Next time you have hair colour applied at the salon, spare a thought for what happens to all those pieces of aluminium foil.
Commonly, it is put in the rubbish but some local hair salons are playing their part by not only recycling it, but also sourcing foil that is more environmentally friendly.
Aluminium can be recycled over and over again, simply by re-melting it – a process that saves money and involves less energy than making new aluminium.
Cans are the product that most people know can be recycled but aluminium foil is a resource that is increasingly being captured before it is lost to landfill, where it takes centuries to degrade.
Hair Designers owner Maria Blunden says her salon gets through a lot of foil – around 5000 to 6000 sheets every month. She says she and her team were pleased to discover that it could be put out with the recycling, and that there is a product that is itself 95 percent recycled.
Recently Hair Designers began using the Australian Refoil brand, which has been available in NZ for a year, imported by Professional Hair Brands. Two other Coast hair salons use the product, and more than 200 have taken it up nationwide.
Part of the education campaign conducted by Refoil in Australia was to show how the product could be recycled successfully in normal Council systems.
The most important thing is for hairdressers to crush those little foils into decent sized balls before placing them in the recycling bin – Auckland Council waste solutions manager Ian Stupple says that this enables them to be picked up by the sorting equipment. Homeowners can also recycle their used aluminium foil in this way.
“Auckland Council accepts clean aluminium foil for recycling, washed of food waste and chemicals,” he says.
Businesses and commercial premises should check with their service provider about what is acceptable to recycle.”