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Ridding the world of rubbish

At LUSH we try to keep our use of plastics to a minimum. Any we do use is recycled and recyclable, and we’ve spent over twenty years coming up with new innovations to make sure our stores are as plastic free as possible. Here are some of the steps we have taken to help rid the world of rubbish:

Our Naked Products: (and tins and knot wraps!)

As Mark Constantine said at the time we launched our Go Naked campaign (when LUSH staff famously wore ‘only’ aprons to work): “Packaging is rubbish and for too long we have had to suffer excessive amounts of it, now that the true financial and environmental costs are becoming obvious, customers are challenging manufacturers and retailers to cut the wrap. Companies like ours need to think out of the box and present customers with innovations that allow them to buy truly naked products.”

Our solid, naked products have become a LUSH signature from bath bombs and bubble bars to massage bars and hair-dying hennas. The lack of packaging is not the only environmental benefit our solid products bring. Formulated with little to no water, they are innately self-preserving meaning less synthetic preservatives are washed into our waterways.  

If you are buying our naked products for a gift, our beautiful reusable wrapping options include: tins for our shampoo bars, massage bars and solid body butters; and knot wraps that can be reused as scarves, hair ties or even bags. Our knot wraps are made from either organic cotton or recycled plastic bottles.

Our Celo Bags:

Should you order our naked products from our website, you can expect it to arrive wrapped in a biodegradable cellophane bag. This helps protect the products so they arrive to you in the best possible condition. These bags are made from plant cellulose cellophane that is naturally 100% compostable. They feel like traditional plastic but are made from biomass which is marine degradable.

Our EcoFlow:

Talking of products ordered from our website, LUSH has worked tirelessly to find plastic-free packing material to protect our website orders as they make their way to our customer’s homes. In the early days we used popcorn, before switching to Ecoflow, a potato starch pellet that takes 23% less energy to produce than popcorn. Ecoflow is biodegradable and melts in water - see for yourself when your next online order arrives!

Our paper bags in stores:

LUSH have never used plastic bags in our stores. This is because, “Every piece of plastic ever produced still remains somewhere in the earth today. In the last half of the 20th century over 1 billion tonnes of plastic was produced. This figure has already doubled in the first ten years of this century (Scientific American).” We encourage customers to bring their own reusable bags, but when they do need a bag, ours are made from 100% recycled and recyclable paper.

Our reusable black recyclable plastic pots and bottles:

For our liquid products and samples we use black pots and transparent bottles made with 100% post-consumer recycled plastic. You can recycle the bottles yourself at home or bring back 5 empty, clean black LUSH pots to your local shop for us to recycle and we'll give you a Fresh Face Mask - FREE!

No plastic microbeads:

Billions of tiny plastic microbead particles are washed down drains every day, and since they’re too small to be filtered out by water treatment systems, they end up in our waterways where they’re wreaking havoc on the ecosystem. Microbeads never biodegrade, and remain at the bottom of lakes, rivers and oceans until they’re consumed by marine life. They also act as sponges, soaking up toxic chemicals from the water around it. Once ingested, those toxins can pass into the tissues of fish and other marine mammals, eventually ending up in our food chain. At LUSH we use natural exfoliators like ground nut shells and beans in our products, which serve as a wonderfully effective and environmentally-friendly alternative.  

Our plastic-free glitter:

At LUSH we believe our passion for glitter, should not damage the environment. Many glitters contain PET or microplastics which do not break down in the ocean. The vibrant glitters and lustres we use to bring sparkle to our products are made of synthetic mica formed from natural minerals, letting you dazzle with no damage!

Our KeepCups, reusable bottles and cutlery:

Ever seen a LUSH staff member at their local coffee shop handing over a beautifully bright reusable coffee cup to the barista? Every new staff member is issued with a welcome pack containing their own LUSH KeepCup, a reusable water bottle and reusable cutlery on their first day. All of our shops, kitchens and offices are single-use water bottle and coffee cup free to help ‘take back the tap’ and ‘minimise unnecessary waste’ become second nature in everything we do!

Are you taking on the plastic-free July challenge or just like reducing your waste? We’d love to hear about the innovative ways that you’ve helped to make your world plastic free! Comment below or find us on Facebook to tell us all about it.

EcoFlo - made from 100% potato starch
Solid shampoo bars
Comment (1)
1 Comment

about 11 months ago

Hi Oliver I read your article and it begs the question of why the tooth tabs no longer come in a box but in recycled plastic containers? I am aware this was a change made a long time ago however, it is still disappointing and I no longer but this product because of the use of plastic. A suggestion from an individual continually striving for plastic free would be: - If I could bring my own small jar in store to be filled - or a jar exchange system were l could by the tooth tabs in a jar and return it for a discount on buying the product again.