Plastic Free Challenge: Safer Swaps & Beautycounter’s Packaging Collection Program

Plastic Free Safer Swaps: including non-toxic options for biodegradable, refillable, PCR, recyclable cleaning & personal care make a difference for people and planet!

PIN THIS POST: Plastic Free Safer Swaps

While we think that putting our plastic in the recycling bin is helping the Earth, the reality is less than 10% of plastic packaging is recycled globally. While big business is the main culprit of this problem, we can also choose to take action and vote with our wallet.  Here are some of the swaps we’ve made and recommend not just for you, but for the planet, too.


700,000,000 plastic laundry jugs are dumped into landfills across North America every year, switch to a zero waste laundry pod that is fragrance-free; we like Dropps which are EWG A rated


Made from synthetic polyester, with toxic chemicals which release to target the electrostatic charges. Dryer sheets are a sneaky single-use plastic, designed to be used once then tossed out, where they will persist in the environment forever. Instead try 100% Wool Dryer Balls, which not only reduce static – but reduce drying time, too! If you want an added scent, add a few drops of your favorite Essential Oil.


Kitchen sponges are replaced at least once a month – unlike plastic based sponge, natural sponges and loofahs will biodegrade after use. Choose one made from plant fibers as a plastic-free alternative. We actually prefer a bamboo brush (either with PCR or coconut palm bristles) and find that it traps less food (and bacteria), and with the spring-loaded ceramic dish extends dish soap and lasts much, much longer than any sponge. Don’t forget a reusable, refillable bottle or a soap bar for another dishwashing Plastic Free Safer Swaps!


Not only is the canister single-use plastic, cleaning wipes are made of plastic with potentially harmful toxic ingredients. Opt for a recyclable PCR canister with plant-based wipes, or try Biom’s refillable container with 100% plant-based and biodegradable clean-ingredient wipes. They’re better for you and the planet!


For Body Care: In the US alone, 550 million empty shampoo bottles end up thrown away each year. Swap your plastic shampoo bottle for a shampoo bar or try a refillable personal care brand, like Beautycounter. Choose a Zero Waste body bar, like the Charcoal Cleansing or Citrus Mimosa Body Bar. Beautycounter is also a highly rated certified B Corp. I like to choose B Corps, certified to be transparent in putting people and planet before profit. I note more about B Corps and the brands that are in my Target guides.

Beautycounter will be 100% recyclable, refillable, reused or compostable by 2025

My favorite B Corp is Beautycounter, which just launched their packaging collection program. They commited to take sustainable packaging seriously and set bold goals to hold themselves accountable. When it comes to product packaging, it’s not just what’s inside that counts. We’ve been careful to assess impacts our packaging may have on the environment—as well as our health. Bottom line, Beautycounter’s packaging has high standards, too. Here’s how we approach and define our sustainable packaging initiatives, making clean beauty look even better. Read more about their goal to be 2025

First, a Little Intel on Packaging in the Beauty Industry

Here’s the truth: packaging in the beauty industry is broken. Many makeup packaging items never get recycled because their size and mixed materials composition make them difficult to recycle. Case in point: less than 10% of plastic is recycled globally, and small beauty products are even less likely to be recycled. Once a plastic is discarded it takes about 400 years to break down and this can unfortunately happen in waterways. Because of this, it’s estimated that there will be more plastic than fish in the ocean by 2050. [source]

Environmentally Preferred Packaging Materials

Beautycounter’s selection of packaging material is done with care. They’ve developed a Packaging Scorecard that helps guide packaging design decision-making around sustainability, performance, and logistics. The tool incorporates data from life cycle assessments that show us tradeoffs among energy and water use, material recoverability, and emissions. They balance Scorecard criteria with cost and functionality and aim to choose more environmentally friendly options when comparing them against one another. And, they’ve now launched a Packaging Collection Program to improve impact even more!

Because less than 14% of plastic packaging end up recycled globally, and hard-to-recycle packaging (think small beauty products) is even less likely to be recycled, Beautycounter found another way! In partnership with Pact Collective (an NGO advocating for circularity within the beauty industry), we’ve built a collection program to recycle your hard-to-recycle packaging. Once we receive your empties, we’ll help give them the potential for new life that prevents them from ending up a landfill. Here’s to letting clean beauty live on!

Beautycounter x Pact’s Mail-Back Collection Program

The most sustainable way for Pact to process your hard-to-recycle beauty empties is through their In-Store Collection Program. Take a minute to check if there’s a Pact Collection Bin near you – see locations across the US and Canada here. No Pact Bin near you? You can mail back your clean empties to Pact’s Collection Facility.

To participate, please follow the three steps below. Beautycounter is covering all collection and recycling fees. Since Pact is a nonprofit we need folks to contribute $5 to cover the shipping costs. Together, we can close the loop on hard-to-recycle beauty packaging.

If you choose to shop Beautycounter with me, Stacy Toth, you can get 30% off with CLEANFORALL30 (!!) AND I am doing a fundraiser for the Plastic Pollution Coalition through month end (July 2022, use CLEANFORALL20 after that).

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Checkout my Target guides for more ideas on clean products.

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Switch to safer with Stacy Toth and save 30%! Use code CLEANFORALL30