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Refillable Is the New Recyclable.

Refillable Is the New Recyclable.

For years, we have been told the importance of recycling – making sure the proper products either go into our blue bins or our grey bins.

Despite our best efforts at what we have been told is the best way in terms of disposal to reduce waste, our landfills continue to fill each year. In a release from the Government of Canada in 2020, roughly 9% of all plastic waste thrown out by Canadians was recycled, with the remainder ending up in landfills or within our natural environment.

In Canada, black plastic is not recyclable. When consumers walk into most cosmetic retailers, one of the first things that many tend to notice is that many components are black plastic. Unfortunately, this leads to a lot of confusion with consumers and these components add onto the large amount of waste in landfills and in our environment.

As a brand, especially an Indigenous-owned brand, it is incredibly important for us to incorporate Indigenous teachings into our practices. At the core of our sustainability journey is Two Eyed Seeing, a teaching and term coined by Mi’kmaq elder, Dr. Albert Marshall. This concept nurtures the strengths of Western science and Indigenous wisdoms for the benefit of living things and our environment. Furthermore, Cheekbone Beauty also incorporates the notion of the 7th Generation Principle as derived from the Iroquois peoples, in our sustainability mission. This concept suggests that we not only leave enough for the next generation, but to leave enough for the children in the next seven generations by only taking what is needed.

Initially at the start of the year, had hoped to become zero-waste by 2023. Through our journey in becoming more sustainable, we have realized that zero waste at this time is almost next to impossible. Instead, what we can commit to is to strive to create as limited waste as possible as a brand.

To date, some of our packaging includes paperboard comprised of biodegradable vegetable dye, aluminum tins, and PCR.


For context:
PCR, otherwise known as, Post-Consumer Resins, is a plastic that has already been recycled, has been repurposed, and is ready to be used again. Fun fact
about PCR – As part of the PACT Collective, PCR componentry and packaging from Cheekbone Beauty can be recycled at a PACT bin near you. An example of a product that you could recycle in a PACT bin would be an empty SUSTAIN Lip Gloss component.


Figure 1 - reusable aluminum tins

Our aluminum tins are a wonderful example of reusable, refillable cosmetic components that can be repurposed. We chose this component with the intent that it would never end up in a landfill, but rather could be repurposed multiple ways by our customers. Whether choosing to refill the component with a refill Mattifying Moon Dust or our SUSTAIN Blush/Bronzer duo, storing loose tea, coins, paperclips, or even protecting smaller items like earrings and other petite
keepsakes, these aluminum tins are a versatile and sustainable alternative to traditional packaging.

Figure 2 – loose tea inside of our refillable component.

In the future we hope to move towards more refillable cosmetic containers. Transitioning toward more refillable options will further cut down on waste and reduce the amount of packaging that ends up in landfills.

We are so excited to continue our sustainability journey, and we hope that you stick around to see the final product.

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