What is Zero Waste Beauty?


What is zero waste beauty? 

Zero waste is a frequently bandied around word these days, but what does it actually mean? The concept of Zero Waste is based around waste prevention - reduce, reuse and recycle, with the goal being for no waste to be sent to landfill, incinerators or the ocean. So this means consciously buying only what you need and reusing wherever you can. Composting and only then recycling whatever you can't mend or reuse. 

One of the challenges we have is that in recent years there has been a huge focus on recycling. While recycling is a great thing when it really happens, most often it doesn't and the plastic that you carefully separate from your landfill waste may not be recycled at all. In fact only around 9% of plastic is recycled. Pretty awful when you think about it, and the reason our oceans are filling up.

But we've been told for years that everything will be hunky dory as long as we recycle? Not so.. as we just don't have the systems, processes and economies in place to deal with the vast amount of waste we are all trying to recycle. The aim of zero waste is to create a circular economy. This means an economy where we no longer have rubbish to deal with and all resources are taken back into the system and reused. It's a big change but one that will make a huge difference to how we look after and care for our planet. 

The rubbish thing about rubbish...

Back in 2018 a pretty damning report was issued by The World Bank. New Zealand is in the top 10 most wasteful countries in the world. Not quite the green eco friendly nation we might otherwise like to think we are...

Kiwis create over 3.6kg of rubbish per person every day - thats a whopping 734kg per person ever year. 

We have to do something about this and focusing on ways to reduce waste across your whole household is something every Kiwi should do. We need to stop sending so much into landfills and the ocean. Our toxic waste is damaging our planet and our plastic, that won't biodegrade, is filling up the oceans.

zero waste beauty - plastic on the beach - belle & co

Recycling isn't the answer

We have regular reports in the news about how container loads full of our waste is being sent back to us. It's not ok to just ship off our rubbish for other countries to deal with. We need to stop thinking about where to send our rubbish next and stop creating so much of it.  At the heart of it, this is the problem - we create far too much rubbish. We even create too much recycling to be processed. The only way we can really tackle this problem is to reduce and reuse... recycle last. 

Gone are the days when you can tick off 'doing your bit' for the planet just by separating your waste for the recycle bin. We need to stop filling that recycling bin up too. Reducing and reusing is the way to go. 

How do you reduce and re-use?

First up, let's face some facts. We have all grown up in a society where having the latest and greatest of everything can be a bit of a status thing. We've all been hammered by every marketing campaign telling us we 'need' this and 'we just aren't good enough' if we don't have that.

The fact is we just don't need all the stuff that we have and want. It's ok to get new things, it's ok to still want new stuff... but it's time to start to think about things before we open up our wallets. Buy consciously and try to look for a second hand option first.

If you are going to buy something, before you do,  think about what it's made from, where was it made, how far has it travelled, is it something that is good quality and will it last. Importantly look at the packaging. Is it excessive? Is there a lower packaging option?

Making your bathroom plastic free - Zero Waste Beauty!

Zero Waste Beauty - Shampoo Bars - Belle & Co

This is where Belle & Co comes in. We've worked hard to formulate products that are zero waste and plastic free. You can ditch the bottles and get the benefit of high quality natural products for your hair, skin and body. 

Our raw materials are sourced from ethical suppliers who offer high quality, organic and fair trade raw materials. We turn these into luxurious plastic free loveliness for your hair skin and body.  Our clean beauty products are plant based and so you can be sure there is nothing nasty or toxic for either your body or our waterways.

Our products are concentrated and not stuffed with fillers and water so you will find they will last a lot longer than a bottle of the equivalent product - our shampoo bars will generally last about 4 times an average shampoo bottle, and our conditioner bars even longer.

Most importantly for our zero waste mission our packaging is all re-usable, compostable or will biodegrade on its own. 

  • Beauty Bars, Shampoo Bars, Conditioner bars, Face cream bars, Body Butter Bars  and Facial Oil Bars 
    • our bars are wrapped in a waxed paper which will biodegrade naturally, just like leaves on a forest floor. Our labels and tape are now also compostable for your home composter
  • Face Creams
    • Our face creams are available in a cellulose refill pouch. Cellulose is a plant based plastic-like product. It naturally biodegrades and can be composted. Our pouches aren't made for long term storage of face creams so we recommend you transfer it to a clean glass jar when it arrives with you.
    • If you need a container, we also sell our face creams in glass jars with aluminium lids. Glass and aluminium jars can be reused in your own home or they are well recycled products in the waste system.
    • We run a recycle scheme and you can return your used glass jars to us. We will clean, sterilise and re-use them - and you'll get a discount for your next purchase
  • Shipping Packaging
    • We can't avoid some packaging to get your products safely to you, but we have done everything we can to make sure your package is zero waste
      • Our courier bags are plant based cellulose and certified for home composting
      • We use recycled corrugated 'bubble wrap' to protect your goodies
      • Our boxes are made from recycled card
      • We don't include a shipping note - instead this is emailed to you.

Every little change you can make matters!

Does this mean you have to be perfect? No! But, if everyone changed just one thing, the cumulative effect would be huge. It can seem overwhelming, but make just one change and you'll see how easy it can be, Every change you can make will help us to look after our planet better than we have done in the past. 

So remember, reduce, reuse and recycle. Think about the things you are buying and make conscious decisions and we can do this!


 belle & co - shampoo bars, conditioner bars, zero waste beauty

Leave a comment

All blog comments are checked prior to publishing
The cookie settings on this website are set to 'allow all cookies' to give you the very best experience. Please click Accept Cookies to continue to use the site.
You have successfully subscribed!