The global cosmetics business has grown enormously, thus offering a means for a person to modify his or her looks and make a product easily recognizable and appealing. The cosmetics business is a scientific, quick, and extremely inventive industry that expands almost every day, and contributes significantly to the national and territorial economies around the world. When it comes to cosmetics, legal compliance with international standards would be the first step in ensuring that they are suitable for people and the environment and then establishing or re-developing goods that meet the ever-changing demands of different buyers. From producers to retailers, the cosmetics business must be able to adapt to a continuously changing environment.
The market for organic products has risen in parallel with the rise of companies, promising to utilize organic products to deceive buyers into believing that they are purchasing something genuine and organic. Pesticides used in greater amounts for unsustainable agricultural methods degrade the non-renewable natural environment. Plastics that have been discarded end up in the seas, and 70% of unfinished cosmetics end up in landfills. Even tiny germs cling to plastics and form their environment which affects the biodiversity at large. This also has a huge impact on several climatic changes, and also kills and destroys many marine creatures. Customers can buy herbal or natural items from firms that do not have any legal definition for words like “herbal”, “organic”, or “natural”. It thus implies that anyone may put whatever they want in a bottle and call it “natural”. Even though there is a trend towards harmonizing cosmetic regulations throughout nations, there are still enough variations to cause non-compliance and fines. As a result, there are no laws in place to remove them. The Food and Drug Administration, on the other hand, oversees preserving the health of the public by guaranteeing human protection and safety.
Now, the biggest question that comes to our mind is, can the Food and Drug Administration determine the reliability of beauty products and their ingredients?
However, we can opt for several options. We may utilize internet resources to safeguard ourselves and find the finest potential shop selections. “Green Chemists”, for example, is producing ingredients that are meant to be non-toxic in the first place, and many ethical cosmetic firms have already put safe goods in the market. Many hazardous chemicals have been banned by European countries. Only when the cosmetics are made to be safe and labeled honestly, we can feel confident about the options offered at the market. While we may not be able to entirely eradicate plastics, we can recycle and then again reuse them to lessen the harmful environmental impacts. The finest initiative for all of us will be reusing our empty makeup containers for other uses, assuring that they are not thrown in seas, and reusing them as per our regional council’s rules and guidelines. Customers should consider purchasing cosmetics made entirely of natural components from environmentally aware beauty brands. Cosmetics with certificates to back up their claims are preferable. Brands with sustainability measures, such as eco-refill programs, minimum packing, ecological wrapping, and so on, should be preferred. It all depends on the equipment and methods provided by the Material Recovery Facility. Getting in touch with our local council to find out what is best for our community will be beneficial. The “2020 Biodiversity Barometer” results demonstrate a change in consumer-level of understanding of biodiversity. The “Union for Ethical Bio-Trade” surveyed over 74,000 individuals in 16 countries and discovered that 82 percent of consumers feel that businesses have a moral duty to treat humans and biodiversity ethically and responsibly.
The cosmetics business has several impacts on biodiversity, ranging from raw material procurement through manufacture and packaging. Some of the impacts are:
- Ecosystems and livelihoods can be harmed by over-exploitation of environmental assets and by unsustainable farming methods.
- Toxic chemicals included in these commodities, as well as pesticides used in the production of raw materials, may wind up in our land, air, and water.
- Cosmetic and personal care product packaging takes years to decompose in landfills.
Globally, our environment has grown increasingly polluted throughout time, owing largely to the devastation caused by human activities. This trend can only be reversed by international collaboration or on a global scale, where local initiatives play a significant role. We must not forget that we are all accountable for the environment. When it comes to obtaining raw materials, cosmetic firms should work with indigenous people and also with the local communities. Their traditional knowledge and abilities can help in the conservation of biodiversity by ensuring that land and other resources are managed sustainably. Companies can guarantee that the advantages from using raw resources and the traditional knowledge connected with them are fairly distributed with the people who provide them by adhering to the Nagoya Protocol. When engaging with manufacturers, companies should be able to track items back to their origins, how they had been produced, their durability, and that the biodiversity protection measures are implemented. Switching to biodegradable packaging and minimizing the use of hazardous chemicals are two actions that brands may take. We may also make a significant difference as consumers, by enlightening ourselves and others on the effects of our decisions on biodiversity. Consumers may take action by learning how to be more open about their products, how to select the appropriate products, and how to generate a demand for healthier, greener, and more environmentally friendly products.
Cosmetics have far-reaching consequences on biodiversity. Cosmetic businesses are going in the direction of sustainability. Some businesses have joined worldwide programs such as the “Responsible Beauty Initiative”, which focuses on sustainable sourcing. It is we, who should encourage the beauty industry to take larger efforts toward a better future for our planet, and our future generations.
Alliance School of Law