Laila Testini says that on average, a hair stylist will create about one to two pounds of waste per day.
And up until this week, all of that waste from Crush Hair Co. was going straight into the garbage with no options for recycling.
Testini, of the family-owned Crush Hair Co. (10-15133 56 Ave.), said the salon joined a sustainability initiative last Wednesday, aimed at reducing salons environmental impact. The salon became a member of Green Circle Salons, which now includes 11 salons in the Surrey/White Rock area.
Green Circle, according to a press release, is a company “that provides a simple but powerful green strategy to help salons reduce their environmental footprint.”
The program, according to the release, helps salons to redirect salon waste — that was once considered garbage — out of water streams and landfills.
Testini said Crush, like other salons, threw everything into the garbage because municipal waste collection won’t take any of our waste because there’s colour on it and we can’t recycle our plastic bottles because there’s peroxide in them.”
Testini said when she and her husband Brad started running the salon together, they decided they should start looking at more sustainable and environmental practices.
The beauty industry, Testini said, faces a number of issues and challenges when it comes to sustainability.
“What we were told when we were looking into it, was each stylist will create one to two pounds of waste every day, personally. When you think about it, it’s a lot,” said Testini, adding Crush employs 11 stylists. “So we were probably making more garbage than we should, and there was no way for us to get rid of it because we can’t dispose of it like any other business would.”
In the first four days of the initiative, Testini said the salon hadn’t filled up the garbage which she said would normally be filled up twice a day.
“All of our foils, all of our chemicals, all of the plastic products that we use, all of the hair is all totally recycled and reused.”
Testini said that through Green Circle, the salon was given five boxes for waste such as hair, colour tubes, plastic waste and for materials to be incinerated. The items that are incinerated, she said, are then turned into energy.
The hair, Testini said, can be used to create booms to clean up oil spills as well as beds for animals displaced in wildfires.
Green Circle, according to the release, sent more than 1,000 pounds of hair to the Gulf of Mexico in 2010 to help clean the BP oil spill.
“It’s cool all the stuff you can do with hair that we never thought about which is crazy because we threw out so much of it every day,” Testini said.