“Incineration is really the option [for disposing of chemicals]. However, most salons are recommended by local councils to just pour their chemicals in the sink.”
That was the shocking claim by Fry Taylor, Co-Founder of the Green Salon Collective, whom futureNetZero.com spoke with on the Net Hero Podcast.
He revealed that hairdressers are seemingly not only exempt from the rules around chemical disposal but are told to do break them.
“I worked for this large product company [and] if we were caught putting litres of hydrogen peroxide, ammonia or monoethanolamine into the water system, we would have got huge fines – but there are the best part of half a million hairdressers doing it everyday and they’re encouraged to do it.”
Chemicals such as hydrogen peroxide are commonly used in salons for hair dye or colouring but have a terrible impact on the environment if disposed of badly.
In the case of them being poured down the sink, heavy contamination and pollution to water would occur.
Mr Taylor continued: “The best thing is to just not have any colour waste at all but interestingly with colour waste, 20% of what a hairdresser will actually mix up will never actually make it onto anyone’s head to begin with.
“So, there’s little things like that, which we need to help salons improve – how much are they actually mixing up in the first place.”
futureNetZero.com contacted various governing bodies for a comment on this, including the Local Government Association and the Health and Safety Executive. Both organisations stated they believed the responsibility lay with the other, showing a clear lack of scrutiny when it comes to this issue.