IMPACT
07/25/2016 04:25 pm ET Updated Jul 26, 2016

Genius Solid Shampoos Use No Plastic Packaging By Leaving Out Water

The company has spared the planet from 60,000 plastic bottles.

This company wants to help you bathe guilt-free, with bath products that save water and opt out of plastics altogether.

Skin and hair care company Ethique sells shampoo, conditioner and soap ― without any plastic packaging. The products all come as solid bars rather than the traditional liquid, according to the website. The packaging is entirely plastic-free, made of biodegradable, compostable material. 

“The more I thought about it, the crazier it seemed to me that we pay gobs of money for all that water packaged in plastic,” founder Brianne West told Forbes. “In a nutshell, my goal is to save the world from plastic waste!”

What’s more, the solid bars use significantly less water than liquid shampoo or conditioner. While traditional conditioners can be composed of up to 90 percent water, Ethique’s solid conditioners and shampoos remove water from the product, saving an estimated one liter of water per bar, according to the website. 

The shampoos, conditioners and soaps are also made entirely from natural ingredients like cocoa butter, coconut oil and lavender.

Plastic is a huge problem for the environment. More than 80 percent of recyclable plastic bottles end up in landfills each year, according to National Geographic. And plastic is not biodegradable, so it takes hundreds of years to decompose.

What’s worse, tons of plastic ends up in the ocean, breaking down into small pieces to then be eaten by marine life. Without any reforms, the oceans could contain more plastic than fish by 2050.

So far, West’s company has spared the planet from 60,000 plastic bottles, according to Forbes. Its goal is to save 1 million bottles by 2020.

Another bonus is that these products last longer than liquid forms because they’re concentrated. One bar can last as long as five bottles of its liquid alternative.

Using the products is fairly simple. As with a solid bar of soap, the user rubs the shampoo bar into her hair, and uses water from the shower to work it into a lather, according to a Treehugger blog.

West came up with the idea of solid bath products in 2012 while in college. Studying science at the University of Canterbury in New Zealand, she was taken aback by the massive amounts of water contained in shampoo and conditioner, according to New Zealand’s Newshub.

“I’m not passionate about makeup, cosmetics or fashion ― I love science and the environment,” West told the news outlet. “Why put water in shampoo when there’s already water in your shower? Why contribute to the devastating effects of plastic bottles when you don’t have to?”

The company has grown from one woman tinkering in a kitchen to a lab of six employees, according to the website. And the company’s revenue has doubled each year, reports Newshub.

Though Ethique is based in New Zealand, its products ship worldwide, according to Forbes.

“When I received my parcel from Ethique, it arrived in a cardboard box filled with scrunched brown paper and sealed with brown paper tape ― there was no plastic anywhere,” Katherine Martinko wrote on Treehugger. “The shampoo and conditioner combo is the best thing...leaving my hair silky, soft, and frizz-free.”

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