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1 Feb

Beauty Recycling: How to get involved

We’ve all been there – at the bottom of our favourite lipstick or the pan of our beloved bronzer, unsure what to do with the empty product.

Whilst the beauty industry is increasingly promoting sustainability and recycling by developing eco-friendly products and packaging, it’s likely the majority of us are still just throwing empties in the bin totally unsure of the consequences.

Research from Garnier earlier this year, showed that 56% of people don’t recycle their bathroom beauty products. Yet, 90% recycle in their kitchen; the products are of course a little trickier – but if we can do it with our food cupboards, surely we can do it with our beauty cupboards?


Here’s a few handy tips to get you started:


Most plastic bottles in the bathroom (shampoo, conditioner, shower gel etc.) will be recyclable. Check the bottle and pop it in your blue bin – it’s as simple as that! Just be sure to check the label, give them a rinse and you’re good to go.



When purchasing new straighteners, curlers, hairdryers or any electrical products – don’t just put your old ones in the trash. If they’re still useable, take them to a charity shop or even try to sell them. If not, go to your local recycling centre, where they’ll ensure the products are properly taken care off.


Surprisingly to most, deodorants and their aluminium bottles can be recycled – whoop! As can your hairspray and dry shampoo bottles, you just need to detach any loose parts and ensure they’re empty before popping them in the bin.



A lot of beauty products these days come in glass pots, which is not a problem for your local recycling plant. Give them a good clean, removing any leftover creams or makeup, then recycle just as you would glass jars in your kitchen. Unfortunately, the same can’t be said for nail polish bottles.



Most mascaras, lipsticks and palettes aren’t recyclable – which is super frustrating.  However, a number of brands offer a bring back program, such as MAC, where if you return six MAC containers, you get a free lipstick of your choice! Other programmes to be aware of are Kiehl’s, Lush, Garnier and Origins.

Jess MacDonald
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