Rethink recycling this Earth Month!

By Melenie Tudor on April 22nd, 2024

Each year, 6,700 tonnes of human hair waste is produced in hairdressing in the UK, with 98 percent of it ending up in landfill. Plus, 98% of salon metals, including salon foil and colour tubes, end up in landfill instead of being responsibly recycled.

En Route Hair & Beauty in Wakefield is on a mission to help change these statistics. Salon director, Melenie Tudor shares her top tips to help salons rethink recycling this Earth Month:

Partnering with organisations

Joining an organisation like Green Salon Collective is a great way to kick start and improve your salon recycling. For us, this helps us reduce the amount of salon waste going to landfill and recycle as much salon waste as possible, including chemicals, contaminated foils, colour tubes, all seven types of plastic and even hair cuttings. Most recently we became members of the Green Salon Collective’s one tonne club due to how much hair we have recycled since joining.

Work with suppliers that use recycled or recyclable packaging

All our products from Schwarzkopf Professional include 100% recycled aluminium colour tubes, minimum 92% recycled paper and 100% recycled plastic caps. Authentic Beauty Concept’s packaging is also 80% post-consumer (PCR) plastic and recyclable.

Introduce a recycling station

Have separate bins for hair, metals, plastics, soft plastics, general waste, paper and chemicals. This is a really simple way to make sure everything gets recycled properly and can even be collected and turned into energy.

Do research into alternative recycling options

We’ve worked with our local allotments who make use of our hair clippings and biodegradable towels for compost! They love our waste hair as it provides lots of nutrients for the soil.

Refill systems

These are great for helping both your salon and clients reduce their plastic use. We love our REUSE – RECYCLE – REFILL station for hair products. Having surveyed more than 100 customers, 75% indicated that they would be very likely to bring their bottles back for refill. We offer a 20% discount on the RRP if clients have their shampoo bottles refilled and five years on, we have sold 266 individual units of refilled shampoo and conditioners.

Charge an eco fee

Of course, recycling practices can come at an expense to the salon. That’s why we introduced an ‘Eco Fee’ to offset any recycling costs. We add a £1 Eco Fee to each salon visit. Our clients are very accepting of this extra charge as they appreciate the steps we take to protect the planet.

Upcycle your furniture

When refurbishing our salon, we decided to cut down on waste by upcycling furniture rather than buying new. We also use recyclable or reusable drinks cups and paper bags.

Melenie says: “We continually look for new practices we can introduce to become more sustainable and keep up to date with all industry news and events. We believe that focusing on the ‘why’ helps us connect with people who may not be sustainability oriented by giving them more of an understanding of the impacts our industry has on this planet and what we can all do to make a difference.”

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