It might sound strange, but your skincare routine can have a lasting impact on the planet and on climate change!
Many of us have come to rely on cotton wool as a household staple, but do we actually need it?
From cotton buds to make up wipes, cotton can be found in some form in most people’s bathrooms and is most times a single-use product, usually packaged in plastic.
The seemingly innocuous everyday items travel a very long way.
Perhaps from an Indian field, then picked, processed, packaged, transported, and put onto a supermarket shelf, only to be used for a few seconds before being thrown away.
According to the World Wildlife Fund, 1kg of cotton requires 20,000 gallons of water to manufacture, which is comparable to one T-shirt and a pair of jeans, or nearly six months of water consumption for the average person.
Cotton farming is also responsible for 24% of all pesticides used around the world.
Pesticides reduce soil quality, and they leak into surrounding water systems, affecting the animals and people that live in the growing areas.
Cotton wool is not compostable or recyclable because, although being a natural fibre, it becomes polluted when it comes into contact with nail polish remover, facial toner, or mascara.
Cotton wool should be thrown away in the general waste bin which ends up in landfills, not flushed down the toilet, according to the government-run website mywaste.ie, because it expands in water and can cause clogs.
Cotton buds are even worse, being both single-use cotton and single-use plastic.
They cannot be recycled, take hundreds of years to decompose and end up polluting the oceans.
As individuals, we can quickly address this by making simple changes to our beauty routines that will have a lasting positive impact on our footprint.
A great suggestion comes from WWF Textiles and Cotton Lead, Laila Petrie:
‘Replace disposable beauty items with reusable ones where possible to cut down on waste and search for alternatives created from recycled materials.’
There are plenty of different choices of reusable cotton pads made from a wide variety of materials.
The important thing is that they can be washed and reused time and time again, so that every time we use one, we know it will not end up in landfills and oceans, impacting our planet.
Some of the best materials to look for in disposable pads and buds are microfibre, organic cotton and bamboo.
All of these materials are sustainably made, have a much lower footprint than mass-produced cotton and are fully reusable.
Good Housekeeping recently did some research into reusable pads, mitts and cloths and came up with a top 11.
Their panel of 69 testers trialled 11 reusable makeup remover products over a two-week period.
They judged everything from the design and the material to how effective they were at removing makeup.
Play It Green loves everything Panda and Bamboo and one of our favourite sustainable alternatives is in the Good Housekeeping top 11.
Eco Panda’s face pads are 100% biodegradable and compostable.
Their double layer, reusable makeup remover pads are made from 100% organic bamboo cotton.
Thanks to the 2 layers of high-quality natural bamboo cotton fabrics, these cosmetic pads are suitable for all skin types, whether sensitive, dry or oily skin.
You get 18 pads in a washable bag all packed in a lovely bamboo case.
If you want to take a step to a more sustainable future, you can do so today and receive a fantastic 10% discount by heading over to the Eco Panda website and using discount voucher GREEN10 at checkout.
‘We have been using reusable cotton pads for over two years now at home and we have saved a considerable amount of plastic and cotton from ending up in landfills. Imagine the impact a million people or twenty million people could have with this single change’.
Richard Dickson – Co-Founder, Play It Green
As an individual you can learn how to lower your footprint, help reforest the planet and take a journey to a sustainable future by subscribing to Play It Green’s ‘Silver’ subscription for £5 per month.