Have You Heard of This New Barbershop Recycling Solution?

Published 02nd Jul 2024 by Josie Jackson

Following a successful launch in the US, TerraCycle is bringing SalonCycle, a recycling solution to help all hair professionals, salons and barbershops reduce the amount of waste they send to landfills, to the UK.

With over 61,000 hair and beauty businesses in the UK, the industry is capable of producing a large amount of waste per year. According to figures by the British Beauty Council, 95% of cosmetic packaging is thrown away, making packaging one of the biggest sustainability challenges facing the beauty industry. As it stands, only 14% of hair and beauty industry packaging makes it to the recycling plant and only 9% is recycled, whilst the rest ends up in landfills or incineration.

SalonCycle is very easy for hair professionals to use with no complex separation of materials required. Waste needs to be split into just two categories; one box is provided for human hair and another for mixed waste, in which both metal and plastic items are collected together. The two boxes will accept and recycle the following materials which are generated in large volumes by salons and barbershops:

SalonCycle Composting Box: Salons and barbershops will be able to collect human hair clippings and trimmings. 

SalonCycle Recycling Box: Salons and barbershops will be able to collect used hair foils, metal colour tubes, flexible and rigid plastic containers, disposable gloves and masks, empty coffee cups and food wrappers.

Julien Tremblin, General Manager, TerraCycle Europe, commented: “We are delighted to be launching SalonCycle here in the UK as the amount of waste produced by the haircare and beauty industries is substantial. When developing SalonCycle we listened to salons and their biggest request was for a simple and easy to use solution that isn’t confusing for staff. Having to separate waste into lots of different sub categories can be confusing and ultimately can act as a barrier to adoption in the salon. As a result, SalonCycle only offers two boxes, one for human hair and the other for everything else that is either plastic or metal. The solution couldn’t be easier to implement.”

How SalonCycle Works

Order – Hairdressers and salons order SalonCycle boxes which are shipped directly to their salon.

Collect – SalonCycle boxes are placed in designated high-traffic areas throughout the salon to easily collect the various categories of salon products and packaging.

Ship – Once full, the salon sends the box(es) back to TerraCycle using the pre-affixed UPS shipping label. 

Recycle – When TerraCycle receives your box, the waste is sorted, cleaned and processed into raw materials. Human hair is industrially composted, while items like plastics, metals and rubber are processed and remoulded to make new recycled products like metal sheeting, flooring tiles, shipping pallets, and outdoor furniture. 

Ashley Grey, Salon Manager at Clementine’s salon in Arvada in Colorado – who have been using SalonCycle in the US – gave an insight into what UK salons can now benefit from: “SalonCycle has been a great addition to the salon. The programme has been intelligently designed to integrate seamlessly into our operations, making recycling an effortless and automatic part of our daily routine. It feels good to know that we have diverted over 500kg of waste from landfills already. I hope our industry becomes more mindful of the waste it produces and collaborates more with companies like TerraCycle on solutions such as SalonCycle to protect our environment for future generations.”

If you're tying to make ypur barbershop more sustainable, you might want to check out what these recylcing symbols actually mean...

Josie Jackson

Josie Jackson

Published 02nd Jul 2024

Josie supports the team with content for the print magazine, website and social media channels at HJ. Having grown up in a salon environment (thanks to her hairdresser mum) and even working as a Saturday girl before getting her degree in English Literature, Josie feels right at home in the industry. Although she’s experimented with a few creative colour looks in the past, she always comes back to blonde, and loves all things hydrating and bond building.

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