Study: Salons in the U.S. and Canada Generate 877 Pounds of Waste per Minute

Adding up to a staggering 421,000 pounds daily, according to Green Circle Salon’s first Circle of Impact Report.

TORONTO, April 3, 2023 – Green Circle Salons, the first sustainability solution to help salons, spas and their guests on the journey to zero environmental impact, has released its first Circle of Impact Report, an in-depth report analyzing the issue of salon waste and its detrimental effects on our planet

This report examines two themes: the overarching impact of salon waste on the environment and the attitudes of salon professionals towards this critical issue. According to Green Circle data, the salon industry in the US and Canada generates an astonishing 877 pounds of waste per minute. To put that into perspective, that’s the weight of an adult grizzly bear per minute. This adds up to a staggering 421,000 pounds daily, assuming an eight-hour workday. The largest contributors to waste are:  

  • Hair Color: the industry throws away over 42,000 pounds of excess hair color daily
  • Hair Clippings: Beauty waste includes a whopping 63,000 pounds of hair every day, which emits potent greenhouse gasses when left to decompose. 
  • Metal: salons in North America dispose of 110,000 pounds of metal every day, which is more than half the weight of a commercial airplane. 

“When most people sit down in a stylist’s chair, they’re prepping for a relaxing experience that will leave them looking and feeling good. But neither they — nor, often, the salon workers — are thinking about the tremendous impact they have on the environment at that moment. But it’s not their fault. There hasn’t been much education about the impact, and in the past, there has been a dearth of solutions,” said Shane Price, CEO of Green Circle Salons. “Fortunately, this is a problem that can be fixed, which is our mission here at Green Circle.”

While momentum is building for salon sustainability, many salon professionals don’t know the industry’s environmental impacts. According to the report, 70 percent of salon professionals remain unaware of the clean recycling streams for hair color and the significant impact of hair waste on greenhouse gas emissions. The report also revealed that 64 percent of the general salon sample rated sustainability as “extremely important,” indicating that the industry is ready to prioritize eco-friendly practices.

See the full Circle of Impact Report here.

For more information on Green Circle Salons and the company’s sustainability program, visit


About Green Circle Salons: 

Green Circle Salons is a Certified B Corporation on a mission to solve the professional beauty industry’s waste problem. We help salons and spas across the US and Canada reduce their environmental impact by providing a comprehensive, customizable waste management solution to fit each business and divert up to 95% of their beauty waste from landfills. The company partners with salons to recycle and repurpose salon-generated materials such as hair, foils, color tubes, and chemicals. Green Circle Salons also offers education and training resources to help salons adopt more sustainable practices. The company is dedicated to helping the beauty industry become more sustainable and responsible.

Media contact: 

Alexandra Elich-Burr

Kingston Marketing Group 


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