New York-based rePurpose Global, a coalition focused on reducing waste, is collaborating with 100 personal-care brands in more than 15 countries to address plastic pollution. Through the initiative, the partners are removing 4,127 tons of plastic waste per year, the weight of 208 million plastic bottles or 1.8 billion plastic bags.
The brands, which include California-based Grove Collaborative and Pley Beauty, are working with rePurpose Global to go plastic neutral or plastic negative, or commit to waste removal via the organization’s 14 impact projects.
Plastic packaging waste is a pressing concern for the personal-care category. The cosmetics industry alone generates more than 120 million units of packaging per year, according to Zero Waste Week.
“Now, more than ever, there is a critical need for meaningful partnerships to tackle plastic pollution the world over,” said Svanika Balasubramanian, CEO and co-founder of rePurpose Global, in a prepared statement.
“Every piece of plastic we eliminate on behalf of our personal care partners acts as a reminder of both the industry’s immense responsibility to our planet as well as its ability to unlock real, systemic change,” she added.
Working with rePurpose Global, Grove Collaborative is able to render every purchase plastic neutral: For each ounce of plastic a consumer buys, Grove recycles the same amount of plastic.
“Grove is proud to be a 100% plastic-neutral retailer on our way to being plastic free by 2025, which means that for every ounce of plastic we ship to our customers, we collect the same amount of nature-bound plastic waste,” said Alexandra Bede, Senior Manager, Sustainability, at Grove Collaborative.
“We are proud to partner with rePurpose Global on all of our collections. Since 2020, Grove orders have removed over 10 million pounds of plastic from nature,” Bede added.
Pley Beauty, a 2022 start-up, is a Certified Plastic Neutral brand with rePurpose Global, committed to calculating its plastic use, reducing its packaging footprint, and financing the removal of at least as much plastic waste from nature as it uses.
“We took every step possible to reduce plastic from our brand, and nearly all of Pley Beauty packaging is made from recycled materials,” said Peyton List, actress and founder of Pley Beauty.
List added, “We wanted to ensure we were doing as much as possible to help the environment and are thrilled to be partnering with rePurpose Global in an effort to tackle the global issue of plastic pollution, in addition to providing a crucial income stream and a safe work environment for waste workers and their families.”
The latter refers to rePurpose Global’s work with groups such as the Association of Recyclers of Bogota, an organization that improves working conditions for the more than 1,800 professional waste pickers in Bogota, Colombia.