6 Ways Beauty Lovers Can (and Should) Use Less Plastic

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Stocksy/Milles Studio

As a product junkie who's also quite fond of our one-of-a-kind planet, I try to make an effort each year to make my beauty routine more environmentally conscious. In 2016, I went vegan; in 2017, I decided to start buying only sustainably made or secondhand clothes; and in 2018, my goal is to cut way, way down on my plastic waste.

Environmental experts agree that plastic pollution is becoming an increasingly urgent concern. The World Economic Forum has stated that by 2050 there will be more plastic in the ocean than fish. "And the beauty industry is a principal contributor to this pollution," comments Cait Bagby, founder of World Threads Traveler, an online resource to help consumers make sustainable fashion and beauty purchases. In 2008, Euromonitor reported that the beauty industry created 120.8 billion units of packaging that year, 40% of which was made from rigid plastic. This material "will never truly degrade but rather break down into individual molecules," Bagby explains. Translation? Major pollution, totally unsustainable, really bad for Nemo and Flounder.

The good news, says Bagby, is that as companies realize that modern consumers aren't cool with contributing to this environmental damage anymore, many of them have started reworking their packaging to become more eco-friendly. Want to make sure your beauty habits aren't making the plastic pollution problem worse? Keep scrolling for six easy pieces of advice.