Lately you may have seen the words zero waste on your body lotion (and if that’s the case, we applaud you). It’s an emerging trend within the beauty industry, and as someone who has spent the better part of a decade reporting on such matters, it’s the trend I am most excited about.
To get a better understanding of what this term actually means, I spoke to Tiila Abbitt, the CEO and founder of Aether Beauty, a sustainable makeup company that launched the first zero-waste eye shadow palette in the industry.
"Zero waste means making sure nothing ends up in a landfill," explains Abbitt. "That can mean a few things: One is that a product is reusable, another is that it can actually be recycled." (I’m going to interrupt here briefly to drop in that oft-quoted National Geographic stat about how 91 percent of plastic ends up in landfills.) "And on that note, it’s making sure there is no packaging or packaging waste. The main idea is to limit what actually goes directly in your trash."
And it's not just the indie brands who are making strides toward sustainability. Procter & Gamble (the parent company behind Dove, Secret and Herbal Essences) joined forces with TerraCycle’s LOOP program last year, which provides shoppers with a simple website where they can request pick-ups and order refills of popular household products like shampoo and laundry detergent.