Your salon probably has a substantial plastic footprint. To provide your services you need shampoo, conditioner, bleach, peroxides, treatments and many other industry-specific products that tend to come in plastic bottles. You may have also become the dumping ground for takeaway cups (with plastic lids), personal protective equipment (PPE) and many other random plastic bits and bobs. Your salon brings in as well as disposes of a steady flow of plastic which, as you well know, you often pay for on both ends.

Plastic waste can be incredibly problematic for both people and the environment so it is important to make sure it gets recycled or disposed of properly. Read our article The problem with Plastic to understand why. There are a number of ways your business can minimise it plastic footprint and we have listed these in our article, How to minimise plastic waste in your salon.

When salons use GSC to dispose of their plastic waste they can be assured that all seven types will be recycled. We have partnered with a local business, First Mile, to handle the tedious task of sorting these plastics, most of which are product bottles, coffee cup lids, carrier bags and PPE. There are some plastics, however, that cannot be recycled for any number of reasons but this material will be used to generate energy and not be sent to landfill.

We also work with First Mile to ensure that each type of plastic becomes a useful material for other processes, some of which involves creating salon products like combs and colour bowls (see below). Though GSC currently enables salons to close the loop on their plastic waste, its future objective is to find industry-specific closed loop solutions for each plastic type it handles.

Here are two examples of how we are closing the loop on salon plastic waste:

(1) We are looking to supply plastic waste from our salon members to RE-COMB which makes, you guessed it, combs. Visit their website and follow them on Instagram.

(2) We have collaborated with Singular Mars which manufacturers Precious Plastic machines for local recycling businesses. This Surrey-based business now transforms plastic waste from our salon members into colour bowls. These will soon be available for purchase in our shop and, as usual, all profits will go to charity. Visit Singular Mars’ website and follow them on Instagram.

Watch this space as we continue to create more mutually advantageous relationships with other local businesses.

This article was written for Green Salon Collective by MeetthefiveRs

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References and further reading

MeetthefiveRs’ article, Plastic is not the enemy and paper is not necessarily the solution

Floyd Glass & Window’s YouTube video, How glass is made

The Guardian article, War on plastic waste faces setback as cost of recycled material soars

The BBC article, Plastic or paper: Which bag is greener?

Stanford University’s article, Frequently Asked Questions: Benefits of Recycling

Glass Packaging Institute’s article, Glass Recycling Facts

Waste 4 Change’s article, 7 Types of plastic that you need to know

Pebble Magazine’s article, Plastic Free Shopping: 102 Of The UK's Best Zero Waste Stores

RE-COMB website

Singular Mars website

First Mile website

Recycle Now website

Bleach London website

OWAY website

Cover photo by Nick Fewings on Unsplash

Stephanie Hodgson

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