Human hair used to mop up oil spills on the foreshore

Image: Green Salon Collective.

Innovative solution uses hair cuttings from salons to make “hair booms”.

550 salons across the UK and Ireland have signed up to the Green Salon Collective, an initiative that aims to reduce recycling waste from hair salons.

The group, who’s slogan is “we recycle the unrecyclable”, collects cuttings of human hair to make “hair booms” — cotton or nylon tubes packed with hair.

The booms have proven effective at absorbing and containing oil spills and can be placed on the foreshore to prevent contaminants from spreading.

“Hair salons are one of the biggest contributors to waste on the high street,” said GSC co-founder Paul Seaward. “We were shocked to see how far behind the UK is with salon sustainability, this was long overdue.”

The low-tech nature of the booms, and the almost limitless supply of raw materials, means they can be used to contain spills anywhere in the world.

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