Every day thousands of single-use beauty products are disposed of and put into landfills, where they take hundreds of years to decompose. Your average plastic shampoo and conditioner bottles, glass foundation bottles and mascara wands are just some of these beauty products that tend to make their way into the waste bin without a second thought.
Many people have had the saying, “Reduce, Reuse, Recycle,” engraved in their brains since they were kids, but no one has ever explained what products are recyclable and how exactly to go about the process.
Although climate change isn’t exactly attributable to not recycling your beauty products, it does have an impact on the environment due to the toxic conditions landfills create.
Landfill waste releases a toxin called methane, a greenhouse gas more potent than carbon dioxide, overtime which traps heat within the atmosphere and contributes to smog and climate change.
Recycling may seem like a hassle but living more sustainably can help create a better environment for the future. Many companies have joined in on this idea and made it easy, and even rewarding to recycle your empty product containers.
Companies like Lush, MAC, Kiehl’s and more have recycling programs that give you incentive points or freebies after bringing a certain amount of empty products back, which encourages more people to recycle their beauty products.
While this is option is helpful, not all brands offer this type of green alternative, and this introduces the question of what to do with the products you’re unsure how to recycle.
TerraCycle is a program that pairs with numerous popular brands like Paula’s Choice, Colgate, Gillette, Garnier and tons of others for every type of beauty product you have.
They also help make it easier for you to recycle things you normally wouldn’t think could be recycled like Vans, Popsockets and used candles.
After signing up for TerraCycle, you can request a label for the specific brand your empty products are from, then after collecting everything, you can ship your products with a prepaid return label and then they do the rest.
The best part of this program is that it is completely free to use! It has saved over seven billion pounds of waste from going into landfills and damaging the planet.
Another feature of this program is that for every shipment that you send in, you earn points for that are redeemable in the form of a charitable donation to an organization of your choosing, and TerraCycle has raised over $44 million already.
If you want to minimize your waste even more, Loop is a program that teams up with major brands like Seventh Generation, Love Beauty and Planet and Pantene to give you your everyday products in zero-waste packaging that can be reused and refilled continuously, which eliminates the entire issue single-use packaging holds.
Reducing the waste you create by recycling your beauty products and using refillable packaging can or no-waste products can become that much easier by using these sustainable programs.