When GLO launched its salon recycling platform this January, it was to directly address a startling statistic: the 877 pounds of waste generated every minute in hair salons.
From aerosol cans and flammable items like nail polish, to used foils, gloves and plastic wrap—even color tubes and hair trimmings—GLO, which stands for Green Life Organization, has a “zero landfill policy”—meaning if it can’t be directly recycled it will be given a second life.
With the 10+ years of recycling experience behind GLO’s Illinois-based parent company, G2 Revolution, the company stands behind a mission of addressing what they call the “salon waste crisis” via its subscription-based recycling plans for salons.
“As we did our research, it was incredible to talk to salon owners about how willing they are to recycle, but they have so many hard-to-recycle items,” says Jennifer Wolanik, e-commerce manager for G2 and marketing manager for GLO, in an exclusive interview with MODERN SALON. “If you go into our G2 facility today, you’re going to see a lot of big-name brands working with us to address their waste—like Keurig—and with G2 as the muscle behind GLO, we’re the experts at hard-to-recycle items.”
HOW IT WORKS
After a salon sets up an online account, and sets up its customized profile and subscription, GLO ships out the Collection Containers (The Hair Box, Mixed Box and Aerosol Box). When a salon fills up its box, the box (which already has a pre-paid shipping label on it) gets sealed up and sent to GLO’s Ohio-based facility to sort and weigh.
“We then provide salon owners an on-demand dashboard of data reporting showing categorically what they’re recycling,” Wolanik says. “We convert that data into social media-friendly images so salons can promote what their recycling efforts to their clientele, as well as track progress to reducing waste.”
WHAT HAPPENS TO “HARD-TO-RECYCLE” ITEMS
“Our recycling center is 200,000-square feet and we touch all the items when we receive a box,” says Tonya Martin, G2 and GLO’s vice president of business development. “We have battery recycling and hazardous-waste management right there, not one thing that comes into our facility goes to a trash container—worst case it’s going to go to waste-to-energy, like piping steam to an energy plant to create energy for downtown Indianapolis. We designed this entire program with compliance in mind.”
The goal is always recycling, reuse and reduction, Martin says. Local shelters can create a second life opportunity for used products. Expired shampoo and used hand washes are often converted to what’s called “Sloppy Joe,” and donated to create industrial floor wash for disaster clean ups across the world.
“On the fragrance side, we make ‘Dumpster Deodorizer,’—it doesn’t sound sexy but this process diverts waste from landfills and it’s either sold off or donated to national parks for outhouses,” Martin says.
GLO is also committed to donating at least 1% of all GLO sales to environmental non-profits with 1% for the Planet.
“For hair trimmings, we spoke to farmers in Northern Kentucky that want it for composting and as an animal deterrent at their pumpkin farm,” Martin says. “In the market there is a solution for hair trimmings being stuffed inside panty hose and swept across tops of river beds for oil clean-ups, etc. But then they’re being burned—we wanted to have another solution. When we spoke with farmers, they were eager for hair trimmings to sprinkle across their acres to deter deer and rabbits.”
“We know how busy owners are and that finding a full-service recycling solution requires extensive research, so we built this easy-to-understand program,” Martin says. “GLO allows salon owners to ‘set it and forget it’ by setting up a monthly service subscription. Their customer dashboard will then provide step-by-step instructional videos, making it quick and easy for everyone to learn.”
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