Box Hill Institute’s Beauty and Hairdressing teachers and students now recycle 95% of their industry waste by using a comprehensive resource recovery service offered by Sustainable Salons Australia.
The teachers and students recently underwent training to become more sustainable business practitioners and to limit the amount of waste from their areas that end up in landfill.
Box Hill’s Blended Learning & Sustainability Coordinator Heidi Wenk said, “We got involved with this partnership to provide an environmentally friendly service to our customers in a climate where people are becoming more aware of our impact on the environment and are looking for businesses that act responsibly.
“Australia-wide, salons are partnering with Sustainable Salons Australia to improve environmental outcomes and awareness, so this puts our students at an advantage with respect to employability. They will be aware of the program and will be industry ready,” she said.
Each year, the Australian hairdressing industry sends 1,500 tons of recyclable aluminium to landfill equating to about 715 cars. This is in addition to plastics, colour tubes, cut hair and more.
Sustainable Salons Australia recycles these materials and the proceeds are returned to the community through Oz Harvest, which provides meals for the homeless.
Even hair is recycled, with ponytails made into wigs for children with alopecia through the Variety Charity, and other hair made into hair booms used to absorb oil spills.
Health Sciences teacher Lindy McShanag-Munn first became aware of the initiative while attending Hair Expo, Australia’s largest professional hairdressing event. She said, “I knew straight away the concept would align with Box Hill Institute’s environmental objectives and values.
“The hair, beauty and dog grooming teachers and students are renowned for a strong sense of wellbeing and by nature have a nurturing disposition. I knew they would welcome sustainable practices into their everyday operations,” she said.
By partnering with Sustainable Salons Australia, the Box Hill Institute is pleased it can support these charities, benefit the community, and address a huge waste problem while producing highly qualified and environmentally aware professionals.