This is Why We Need to Rethink Single-Use Waste
We’re saying goodbye to throwaway culture in 2021 (and beyond).
At Fiils, our products go beyond just recycling: they are refillable too. That’s because we believe that recycling isn’t enough to combat the problem that the waste we produce creates. And, it’s only getting worse. In fact, our addiction to creating waste is having a devastating impact on our planet including our oceans, our wildlife and our health. We want to show you why it’s time to do something about it.
Much of our everyday waste, especially when it comes to beauty products, is made from single-use plastic and, while it was a great invention, we’re overusing it on an incomprehensible scale.
Can single-use be a good thing?
Plastic was invented in the 19th century but it wasn’t until the 1970s that we really started to use it everywhere and in everything. Manufacturers started by replacing paper or glass packaging with lighter and much longer-lasting plastic alternatives. Since the 1950s, 8.3 billion metric tons of plastics have been produced and half of that is in the last 15 years alone. Did you know that, before plastic, beauty products were sold in glass, gold, silver, and ceramic bottles that were refillable? So, we’re actually going back to the future.
More recently, plastic has played a vital role in the global fight against COVID-19. There is no denying that single-use plastic has saved many lives during the pandemic as it has helped to protect our frontline workers. It has also allowed people to enjoy food from their favourite restaurants, that have been forced to close, or order themselves a brand new pair of pyjamas, from a shop that has moved online.
But, it’s also created an exceptional amount of waste. For example, Cardiff council estimates about 400 tonnes of extra recycling have been left out for collection this Christmas compared to last year. It is believed that the early lockdown, and a big shift towards online shopping, has largely contributed to the large amounts of extra recycling and excess packaging we’re seeing now. Ultimately, if we’re not careful, short-term thinking during this pandemic could lead to an even bigger problem not that far away in the future.
Recent research has also revealed that consumers are often driven to use more single-use plastic because they don’t see the waste left behind in their local environment. For example, their waste will either be collected, incinerated or exported to other countries, where it is “out of sight and out of mind” to those that are responsible for creating it. Upon reflection, and simply by looking around, it is easy to see how this is a problem that really does affect us all.
We live in a world that prioritizes convenience over thinking about how something is made or where it will end up when we are done with it. It’s called “throwaway culture” and it’s time for things to change.
How can we change our single-use habits?
The good news is that we can all do something to change our small habits and, eventually, change this notion of throwaway culture. Essentially, the answer lies in the creation of a circular economy (in opposition to a linear one).
We need to move beyond the current philosophy of single use and buying more. We can all do our bit by thinking more about what we buy and who we are buying from. Ultimately, the products that we buy should be designed and sold with the intention that their raw materials can be reused. Unlike a linear economy, a circular one can deliver long-term benefits by keeping our waste out of the natural environment.
At Fiils, we are sustainability optimists. We recognise that it’s easy to become overwhelmed by the bad news when it comes to the discussion of saving the planet. We understand that living an eco-friendly life isn’t always easy or necessarily cheap. That is why we are here to help. We want to get you thinking about the products you buy and, ultimately, get you started on your own refill journey. We’re here to make things easy. Hey, you’ve already made a positive step in the right direction! You’re already here and considering how you can do better.
As a brand, we admit that we still have a few steps to take in order to fully reduce our waste and emissions impact. However, as one of the original refill beauty brands, we have achieved a lot already. This is only just the beginning for us and we’re so grateful for all of the support. Our promise to you is to continue moving in the right direction and commit all of our time and energy to reducing any kind of waste across all our channels. We hope that you will decide to join us!
For more information about how our refill program works, please click here.