BODY PLASTIC PILE UP
At The Body Shop, sustainability is at the forefront of everything we do. From hard-working natural ingredients throughout all our products to our Community Fair Trade program, supporting producer, farmers, and artisans across the world.
In order to shine a light on plastic usage across the US, we have surveyed Americans to find out how much plastic is thrown away from beauty product packaging, and learn American’s attitudes towards recycling and sustainability.
How many plastic products do Americans throw away each month?
Many beauty products are made from plastic or have plastic packaging, in fact, almost all of the products we use regularly, such as razors, deodorant, shampoo and conditioner all include plastic in their packaging. Moisturizer packaging for oily skin or creams for blemished skin too.
From our analysis, we’ve revealed the top 10 most commonly thrown away plastic products from American’s beauty routines.
A staggering 384,899,983 razors are thrown away every month, followed by 369,092,688 empty plastic bottles of shampoo and 367,032,066 bottles of deodorant.
On top of that, over 350 million toothbrushes are thrown away each month as well as over 215 million plastic hairbrushes.
Putting some of these statistics into perspective, we have made some comparisons to help you digest the information.
1. The same amount of empty shower gel bottles are thrown away in a month as the number of cars in the US.
2. There are 3 times the number of razors thrown away in a month than there are houses in the US.
3. There are almost 6000 times the amount of empty deodorant cans thrown away in a month than there are coffee and snack shops in the US.
Reducing your plastic waste is really important to help the environment. Consider recycling as much plastic as you can. But remember to always check the products can be recycled before disposing of them to avoid landfill.
Which US cities regularly recycle their plastic beauty waste?
When it comes to recycling, which US cities are leading the way?
New York ranks number one with the highest number of Americans regularly recycling their beauty plastic waste. In fact, well over half (65.4%) of New York residents do.
Following closely behind, at 65.3%, is the city of Austin, Texas and third is San Diego with 62.5%.
American's beauty recycling and plastic usage habits
When it comes to recycling what are American’s opinions and attitudes towards it?
Over half (54%) of Americans said they are more likely to purchase from companies that use sustainable materials and reduce plastic waste, which shows that as a country we are moving in the right direction to reduce our plastic wastage and increase our usage of sustainable materials.
Half (50%) of Americans are actively trying to reduce their beauty plastic consumption. Again, it’s inspiring to see that half of the US population is looking to do so in order to help save the environment. Recycling helps prevent pollution and lessen the number of raw materials needed. Reducing our plastic consumption will also help to save energy and reduce greenhouse gasses, which ultimately leads to climate change.
Just under half (43%) of Americans only buy from brands that have little to no plastic waste, meaning Americans are being more conscious when making purchases and are considering the implication of plastic waste.
As a country we should continue to work together to reduce the amount of plastic we use in our beauty routines and remember to recycle as much as we can. Here at The Body Shop, you can rest easy, as our packaging is made from recycled plastics and plant-based materials where possible. We have a goal to package products with a minimum of 75% post-consumer recycled plastic by 2022. These small changes to our daily lives can make a huge change to the future lives of our children and grandchildren.
Methodology and Sources
We’ve surveyed over 2000 Americans to find out about the plastic usage and wastage involved in their beauty routines. Percentages were compared to the US population figures of those over 16 years old. Data pulled October 2021.