Scrapping This One Beauty Tool Can Help Save The Environment
Posted on June 24 2021
The beauty industry has a serious plastic problem. If you take a look at your shampoo, make-up, deodorant, and almost every personal care product you own, chances are they all come wrapped in plastic packaging. But what happens to all that plastic once you’re done with it? Where does it all go? Most of it ends up in landfills where it can take hundreds of years to break down and decompose given the resistant nature of chemicals like PET (Polyethylene terephthalate) found in many plastics. Thankfully, we’ve made significant strides in reducing plastic consumption over the years. Eco-friendly and sustainable alternatives to plastic are available now more than ever and people are now gravitating towards living a plastic-free, zero-waste lifestyle.
However, there’s another sneaky culprit in our personal care routine that’s often overlooked. Hint: It’s something you most likely use almost every single day. Any guesses? If you guessed single-use cotton, then you’ve guessed right.
Single-use cotton products like pads, balls, and wipes are basic staple items that we use everyday. From skincare regimens to personal hygiene, we use cotton for just about everything. But don’t let these innocent-looking balls of fluff fool you. Conventional cotton does a lot more harm to the planet than you’d think. It severely impacts the environment we live in, especially when it’s not organically sourced. We’ve listed out 4 of the most prominent environmental impacts of single-use cotton and compelling reasons why you should scrap them from your daily self-care routine for good.
1. Production of conventional cotton products causes huge amounts of water waste.
According to the World Wildlife Fund (WWF), it can take up to a whopping 20,000 liters of water to produce just 1kg of cotton. 1kg of cotton is about the amount needed to make a single t-shirt or about 15-20 packs of single-use cotton rounds. How crazy is that?!
2. Cotton requires high amounts of agrochemicals (especially pesticides) to grow.
Bugs love cotton and cotton farmers will usually spray billions of dollars worth of pesticides over their crops to kill pests. According to the U.S. Department of Agriculture, 40 million pounds of pesticides were used on approximately 8.6 million acres of cotton planted in 11 states in 2014 alone. What’s worse is that these pesticides were classified as toxic and hazardous by the World Health Organization (WHO).
3. Pesticides used on cotton can harm people.
According to the World Health Organization, acute exposure to pesticides can lead to serious illness or even death. Studies have shown that pesticide exposure can increase the risk of developmental and reproductive disorders, immune-system disruption, endocrine disruption, impaired nervous-system function, and development of certain cancers (WHO). There’s a pretty good chance that your cheap cotton balls and rounds have harmful pesticide residues on them. These residues are not only super toxic but also long-lasting and can get into our body through your skin.
4. Pesticides used on cotton can harm wildlife and the environment.
Pesticides not only can make people sick but can also damage our ecosystem by polluting rivers, contaminating underground aquifers, killing beneficial insects and soil microorganisms. Cotton cultivation has also been shown to severely degrade soil quality (Pesticide Action Network North America). The land and soil gets so damaged that it requires cotton farmers to keep expanding into new areas - causing further loss in natural habitats for plants, birds, animals and fish.
Yikes - who knew that a cute ball of fluff could be so damaging to our health and environment. So, what can you use instead of single-use cotton?
Single-Use Cotton Alternatives
Invest in sustainable cotton pads as they are far better for the environment, your health, and won’t compromise your skin care. Buying reusable organic or Fair Trade cotton products is the first step in minimizing waste, reducing demand for dirty cotton, and protecting our planet. Shop our very own sustainable line of cotton rounds and towels below! Our reusable bamboo and cotton face rounds and towels are made of super soft layers of bamboo and certified organic cotton. They're the perfect sustainable and eco-friendly option for cleansing, drying, and make-up removal that can be washed and reused.