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Brief Published: 20 Jun 2019

The Body Shop’s Plastic Pollution Pledge

The Body Shop

The Body Shop is the latest global retailer to implement a scheme that reduces the amount of virgin plastic used in production. Despite the numerous initiatives from brands, each year, more than eight million tonnes of plastic ends up in oceans globally (UNEP, 2018). It is imperative for companies, consumers and legislative bodies to face the plastic problem together.  

The Body Shop is collaborating with international non-profit Plastics for Change to launch a recycled plastic scheme that supports India’s Bengaluru-based waste pickers. It will ensure that local employees receive a fair wage and better working conditions, while improving access to education, financial services and healthcare.

The area’s growing waste collection industry is subject to exploitative and volatile conditions due to the lack of regulations in the region. In order to create a transparent supply chain, Plastics for Change has launched an app that connects collectors to international buyers. The Body Shop will also purchase the waste pickers’ plastic at a fair price, despite the market’s fluctuations. 

The Body Shop will buy 250 tonnes of this recycled plastic to use in around three million haircare bottles by the end of 2019. This initiative reflects a wider ambition to introduce the plastic into all of The Body Shop’s packaging within three years.

Simultaneously, a wider plastic recycling scheme – Return Recycle Repeat – will be deployed in-store across 672 locations globally. To change consumer behaviour, The Body Shop will offer a reward worth £5 ($6.30) to customers who return empty bottles, tubs and tubes.

For more on sustainable packaging schemes and plastic recycling, see The New Plastics Roadmap, Packaging Futures 2019/20 and Bali Balm: A Sustainable Initiative.