SSA co-founder Ewelina Soroko
Bokashi Composting Australia has partnered with Sustainable Salons Australia, an initiative aimed at encouraging and helping hairdressing salons to recycle their waste materials.
Sustainable Salons provides hair salon operators with the ability – via a customised bin installation – to recycle chemical, hair and metal waste, and then rewards salons for thinking sustainably about recycling and how they dispose of their waste.
In the Q&A below, Sustainable Salons Australia co-founder, Ewelina Soroko, talks about Sustainable Salons’ initiatives and how they dovetail with those of Bokashi Composting Australia.
Q: What role can recycling hair play in the broader scheme of waste management and sustainability?
A: In Australia, hair salons send an estimated 400,000kg of hair to landfill. Not many people are aware of the potential of
hair as a renewable resource. We live in a world where resources are only getting scarcer. So looking at hair as a future resource makes sense when you know the amazing absorbing and nutrient rich properties hair has.
In the US, hair has been used in oil spill rescue operations to clean up the foreshores during disastrous spillages. During the 2010 BP oil spill, one million kilograms of hair was used to clean up the foreshores. So in terms of sustainability, hair can become a very valuable and sustainable resource as it keeps growing. It’s natural and it brings communities together for a greater cause. Sustainable Salons Australia (SSA) has initiated the ‘Hair Boom’ project in Australia, so in the case of a disaster we too can help with the collected hair.
Q: What successes have you had in raising the profile of recycling hair in the hairdressing industry and how has this been achieved?
A: We’ve had great success. In regards to hair clippings, we’ve made the hair salon and salon clients more aware that their hair can potentially clean up an oil spill. How cool is it to know that your hair can now do good instead of being wasted!
SSA has also become the biggest Ponytails donor for The Variety Children’s charity. We’ve brought more awareness to the lack of ponytails collected by hair salons for children who suffer from alopecia and cancer. Now salons know exactly how to cut ponytails off and where to send these.
Q: What is your long-term vision for SSA?
A: Our long-term vision for SSA is to create salon waste history!
Q: Tell us about the partnership between SSA and Bokashi Composting. Both businesses have a common interest in environmentally friendly waste management, and both are pursuing innovative initiatives that raise awareness about the need to reduce landfill.
A: Food scraps are one of the few materials SSA don’t collect, so building awareness about organic waste and how to sustainably deal with it is important. So offering our members the Bokashi units as the solution is perfect. Plus, many salon owners are also pet owners. So having the EnsoPet available to them is another landfill product we can help our clients divert.
For more on Sustainable Salons Australia, visit www.sustainablesalons.com.au.