The Beauty Industry Generates a Lot of Plastic Waste. Can it Change?

Going through the local markets, a quick look at the cosmetic and toiletry sections shows that the cosmetic industry generates more plastic, in multiple shapes and sizes, than any other industry. Although new climate friendly products, manufactured with healthy natural and bio-friendly ingredients, are constantly showing up in the retail market; reducing plastic remains a major problem in packaging for everything from makeup to deodorant.

Shampoo, lotion, deodorant: They all come swathed in plastic. But some companies are trying to change that.

BY ALEJANDRA BORUNDA. This article was created in partnership with the National Geographic Society.

FOR TARA PELLETIER, it came down to deodorant.

Her company, Meow Meow Tweet, had developed a formula for deodorant that she loved. It worked, it smelled great, and it was ready to make its way out into the armpits of her eager customers. The hold-up? The packaging.

Most deodorants on the market come in hard plastic cases with many tiny components, each of which is made of a different type of plastic, and most of which are not readily recyclable, even if a customer were dedicated enough to dismantle the whole thing.

Why, she thought, should a deodorant that she’d use for a few weeks or months come in a plastic case that would be around for longer than she’d be alive?

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