Did you know that there is an estimated 12.7 million tonnes of plastic* being put into our oceans each year? That’s the equivalent of over 270,000 lorries, 103 large cruise ships or 1643 Eiffel Towers. From plastic bags to microbeads, plastic is killing marine life, birds, coral reefs and even land life. This is one of the many reasons why going plastic free is one of the most important things for you to get involved with in your lifetime.
For a lot of people, reducing their plastic packaging begins in the bathroom- the world of shower/bath cosmetics is still super wrapped up in pretty plastic packaging and needless cardboard boxes, but what is the use of it? Of course, to stop the liquid from going everywhere, but what is the further purpose? What if someone told you you could buy a shampoo AND conditioner completely packaging free? To begin with, you might tell them they are mad or pulling your leg, but it’s true: Packaging free shampoo and conditioner are a real thing, brought to you by the one and only LUSH COSMETICS.
Lush have much pride in the ethical brilliance that is ‘naked products’, where the purpose of a perfectly good shampoo (for example), can be completely plastic free and paper free. Not only that, but they are also double concentrate for a better, long lasting effect!
Lush have called these Shampoo Bars: they are used like a bar of soap for you hair, and there are over 10 different ones to pick from, each with a different effect & tailored to different wants & needs! For example, Seanik shampoo bar is perfect for volume and that sea-breeze style, whereas Soak and Float is tailored for more sensitive scalps with a tendency for dandruff. These magic little bars can last you for up to 60-80 washes, and are perfect for travellers or frequent holiday takers, as they contain no liquid, which saves you some faffing at the airport with more plastic waste to hold all your plastic containers.
This has also been applied to conditioner bars. Now, the key thing to remember about Lush’s conditioner bars, are that they will not have the same consistency that you are used to with a bottled conditioner. This is by no means negative, either! Lush have three different conditioner bars: Big, Jungle and Sugar Daddy-O. Again, each of these are tailored to different wants and needs, but overall, are fantastic conditioners that last longer and don’t leave the shower a catastrophic mess.
These are used very similarly to shampoo bars, but need a little melting first under some hot shower/bath water. From there, I would rub the bar straight onto the hair. Personally, I avoid the roots, just because that is where my natural oil produces, and that gorgeous moisture that my conditioner bar will give me is needed much more on the ends of my hair. So I work with about the last half/quarter of the length, and wash away.
A key tip to remember- you might not feel the effects of the condition while the hair is wet, but once dried, you will really recognise that beautiful effect.
So, have I blown your mind yet?
If I have, then hold onto your knickers, because it’s about to get better! Lush have a whole range of naked products: Deodorants, soaps, bath bombs, massage bars and, newly added, Shower Gels. Legit- the exact formula of a normal shower gel with added sodium stearate (a thickening powder used to keep the products form) and propylene glycol (a safe synthetic used to help lock moisture into the skin).
At the moment, these are being sold as part of special launches such as Easter, Mothers day and Valentines Day, as well as a whole range for the first time at Christmas 2017.
They are used just like a soap would be used, but for different qualities. For example, Naked Shower Gels are double concentrate, allowing a longer use and better value for money. For more information on what a Naked Shower Gel is, click here.
But don’t fret! This is just the beginning of something beautiful(ly plastic free), and I’m sure we will be seeing much more of these in the future!
Lush are the kings and queens of nakedness, and have really kicked off a trusting movement for wastage and tight recycling. Did you know that Lush have a 5 black pot recycling scheme? All you have to do is collect five black pots of any size (including the clear jelly pots, face powder and mascara tube), then when they are all used up, give them a clean, return them to your nearest store in exchange for a free fresh face mask. Yes you heard correct, a free facemask as a thank you for taking the time and effort to recycle back into the company.
Want to know what Lush do with your returned black pots?
They are actually returned back to the factory. The factory then chip up all of those black pots and melt them back down into plastic. This is why it is important to thoroughly clean out your black pots when you’re returning them into store.
That melted plastic is actually turned into more black pots, where the cycle then begins again. The recycled black pots are also used for the black baskets you get in store, as well as all black signage for products. Lush do not accept the clear bottles used for shampoos/shower gels etc, or the black toner water bottles. It is still encouraged that you bring the toner water bottles in for recycling, but the clear plastic bottles can be recycled at home. The black lids, however, can also be donated back to Lush for recycling, but not as part of the 5 black pot scheme. They also take in plastic lids from bottles, washing liquids, cartons and so forth. They are sent to the factory, melted down with every other colour, and are turned into tables and furniture that the factory use as worktops.
Lush is just one step you can take into becoming plastic free. You can turn anything plastic free, from your kitchen to your bedroom! Here’s a quick guide to small things you can change:
-Shopping at your local greengrocers for loose fruit and vegetables
-Buying seeds to plant your own herbs in reusable ceramic pots
-Making your own soups, dips and sauces
-Reuse glass jars/buy glass jars to store away homemade sauces, soups and even dried foods like lentils and beans
-Washing up/cleaning with wash-able cloths
-Buy metal straws instead of plastic ones
-Buy washing powder in cardboard boxes, not bottles
-Wicker or wooden storage instead of plastic
-Living, long-life, indoor greenery
-Using eco-friendly/bio-degradable bin bags
-Having a supply of reusable bottles/glass bottles instead of buying plastic (eg, water)
-Making your own juice/cordial
-Invest in Ecover (plant based products with plant-based bottles), a refillable source of washing up liquid, washing powder and more
-Invest in a ceramic tea-pot and loose tea
-Storage in glass Kilner jars
-Recycle your plastic lids in your local Lush store
-Invest in some reusable shopping bags, even the ones with a pocket that can attach to a handbag etc
-Give up gum, which is made up of synthetic rubber
One step at a time, we are eventually going to turn this planet around before it’s too late. Plastic is causing such devastation to our planet, it’s slowly killing us. The fumes get lodged in our O-zone and our breathable atmosphere, micro-plastics are being consumed by millions of human beings, it’s being lodged on and in the bodies of marine and land life, and causing heartbreaking results.
I believe it can all be slowed down, but we need to act fast and act now, which is why the awareness that plastic is not a necessity needs to be voiced loud and proud!
*Information taken from https://www.greenpeace.org.uk/what-we-do/oceans/plastics/
Ethica – 100% Vegan and Ethical store, Plymouth independent store
Ecoffee Cups – Reusable cup for hot drinks, made from bamboo