles are thrown away every day.

While the kitchen is often to blame as the room of a home that generates the largest amount of plastic waste, the bathroom is hardly guiltless—and the beauty industry has come under fire for its vast contribution to the issue. Thankfully, many brands have since pledged to use less plastic and make their offerings more sustainable. Just last fall, a global commitment led by the Ellen MacArthur Foundation to eliminate plastic waste and pollution at the source was signed by over 250 organizations including L’Oreal and Unilever. Here, a closer look at the the beauty brands making unprecedented change (and thus the ones to consider making part of your routine this Earth Day).

Seed Phytonutrients

Earth Day Beauty Seed Phytonutrients

Seed Phytonutrients Moisture Shampoo, $24,  sephora.com
Photo: Courtesy of sephora.com
Seed Phytonutrients Body Cleanser, $22,  sephora.com
Photo: Courtesy of sephora.com
Seed Phytonutrients Hair and Body Oil, $42,  sephora.com
Photo: Courtesy of sephora.com

Since launching in 2018, Seed Phytonutrients, L’Oréal's first internally incubated niche brand, has been a huge disrupter in the beauty space, from their organic, locally-sourced ingredients to their recyclable, compostable, and paper-based packaging. For the latter, the company partners with innovative recycling company TerraCycle to ensure every portion of every bottle, including the mixed materials pump dispenser, is able to be repurposed. Based out of Doylestown, Pennsylvania, they collaborate with a number of family-run business, such as Barefoot Botanicals, on their hair, face, and body offerings.

L'Occitane

Earth Day Beauty L'Occitane

L'Occitane Lavender Hand Wash Refill Duo, $50,  usa.loccitane.com
Photo: Courtesy of usa.loccitane.com
L'Occitane Almond Shower Refill Duo, $78,  usa.loccitane.com
Photo: Courtesy of usa.loccitane.com
L'Occitane Precious Cleansing Foam Refill Duo, $69,  usa.loccitane.com
Photo: Courtesy of usa.loccitane.com

Already ahead of the curve with its beloved eco-conscious refillable pouches, L'Occitane is now upping the ante on its commitment to respecting the planet by joining forces with Loop Industries, a technology innovator in sustainable plastic. Signing on to a multiyear supply agreement, the French beauty brand will start to incorporate Loop PET plastic into its product packaging by 2022, enabling it to increase from 30 percent recycled plastic to 100 percent in its bottles by 2025.

Ren Clean Skincare

Earth Day Beauty Ren Clean Beauty

Red Clean Skincare Atlantic Kelp & Magnesium Ocean Plastic Body Wash, $27,  usa.renskincare.com
REN Clean Skincare Ready Steady Glow Daily AHA Tonic, $35,  sephora.com
Photo: Courtesy of usa.renskincare.com
REN Clean Skincare Glycol Lactic Radiance Renewal Mask, $56,  amazon.com
Photo: Courtesy of usa.renskincare.com

Last year, REN Clean Skincare caused a stir with its first-ever 100 percent recycled bottle, with 20 percent of the plastic sourced directly from the ocean. Made in collaboration with Terracycle, the two companies will continue to challenge the industry status quo together, with REN pledging to go "zero waste" by 2021. A key component to fulfilling this goal will be offering six of their bestselling daily body care products in glass label-free bottles (designed to make them easier to clean and refill), with a single-type plastic pump for future recycling.

Love Beauty and Planet

Earth Day Beauty Love Beauty and Planet

Love Beauty and Plant Murumuru Butter and Rose Blooming Color Conditioner, $8.99 ulta.com
Photo: Courtesy of ulta.com
Love Beauty and Planet Coconut Milk Medium Hold & Volume Hair Spray, $8.99, ulta.com
Photo: Courtesy of ulta.com
Love Beauty and Plant Murumuru Butter & Rose Delicious Glow Hand Cream, $4.99,  ulta.com
Photo: Courtesy of ulta.com

Last summer, beauty giant Unilever launched Love Beauty and Planet, its first personal care brand in 20 years. Inspired by the company's Sustainable Living Plan, it offers ethically-sourced ingredients and bottles that are made from 100 percent post-consumer recycled plastic. And as part of its devotion to being eco-friendly, the company is disclosing its annual carbon footprint annually, and working towards reducing its carbon footprint 20 percent by 2020.

Garnier

Earth Day Beauty Garnier

Garnier Fructis With Active Fruit Protein Sleek & Shine Shampoo, $6.99, target.com
Photo: Courtesy of target.com
Garnier Fructis With Active Fruit Protein Sleek & Shine Conditioner, $6.99, target.com.
Photo: Courtesy of target.com
Garnier Fructis Sleek & Shine Intensely Smooth Leave-In Conditioning Cream, $3.99, target.com
Photo: Courtesy of target.com

Earlier this month, Garnier debuted a new signature tagline—By Garnier, Naturally—with a new pledge to match. By the end of 2019, the beauty company will dramatically reduce their plastic usage by committing to 100 percent post-consumer recycled waste for shampoo, conditioner, and leave-in conditioner bottles in its bestselling Fructis Sleek & Shine collection. In tandem, the brand has also been touring the country with its Garnier Mobile Greenhouse pop-up, designed to educate consumers on their sustainability efforts hands on with product experiences and recycling demonstrations.

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