Can a new salon recycler make a dent in the UK’s hairdressing waste?

New service launches to help cut salon waste heading to landfill.

Colour tubes, plastic packaging, colour heavy foils… we all know the salon can produce a lot of waste that’s tough to recycle. A new service is launching in the UK that’s focused on improving that challenge.

SalonCycle’s goal is to help hairdressers and hair and beauty salons reduce the amounts of hard-to-recycle types of waste that gets sent to landfill or incineration. Having already launched in the US, SalonCycle’s service asks salons and stylists to split waste into two boxes:

  • SalonCycle Composting Box – for hair clippings and trimmings. 
  • SalonCycle Recycling Box – for used hair foils, metal colour tubes, flexible and rigid plastic containers, disposable gloves and masks, empty coffee cups and food wrappers. 

Boxes are sent directly to salons and placed in “high-traffic areas” throughout the space to encourage easy collection from staff of items that need recycling. Once full, the salon sends the boxes back using the pre-affixed UPS shipping label. 

At TerraCycle, the firm behind the new service, the waste is sorted, cleaned and processed into raw materials. Human hair is industrially composted, while items such as plastics, metals and rubber are processed and remoulded to make new recycled products like metal sheeting, flooring tiles, shipping pallets, and outdoor furniture.

“Having to separate waste into lots of different sub-categories can be confusing and ultimately can act as a barrier to adoption in the salon,” admitted Julien Tremblin, general manager at TerraCycle Europe. “SalonCycle only offers two boxes; one for human hair and the other for everything else that is either plastic or metal. The solution couldn’t be easier.”