Before we dive into what the beauty industry can do, let us discuss what circular economy truly stands for?
What is a circular economy?
“A comprehensive framework that focuses on sustainable management and efficient use of natural resources, by adopting sustainable methods and techniques of consumption and production whilst prioritizing waste reduction across the board.”
In simple words, a system focused on decreasing waste and pollution. It is focused on the 4Rs which are – Reduce, Reuse, Recycle and Recover. It is an evolved and conscious process wherein the world produces and consumes goods and services in the most optimal way possible.
Given the emphasis around this subject, the UAE’s Circular Economy Policy, highlights the following as its outcomes,
- generate considerable economic proceeds for the country
- mitigate environmental pressures
- ensure the supply of raw materials
- increase competitiveness
- motivate innovation
- strengthen economic growth
- create job opportunities.
As perfectly stated in the policy “in a circular economy waste and pollution are designed out of the system and the system actively strives to improve the environment, not just protect it by returning valuable nutrients to the soil and ecosystem.”
Surely a fascinating model, that can do so much more for our planet, our environment, our economy, and employment stability – works as a great motivation for sustainable businesses like ours, as we strive to work towards the same goals.
So, what can the Beauty industry do in this regard?
The circular economy subject has recently become a hot topic. Consumers have become more aware and are increasingly curious on formulations, manufacturing processes and other elements that tie the brand back to its environmental impact. Clean beauty, thus, is an active change maker & is paving the way forward for other businesses to keep in mind these key considerations within their operations.
Clean beauty focuses on many of the aspects addressed in the circular economy.
At an annual basis, the conventional beauty industry, produces more than 120 billion units of packaging worldwide, where 9% of plastic is recycled, 12% incinerated and the rest 79% end up in landfills, dumps and the natural environment. Worrying?
Keeping such stats in mind, clean beauty goals have been to develop an ecosystem at the crux of which lies, sustainability, protecting nature, ingredients with a positive impact, recyclability, and reusability in mind. This has led to the increase in demand for such products and has increased the pressure on several other industries to take note and apply learnings.
Tom Skazy, the founder and CEO of Terracycle, once stated that “a reuse circular economy is key for the beauty industry.”
So, what can the wider industry work towards this evolved way of working and producing?
It is very simple, follow what conscious, clean beauty brands are doing.
- Sustainably sourcing raw materials.
- Provide ingredients that are natural and non-toxic with transparency.
- Focus on eco-friendly packaging. For example, utilizing recycled material for final packaging or other alternatives like bamboo that is a fast-growing renewable resource.
It is very important that what is used doesn’t take away from the environment more than it gives back.
Needless to say, we still have many pressing concerns pertaining our planet, from climate change to water scarcity to potentially seeing more plastic than fish in the sea!
Sometimes a reminder can go a long way. As equal members of the world that we live in, a little step from each of us as consumers and businesses, can have a larger positive impact.
Our goal at BB remains to work alongside the UAE’s vision of promoting environmental health and being part of the larger initiative focused on making the country a pioneer in green development.