Untangling the hair grip problem. It goes by many names – it might be called the hairpin, the bobby pin or the hair grip.
But whatever you call it, The UK’s waste management agency have called for these hair essentials to be made exclusively from recycled materials.
BusinessWaste.co.uk argue that the much-used hair grip is used and lost so frequently by women around the world that they risk becoming an unnecessary blight on the environment, as well as a huge waste of materials.
Spokesperson Mark Hall from waste collections company BusinessWaste.co.uk said: “While boys might not know exactly what they’re looking at when they see one, girls can’t do without that small piece of metal that somehow gets absolutely everywhere.
“Sometimes they might only be used once and then thrown away or lost, which is why you see them littering everywhere from gyms to pavements, workplaces, pubs and anywhere else ladies with hair might go.
“Because we know how frequently they’re discarded, it’s only right that they should be made from recycled materials, otherwise we’re just wasting resources on something that is effectively disposable.”
A survey was conducted by BusinessWaste.co.uk which involved over 3000 people. When asked where they’d seen hair grips discarded, people had some strange and interesting responses. 53% of people said they’d seen hair grips in public bathrooms, even down the loo in some cases, although it’s not clear whether they ended up there on purpose or by accident.
86% of people had found them in their own homes with no idea how they got there.
Of the 86% who had found them in their homes the most common places where
Under the bed
Down the side of sofa
And some odder finds including
In the dishwasher
In the toilet
9% of men surveyed by BusinessWaste.co.uk said they’d been put in a tricky situation at some point in their lives, with a girlfriend finding a stray hair grip that wasn’t hers in their home or car.
Steve, 33, Leeds said: “I was seeing a couple of girls at once when I was at uni, one didn’t go to my university and one did so their paths never crossed. I thought I was being really smart and careful, but then the uni girlfriend, Sarah, found a hair grip in my bathroom left by the other girl, Laura, I was rumbled. I tried to convince Sarah it was her own hair grip but she had really short hair and never used them – and neither did I.
“The irony is that Laura later found Sarah’s earring under my bed so she dumped me too. Lads need to know what these things are otherwise we’re going to slip up, that weird little bit of metal can ruin your life.”
It’s estimated that tens of millions of hair grips are sold in the UK each year, with many coming in multipacks of 50 or more. On average, each one of these hair grips lasts up to two weeks before it’s lost or broken, inevitably ending up in landfill.
BusinessWaste.co.uk say that switching to recycled materials would be a much more environmentally-friendly and sensible way to make hair grips, and would have a considerable impact on our planet considering how many are bought each year
Read next – A guide to hair salon disposal
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