Reaching milestones, it is exciting. But when we reach a milestone that helps the environment and the community it is beyond exciting.
For the last 3 years Zucci has partnered with Sustainable Salons Australia (SSA). Being a member of SSA means that we pay to have 95% of all the waste we produce in the salon, taken away to be recycled or up-cycled. With the current crisis in Australian recycling, and the unfortunate lies pedalled by councils and governments regarding where our recycling is ending up, it’s understandable if you’re a little sceptical reading this.
Well we can 100% assure you that we know where EVERY little bit of our waste goes.
But lets step back a few paces and get some answers to a few questions you may be asking:
- What is the waste management process we have to follow in salon?
- What waste do we recycle/up-cycle?
- Where does this waste go?
- How did we (Zucci Hairdressing) feed 100,000 people over the last 3 years through OzHarvest?
Ok so firstly how does it all work? It is quite simple. In each salon we have 6 bins that we separate everything into. Once the bin is full, the contents is contained in a bag (which gets recycled too) and then this bag is deposited into one of our beautiful large purple wheelie bins. These large bins are put out every fortnight to be collected by the brilliant SSA drivers and then the waste heads to the depot to be sorted. That is it. It is that simple!
The next question. What waste do we recycle/up-cycle? This list is long and that is the beauty of it.
- Any type of plastic – this plastic does not need to be cleaned and we can put it all together regardless if it is soft or hard plastic. The most common plastic we have in salon is product bottles, and food containers.
- All metal – aluminium to be specific. We use a lot of aluminium for the highlights we do in your hair and it is recycled aluminium too. Instead of it going into landfill it is collected and recycled into other aluminium products.
- Hair – we cut lots and lots of hair every day and who knew that hair could be re-purposed but it can and keep reading to find out how!
- Paper – all our products come in boxes and now we can recycle those into other paper products.
- Hair colour – we sometimes have excess hair colour after we have completed a colouring service and instead of this going down the drain it gets placed in a bucket to be treated to create water again.
- Old electrical tools – pull them apart and take out the pieces. Nothing goes to waste.
Ok so now you know how and what, it is time to know where. Where does all the recycling go?
Sustainable Salons Australia has partnered with many independent recycling companies in every state. These companies specialise in recycling a specific waste (paper, plastic, hair etc.) and they create new products from the waste or they create a raw material to be sent on to make a new product.
Another place the waste goes is to research. Hair has so many benefits to the earth and soil. These benefits have been known by hairdressers and avid gardeners but there has not been any scientific research done to prove this.
SSA has partnered with scientists to conduct clinical research into what the effects hair has on soil, and in compost. We await these results at the end of 2019.
SSA have also partnered with the UTS Science over the past 4 years and have conducted research into how hair can absorb oil, more specifically oil spills in the oceans. They found that Hair can be used to create hair booms, which are these lovely large structures (see photo). The hair booms can be all linked together in a chain and then are used to surround an oil spill in the ocean. The booms float as the oil floats and the hair absorbs the oil! Once the oil is in the boom and not in the water, the booms are collected, and the oil is squeezed out of the boom and can be used again. So, the environment, wildlife and plant life are saved from the damaging effects of the oil and the oil is collected saving money to be reused!
We could go on and on with how many ways our salon waste is being used. The lucky last story we want to share is Dresden Optical and their very cool and very green eye wear frames. All their glasses frames are made in Australia, and they are made from recycled plastic, and very soon plastic shampoo bottles from hair salons. We are very exited to announce on the 4th of October Zucci Hairdressing, Sustainable Salons Australia and Dresden will be offering you something very special. Look out for our newsletter for all the details.
The last question is quite simple. SSA generates money from repurposing of some of the salon materials. Mainly the metal and paper that is given from salons is sold to recycling companies and funds are generated. These funds are donated to OzHarvest to distribute meals for those in need. This money provides more than 2,000 meals every month! Zucci has been a member of SSA for 3 years and in that time the funds generated from the sales of our waste have been donated directly to OzHarvest.
So as you can see and read this sustainability story is only in its third chapter for us. We are extremely proud to be a member of Sustainable Salons Australia. We will be keeping you updated on all things SSA. Thanks for reading!
Learn more about some of the amazing partners of Sustainable Salons Australia
It takes 20 ponytails to make one wig! Learn more here.
Learn more about OzHarvest here
See our positive impact certificates for Zucci South Melbourne, Zucci Lifestyle Salon at David Jones and Zucci Ivanhoe below.