The plastic problem is being lessened thanks to the always incredible work of Sustainable Salons, which collects plastic from their inimitable salon network in Australia and New Zealand to upcycle what should be waste into valuable products.
The plastic recycled from these 1500 salons is sent to specialist local plastic recyclers where it’s cleaned and made into closed-loop products like combs, sunglasses and plant pots, keeping it in the market and out of the ocean. With these initiatives, to date, the organisation has kept more than 453,0006kg of plastic in circulation.
What this means for the Sustainable Salons network, is that these salons get to play an imperative part of waste reduction just by signing up to the organisation. Salons will minimise their environmental footprint, which is a wonderful talking point for environmentally conscious clients, and good for the soul, as well. As Sustainable Salons members, these salons will also have access to purchasing products made from recycled plastic to share with clients.
The organisation accepts a range of plastics for salons to recycle and make a difference, including uncoloured plastic film or soft packaging, hard plastic packaging, plastic colour brushes, plastic colour mixing bowls, plastic bags, plastic lids and mixed material packaging.
“Plastic takes hundreds of years to break down, and even then microplastics can remain which pollute our land and oceans. With the salon industry’s heavy use of plastics, we knew a real impact can and has been made by recycling a huge amount of plastic,” Sustainable Salons said.
On a broader scale, initiatives like this help the salon industry at large to embrace a circular economy. Over 660,000 tonnes of plastic waste is thrown into Australian and New Zealand landfills each year, which is lessened through the work of Sustainable Salons to turn this waste into new, retail-worthy products.
“In a circular economy, products and materials are designed with longevity and recyclability in mind, allowing them to be used, reused and repurposed for as long as possible. It promotes strategies such as resource recovery, closed-loop systems and sustainable manufacturing processes,” the organisation explained. “By utilising recycled plastics, we are diverting resources from landfill and giving them a second life, reducing the demand for new materials. This circular approach ensures that resources are kept in circulation for as long as possible, minimising environmental impact and fostering a sustainable future.”
Innovating within this context, a range of products have been made from recycles materials. Sustainable Salons offer a recently launched Wide Tooth Comb that is made from 100 per cent recycled plastic. The tool has a bespoke teal hue, to reflect the aesthetic of the organisation, and a unique wave element, which symbolises the organisation’s unwavering commitment to a closed-loop process. The comb was gifted to attendees at this year’s Hair Festival and is now available for Sustainable Salons members through the Sustainable Salons online store.
Beyond this hero tool, other consumer friendly products created in this process include a sunglasses collaboration with Dresden Vision. For this process, recycled plastic bottles were first broken down into small pellets, then dyed, melted and moulded into shape. Additionally, a collaboration with Hi Jac and Defy Design offers 100 per cent post-consumer recycled plastic pet leads. The handle is made from 100 per cent recycled shampoo bottles before being attached to rope made from 100 per cent recycled P.E.T bottles.
The organisation also offers self-watering plant pots that keep plants hydrated with environmental consciousness front of mind, as made in collaboration with Defy Design. Holders for keeping your toothbrushes, pens or brushes upright, also made with Defy Design, are another stylish option for home or the salon.
A 47 Gram Shower Comb made from old shampoo and conditioner bottles is proudly the world’s first closed-loop recycled detangling comb, as made of 47 grams of recycled high-density polyethylene (HDPE) plastic, thanks to a collaboration with Recycling Grams and Defy Design. Lastly, the Sustainable Salons coasters are handmade from 100 per cent post-consumer recycled plastic shampoo bottles, which are locally acquired, washed, shredded, and put through an injection moulder, in another collaboration with Defy Design.
Changing the world for the better, with must-have accessories and retail items becoming a stylish bonus, join Sustainable Salons’ mission to lessen the environmental impact of the salon industry and help make the burden of plastics a thing of the past.
For more information visit www.sustainablesalons.org
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