Cost + Impact: Disposable Wet Wipes & Cotton Rounds
Let's start with wet wipes
With global efforts to reduce single-use plastic consumption gaining momentum, wet wipes are the next target on the list of no-go items. Wet wipes may seem harmless but with around 365 wipes being used by the average makeup user every year, it becomes clear how significant their impact actually is .
Most wet wipes are made up of plastic resins, like polyester or polypropylene, which means they will never fully biodegrade. By breaking down into smaller pieces, they eventually become part of the microplastic problem polluting our environment.
According to one UK study, wet wipes are around 93% of the materials causing blockages. Wipes clog both internal plumbing and sewerage systems. By cutting out wet wipes from your skincare routine, you are not only eliminating an easily avoidable single-use plastic but you're also reducing government time and spending on blockages.
Every year, millions of tons of plastic waste enter our waterways and oceans and most of these plastics are single-use. Together, we can make a difference and reduce pollution in our communities.
Wet wipes also cause a big dent in your pocket. With all the single-use cleanses, you could be spending more than R1,600.00 a year just on face wipes.
So, what about cotton balls?
Non-organic cotton is one of the most pesticide- and water-intensive crops around. Does this sound like something that should be single-use? It's very likely that your cheap cotton balls, rounds and pads have harmful pesticide residues on them. Many of these toxins are capable of leaching into your body through your skin. As organic cotton rounds or balls can end up selling for exorbitant prices (and still come in plastic packaging), we find it's best to avoid them as well.
Many "cotton" rounds are also not 100% cotton. They are either totally synthetic or blended with plastics to make them cheaper. This means that they are part of the single-use plastics problem. Cotton balls can also release fibers that can get stuck to eyes, eyelashes and the skin.
We estimate that if you use about 730 cotton balls or rounds per year (two per day), you'll be spending around R600.00 a year on something you use for a minute or two and then throw away.
What's the alternative?
- Courtney & Claudia