Recycling cosmetics packaging – A beautiful return

ACCORDING to a Zero Waste Week¹ report in 2018, the global cosmetics industry produces over 120 billion units of packaging each year. Many beauty products are packaged in materials that can’t be put into our recycling bins. This means much of it ends up being incinerated or sent to landfill.
Recycling beauty packaging can be complicated, although Reading Borough Council do accept clean and empty shampoo bottles and soap dispenser bottles which show a recycling symbol, as well as cardboard packaging. But they do not take the caps or trigger spray pumps, flexible plastic tubes, plastic pots or their lids, flexible plastic wipes packaging and a multitude of other, hard to recycle, materials.
Increasingly recycling schemes for many of these items are being set up. Some beauty brands are now willing to take back your empty containers and ensure they go to specialist recycling centres.
Terracycle is a recycling company which works with brands like The Body Shop, L’Occitane and Garnier to bring recycling options to the high street so you can keep empty beauty product packaging from waste bins. They also work with voluntary groups who host collection points around the UK. Locally, Caversham Heights Pre-School² and Caversham Heights Methodist Church operate a collection point at 74 Highmoor Road, Caversham.
These collection points accept empty, clean and dry beauty packaging from any brand. Some stores even offer rewards if customers return their brand’s products. So do find your nearest recycling point and save this packaging to give it a chance to make a beautiful return!