Recycling has become a part of our everyday lives. We separate out soda cans and water bottles and break down boxes and sort paper and magazines. Many of us have bins at home, and even in our spas and salons for these items. But what about empty color tubes or used foils? Files, cotton pads, gloves? Manikin heads? Leftover lightener? Hair clippings? They go into the trash, right?
Would you be surprised to know ALL of those items can be recycled?
Green Circle Salons provides the world’s first (and North America’s only) sustainable salon solution to recover and repurpose beauty waste - so you can keep the planet beautiful while making your clients beautiful. Green Circle Salon's simple program allows you to recycle up to 95% of the resources that were once considered waste: materials such as hair, leftover hair color, foils, color tubes, aerosol cans, paper and plastics. Amazing, right?
You are probably thinking, "recycling in my salon will be too difficult." Not when you partner with Green Circle Salons! Over 4,000 salons across the U.S. and Canada are participating, with over 16,000 stylists committed to sustainability. That's a lot of Waste Warriors, and the community is growing quickly as beauty professionals realize how much trash is generated each day at work and find out how easy it is to be green.
Fast Facts877 pounds of waste created every single minute. That’s over 421,000 pounds of usable materials needlessly heading straight into landfills every day.
Green Circle Salons reclaims and repurposes over 1 million pounds of beauty waste from salons in the United States and Canada every year!
Over 110,000 pounds of metal are thrown away every day from salons in North America - that’s over half the weight of a commercial airplane!
Over 42,000 pounds of excess hair color is thrown away every day.
Green Circle Salons sort and recover the 63,000 pounds of hair that gets thrown away every day.
So instead of tossing that old tint brush or broken tint bowl in the trash - put it in a Green Circle bin. The giant mound of foils you removed from your client's hair? Put it in a bin - without rinsing color or lightener off! The hair that is swept up? Just dump it in a bin instead of a garbage bag. Green Circle Salons then recycles or repurposes these items.
Where does all of this waste go?
Hair is collected and placed in burlap bags where it can remain stable for long periods of time in a climate-controlled warehouse environment. When it is being put to use, the hair can be sterilized, dried and shredded while remaining in the burlap bag. It is then used for a variety of repurposing initiatives, such as oil boom manufacturing.
Salon metals are taken to local recycling facilities where they are sorted and separated before being combined with other types of metal and smelted. In the process, chemical waste contaminants are lifted off of the metal and kept from entering the atmosphere. This metal can then be used in a variety of manufacturing processes.
Excess hair color is stored in secure barrels before being collected by a licensed chemical waste disposal company. In most cases, the liquid waste is then put through a closed-loop incineration process where it is turned into energy, which is then injected into the local power grid. The water content, which is removed in the chemical separation process is then decontaminated and reused as grey water.
Spa Waste, like chemical waste, is put through local gasification or incineration systems and used to create a W2E fuel source out of these materials.
Manikin heads are collected and stored by Green Circle Salons, to be repurposed for a variety of public works and art projects. Heads with significant amounts of hair still intact can be reused in the training of cutting and styling services.
Salon tools are taken to a local recycling facility where they are sorted and stripped for raw materials & components alongside other E-waste such as cell phones, computers, and household appliances.
Batteries are taken to a local recycling facility where they can be drained of their minerals. The toxins that would otherwise be polluting landfill sites can be used in future battery making, while the other components of the battery can be used in a variety of manufacturing and agricultural processes.
Can items like hair really be of use?In 2010 after the BP Horizon Gulf of Mexico oil spill, Green Circle Salons (in partnership with Redken) sent a thousand pounds of hair to volunteers on the shoreline clean-up effort. The hair was then turned into giant absorbent hair booms (giant bags) which proved remarkably effective at removing oil from the coast. Hair soaked up the oil like a giant paper towel!
Hair can also be used as an additive to materials like plastic and concrete. Lightweight, yet strong and flexible, hair is the perfect addition for biocomposite plastics, reducing the amount of petroleum-based plastic needed. Imagine one day, the hair brush you use in the salon is created from the hair you are styling! Talk about coming full circle! Well, full Green Circle...
But isn't recycling expensive?Green Circle Salons makes sure that no salon owner has to pay out of pocket to be green. They enable salons to reduce hair color usage and implement energy and water saving systems through a unique funding tool that actually helps salons afford these changes. Everyone is involved and everyone wins.
In addition, you can get noticed by consumers looking for green-minded businesses through their green salon directory. Get searchable as a certified sustainable salon! Today more than ever, people are looking for ways to help the planet and are choosing brands and services that support healthy communities.