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Make up recycling Source Lifestyle Blog

Make-up recycling: how to correctly dispose of used beauty products

Unsure how to recycle your makeup and beauty products? Check out the below to find out more.

With all that is going on in the world, makeup recycling might not be a number one concern. However, if you care about the environment and are looking for ways to contribute to saving it, learning how to dispose of your used beauty products – might be just for you.

After the perception-changing series Blue Planet I & II, as well as the brutally honest movie Seaspiracy, you would have thought that the majority of us would make drastic changes to reduce the use of plastic. 

Yes, many companies have proclaimed the war on plastic, and things are changing. One of the many examples is the reusable water tanks on our commute. Also, the big supermarket brands such as Waitrose or Aldi, are doing their bit. No more single-use plastic for fruit and veg distribution. And of course, encouraging shoppers to use their own bags. We are moving in the right direction, but it’s still a slow process.

According to Garnier research, 56% of Brits don’t recycle their beauty products.

It might not be the main contributor to the global plastic crisis, make up recycling is more influential than the plastic straw apocalypse.

One of the main issues, why the majority of us give up on makeup recycling, is the complexity of it. A hand soap bottle and an eyeshadow palette are slightly more confusing than the plastic container your mushrooms come in.

‘Beauty product packaging is often composed of a variety of types of material,’ explains Stephen Clarke, Head of Communications at TerraCycle Europe. ‘For example — mirrored glass, cardboard sleeves, paper inserts, expanded plastic foam and more have been known to be used in cosmetic packaging. Sometimes all of this is in one item, It, therefore, makes recycling incredibly difficult.

Beauty packaging that isn’t recycled not only ends up in landfill but it also has the potential to contaminate and become toxic.

Below is our guide on what can be recycled and how, and at the moment what cannot.

Make up recycling done correctly

  • The packaging.

Many beauty products, like fragrances or foundations, come packed in a carton box, wrapped up in cellophane. Whereas the box is highly recyclable, cellophane isn’t and should be thrown in the regular bin.

  • Plastic bottles.

Such basic beauty products like shampoos, conditioners, and shower gels come in widely recyclable plastic bottles. Just make sure you clean them out first! One tip is to not pour the remaining liquid into the sink – dispose of it in the normal bin.

  • Deodorant.

Aerosols like deodorants and hair products can be recycled in most household collection schemes. But again do make sure they are empty before recycling them.

  • Mascara and Lipstick.

These are too complicated to recycle. However, TerraCycle has partnered with Garnier to create a free recycling programme for beauty packaging, and these can be taken to one of their allocated drop-off locations.

Photo by Element5 Digital on Unsplash
  • Glass jars.

Most facial creams, some foundations, or lip balms. Makeup stored in glass jars can be easily recycled by throwing them in your glass recycling bin. Again, please makes sure that these are cleaned.

  • Cotton pads.

This is an interesting one, as they have come under quite a bit of criticism for being as bad for the environment as face wipes, but in fact, these can be recycled with your food waste. So after taking your make-up off, take them straight into the kitchen to throw away.

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