How To Dispose of Your Cosmetics Without Harming The Environment

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It seems to happen all of a sudden. One day you open your bathroom cabinet and it is fit to burst with all of the bottles that are stuffed inside. An avalanche threatens to launch into your bath when you accidentally knock your elbow into to containers that have found a precarious home on the ledge.

All of the products that were so cleverly marketed to appeal to your senses are not so appealing in the cold light of day. The promises to look 10 years younger, combat 15 signs of ageing, fix the 7 dry hair problems, reduce wrinkles, banish the bulge, soften and smoothen and defrizz……did they do the trick? Probably not. You can see these things for what they really are – unnecessary sludge, probably pumped with parabens and housed in plastic.

Courtesy EPA
Courtesy EPA

 


You realise that it is time to detox your cosmetic clutter! Okay, so pour it all down the sink and recycle the bottles right? Wrong.

It is great that you are ready to move on from the chemical days of your past, to become a green machine for the new year. So how can you transition without further poisoning our already struggling water supply.

The ingredients like parabens (endocrine disruptors), phthalates (endocrine disruptors again), and sodium laureth sulfate (skin irritant) present in personal care products have been said to be harmful to our health and they can also harm aquatic life when they are washed down the drain. These are frequently known as PPCPs, defined below on the Environmental Protection Agency’s site:

Pharmaceuticals and Personal Care Products as Pollutants (PPCPs) refers, in general, to any product used by individuals for personal health or cosmetic reasons or used by agribusiness to enhance growth or health of livestock. PPCPs comprise a diverse collection of thousands of chemical substances, including prescription and over-the-counter therapeutic drugs, veterinary drugs, fragrances, lotions, and cosmetics.

You can check the ingredients of individual products by looking at the Skin Deep database. Some elements are classified as highly toxic, and these should not be disposed of down the toilet or drain. Sewage systems are not sophisticated enough to completely remove these toxins. This is Skin Deep’s mission statement:

It’s our mission at Environmental Working Group to use the power of information to protect human health and the environment. EWG’s Skin Deep database gives you practical solutions to protect yourself and your family from everyday exposures to chemicals. We launched Skin Deep in 2004 to create online safety profiles for cosmetics and personal care products. Our aim is to fill in where industry and government leave off. Companies are allowed to use almost any ingredient they wish. The U.S. government doesn’t review the safety of products before they’re sold. Our staff scientists compare the ingredients on personal care product labels and websites to information in nearly 60 toxicity and regulatory databases. Now in its eighth year, EWG’s Skin Deep database provides you with easy-to-navigate safety ratings for a wide range of products and ingredients on the market.

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