British department store chain Selfridges has banned all single-use, plastic-based beauty wipes from its “Beauty Halls,” replacing them with recyclable or reusable alternatives in a bid to encourage sustainable purchases.
“Single-use beauty wipes have been a staple of many beauty drawers, but they are incredibly harmful to the environment,” said Daniella Vega, Director of Sustainability at Selfridges, in a statement. “During a recent Selfridges team beach clean, we saw first-hand the impact they have on our waterways and beaches and we were even more motivated to remove them from our stores.”
Beauty wipes are incredibly popular: research by Selfridges found that 20% of consumers use them at least once a day, and 35% consider single-use beauty wipes a beauty necessity.
Middlesex University estimates that plastic-based single-use wipes can take up to 100 years to fully degrade — but only 19% of consumers are aware of this. Furthermore, 13% of consumers currently flush single-use wipes down the toilet.
More environmentally-friendly alternatives on offer from the retailer include “Face Halo” make-up remover, a non-toxic, reusable tool that quickly removes makeup using water only and can replace up to 500 single-use wipes.
Selfridges is also stocking “Sarah Chapman Professional Cleansing Mitts (four-pack),” which lightly exfoliate and remove cleansers, makeup and grime, and Clinique’s “Take The Day Off Cleansing Cloths,” which are made from muslin and can be used multiple times.
The move is the latest example of the beauty industry cleaning up its act. In October, the Unilever-owned beauty giant Dove announced plans to replace its plastic bottles with recycled ones in a bid to tackle its environmental waste, while P&G-owned Olay launched a pilot packaging project this year involving a refillable version of its signature “Regenerist Whip Moisturizer.”
The P&G-owned haircare brand Herbal Essences joined forces with waste management giant TerraCycle to launch a series of bottles comprising 25% beach plastic earlier in 2019, while REN Clean Skincare has pledged to become completely “zero waste” by the year 2021. IB/JB