Zest Hair has become Bundaberg’s first recognised sustainable salon, with 95 per cent of its waste now being recycled through the national program.
Salon owner Colette Smith first came across the Sustainable Salons initiative at a conference on the Gold Coast and has since been committed to becoming an accredited salon.
Colette said she saw the opportunity as a chance to give back what she could to help the region work towards a cleaner environment.
“Since moving to the region 10 years ago, I have found that Bundaberg has a very positive environmental attitude,” Colette said.
“I wanted to see what else we could do to contribute towards helping the environment with all the salon waste.
“We are now committed to more waste being recycled and less landfill as we do our part in creating a cleaner environment, reducing our ecological footprint and helping to achieve zero waste.”
Colette said that she hoped, by taking this approach, it encouraged more salons to get on board and implement sustainable practices.
“I am looking forward to helping create a cleaner environment for my family and the wider community and hopefully by doing this, it will encourage others to do the same,” she said.
“I love that we can recycle all our waste, for example our plastic bottles can be recycled into glasses frames and the hair can be recycled and used to soak up oil from the ocean or to make wigs for cancer patients or for people with hair loss.”
The recycling process starts in salon with four different bins provided to the salon, allowing for recycling to be split into paper, metals, plastics and hair.
Colette said that the separated bins allowed for every bit of packaging to be broken down and recycled, for example, when they get a tube of tint.
“A tube of tint comes in a box, so the box gets put in the paper bin for recycling, the tube gets recycled into the metal bin and the plastic screw top lid gets recycled in the plastics,” she said.
“This means we are making sure that each part of the product gets recycled.”
There are a range of products from these bins that are then sold for recycling, with the money raised being donated back to OzHarvest and KiwiHarvest.
Sustainable Salons also work closely with Mylestones in Queensland to create jobs for those with disabilities, providing them work within the material collection and processing streams.
Colette has been a hairdresser for 33 years, having moved to Bundaberg 10 years ago from the United Kingdom after wanting a change of lifestyle for her family.
She bought the salon in 2014 and rebranded to Zest Hair, growing the salon from a team of two to a team of eight.
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