The beauty industry has had an ugly underbelly for generations - and the time has come for it to be eradicated.
From lipstick holders to shampoo bottles, from cotton buds to wet wipes, plastic has been widely used in cosmetics since its boom in the 1950s.
But it’s a menace.
Thanks in no small part to David Attenborough’s passionate account in the natural world series Blue Planet II, awareness has grown significantly of the destruction to our planet being caused by our consumption of plastic.
The UK Government subsequently banned the sale of products containing microbeads - the tiny plastic particles being digested by fish across the world’s oceans - and a similar ban on wet wipes is on the horizon.
Some cosmetics companies are taking steps to reduce their reliance on plastics - particularly within products - but challenges around packaging still loom large.
The global cosmetics industry produces 120 billion units of packaging every year, with non-recyclable product containers, lids, boxes and wrapping ending up in landfill or the oceans.
This is the industry’s biggest challenge - and one that Juni has tackled head-on with the promise of being a 100% plastic-free company from our birth.
Our commitment to this approach is cemented thanks to being certified by A Plastic Planet, the organisation formed with the goal of dramatically reducing the world’s reliance on plastic.
You won’t find plastics in our products or our packaging. Our lipstick bullet is made from aluminium - and does not even contain any glue - so is therefore completely recyclable without the need to separate any of its components.
Today’s container is tomorrow’s scourge
Plastic needs to become a thing of the past, but its very nature means that it will take centuries for that to happen - if at all.
A considerable amount of plastics are non-biodegradable, including Polyethylene Terephthalate (PET) and High Density Polyethylene (HDPE), which is widely used in cosmetics.
The plastics which are biodegradable can take 400 years to do so. Just pause for a moment and consider that. Throw away a plastic lipstick container or shampoo bottle today and it could be on this planet until 2420 - as long as the planet lives that long.
You might think that dropping it in your recycling bin means that the bottle will be recycled and reused multiple times before then ...but that’s not the case.
Of the 6.3 billion tonnes of plastic waste produced since the 1950s, only 9% has ever been recycled – and just once, rarely twice. In the end, it’s heading to landfill or the oceans.
It means that every piece of plastic ever made, unless it has been burned, is still in existence somewhere today. Recycling is not a viable solution to this crisis.
And the manufacturing process of plastics uses our natural resources - water, energy and fossil fuels - while burning plastics generates toxic pollutants and greenhouse gases.
Yet, astonishingly, plastic production is set to double over the next 20 years. Why? Advocates talk of versatility and durability but the main reason is because it’s cheaper to produce than more sustainable alternatives.
But the time has come to decide on whether it’s worth the price our planet is paying.