Although purchasing sustainable cosmetics is our ultimate goal, But it is still necessary to recycle all empty beauty containers to avoid waste. TerraCycle beauty industry resident expert Gina Herrera explained that in fact, 50% of people would not even recycle their empty containers because it is considered “inconvenient”. This so-called “commodity” causes 2.7 billion bottles of pure bathroom waste to be thrown into landfills every year.
Herrera explained: “The global cosmetics industry produces 120 billion packages each year, including cosmetics packaging for perfumes, serums, and moisturizers. These products result in the loss of 18 million acres of forest each year.” Although the recycling of empty packaging for beauty and skin care products is not necessarily It is the easiest, but it is very necessary for a sustainable future.
But the problem is: the packaging of beauty products is particularly confusing and difficult to recycle (think: mirror glass, cardboard sleeves, paper plugs, etc.). Therefore, we asked recycling experts to explain in detail how to ensure that your empty bottles arrive at the correct recycling plant.
Check the municipal recycling regulations
First, you should always comply with local recycling laws to ensure that you comply with these rules. You can also use resources like How2Recycle and Recycle Coach to check which recyclables are accepted.
However, the bad news is that material recycling facilities (MRFs) have fairly strict regulations. Pay attention to the universal recycling symbol (triangle), because this is not the only way to indicate the recyclable nature of the container. Instead, pay attention to the label to better understand whether the product is recyclable. Herrera said: “In reality, only plastic items with the numbers 1 or 2 printed on the arrow can be widely recycled in roadside recycling projects.” If this is the case, your bathroom supplies can actually be combined with the kitchen and Household goods are thrown into blue or green trash cans because the United States follows a single-stream recycling program (which means that plastics can be recycled with other plastics, and glass can be recycled with other glass).
Choose a recycling plan
Didn’t you see the recycling logo? Fortunately, some environmentally conscious brands also provide internal recycling programs in their facilities. TerraCycle is a private recycling company. It actually cooperated with Nordstrom to launch BEAUTYCYCLE, a free project that invites consumers to put their beauty and skin care product packaging (regardless of the brand) in the store recycling point for recycling , Including those products that are not normally recyclable.
Single material recycling
Here is a rule of thumb for recycling beauty products: the fewer types of packaging materials, the more likely it is to be recyclable. When more materials are used, the recycling process can be costly, time and money for the separation process. Even if you try to do this yourself, cross-contaminated recyclables may not be accepted by local projects.
If your product is made of ordinary materials such as glass, plastic or cardboard, you can rinse it and throw it directly into the corresponding recycling bin. Contrary to popular belief, there is no need to remove the sticker on recyclable products. This is usually done through a special heating process performed on many mrf.
Regarding plastics, it is always better to recycle a larger plastic container because it is most likely to be recycled. However, Jezienicki still recommends staying away from plastic products because they are still huge pollutants. “The reality is that plastics can usually only be recycled 2-3 times before they lose their usability. which means that transitioning to recycled plastic only removes plastic from landfills or polluting the earth by 1-2 cycles.”
Research for refillables
The ideal goal is to use less packaging, thereby generating less waste. Many brands such as Brazil NATURA, France Diptyque and Los Angeles Bath Culture provide reusable beauty products. This means that you will reuse the packaging for its expected lifespan, thereby keeping it away from the landfill. “If we can’t reduce the number of products we buy, reusing and recycling these products is the next best thing.