Submitted by Helen on Thu, 02/04/2016 - 16:59
recycling salon waste
Much of the waste that salons actually produce is recyclable but it is having the time, convenience and the right information that makes all the difference.
So what are the biggest culprits lurking in salon bins and how can you reduce them?
Foil itself takes over four hundred years as a minimum to break down if it is sent to landfill, yet just 1% of salons recycle their foil.
Alternatives such as foam wraps have been discussed recently due to their potential to be more environmentally friendly in comparison to foil, as some salons re-use the wraps because they do not lose their shape or strength. However, they take almost the same amount of time as foil to biodegrade and cannot be recycled, which highlights the urgent need for alternative solutions in the future.
More environmentally friendly services have emerged, almost by chance, the onset of colouring trends such as ombres, balyage and babylights often involve mainly freehand work and thus the demand for foil has reduced as a result.
Shampoo, conditioner and other products are often packaged in plastic that do not biodegrade. The large bottles that are used at the basins can take up lots of room in the salon waste once they are empty. Did you know that the UK alone produces 3 million tonnes of plastic waste every year, yet just 7% is recycled?
Worryingly, this week’s research shows that empty shampoo and conditioner bottles are used in the room of the house where people forget to recycle, if salons can integrate recycling into their daily habits they can set an example to clients across the UK who are struggling with this area.
To reduce plastic waste in the salon environment, adopt recycling, and check product bottles and other plastic waste to see if they can be recycled before disposing of them. Opt for a product line that uses biodegradable, or recyclable packaging to ensure a long term commitment within the salon to sustainability.
By adopting a product range that uses responsible packaging, it provides a talking point with clients and can help to educate those who do not consider the impact of plastic shampoo and conditioner bottles.
Hair clippings are a great example of creative ‘re-use’ that are often swept up and disposed of. On a local level, hair clippings help to make great compost and can be donated to community allotments, botanic gardens, wormeries which helps community projects to become more sustainable.
On a global level, hair clippings are also sought after during oil spills. The donated hair is used to make hair mats that are then placed on top of the water where the oil slicks have formed to absorb the oil and prevent any further damage to the ecosystems and wildlife that have been affected and exposed to the hazard.
Hair clippings of a certain length can also be used to make wigs, so the next time you are about to perform a re-style on long hair ask yourself is the hair long enough to donate to a cancer charity that makes wigs for those having treatment? This is something that eases social problems within the UK and can help cancer charities to support patients, whilst being able to spend their budget on other important resources, and all this is made possible by donating hair that would have been thrown away and sent to landfill.