Beauty

Yup, you should be recycling your beauty products

Yup, you should be recycling your beauty products

Wave line SVG.

Here are a few tricks to keep in mind when recycling your beauty products.

Here are a few tricks to keep in mind when recycling your beauty products.

Yup, you should be recycling your beauty products
A large proportion of personal care items can be recycled.  But often it’s tricky to know what can and what can’t be recycled. Which is true for recycling in general – and when veering away from the traditional packaging you see in the kitchen it can be overwhelming.

Luckily, it’s not just consumers who are slowly getting their heads around the idea of cosmetics recycling, as some beauty brands are trying their hand at bettering their plastic footprint and thinking of sustainable packaging in a meaningful way. Traditionally brands buy unused or “virgin” glass and non-recycled plastic containers for their products. It’s simply cheaper and easier to get because using recycled materials can be tricky and expensive, and the quality of the packaging can affect product efficacy and shelf-life.

It takes a massive commitment and a lot of work for a brand to make a positive impact and invest in it.

So, until we can take the idea of recycling for granted and assume that most packaging is sustainable, here are a few tricks to keep in mind when recycling your beauty products, making it just a bit easier for you:

Know your symbols and numbers  

The paper and cardboard boxes that products come in are pretty standard and can easily be recycled. When it comes to plastic, look for the Mobius loop – the classic triangle with arrow symbol that will often include a number. The number (one through to seven) identifies the type of plastic the item is made of. Numbers one and two are the most recyclable plastics, three denotes PVC, a particularly difficult plastic to recycle and almost always excluded. As for numbers four to seven it depends on the recycling company you use and their rules. If you spot a symbol that looks a bit like a yin-yang with arrows, it is an indication that the packaging is made from recycled materials. The same goes for a Mobius loop with a circle around it. There is a catch though: just because it is made from recycled materials does not mean it can be recycled, so always check your numbers.  

Find out what can and what can’t be recycled in your area

The recycling company or service you use will have specific rules regarding what plastics they will accept. Check and make sure what the specifics are for yours as not every type of plastic will necessarily be recycled in the city, area or country that you live in.

What color is the container?

Black and dark plastics are trickier to recycle because they’re harder to process in recycling plants. For glass, the three common colors of clear, green and brown are easily accepted. Odd colored glass is often harder to recycle and depends on what it is destined to be used for.

Always rinse it

Yes, it does matter if you rinse or not. Not only is it messy and the dirty packaging can attract pests and bugs, but it also affects the actual value of the recycled item, making it less valuable when sold by the recycling company. It also means more unnecessary work for the people working at the recycling depot, so try keeping it clean.

If you can squeeze it…

It often indicates a multilayer or multi-material and can be challenging to recycle. You’ll notice a coating or film on the inside of the product packaging that is made up of different types of plastic. Flexible pouch-like packaging (think sheet masks in pouches) and toothpaste tubes are classified as multilayer and should go in the bin unless it explicitly states it can be recycled.

Pumps and droppers are a problem

Pumps and droppers are problematic because they are often made from a variety of materials. It’s a good idea to remove droppers and pumps from any bottle as the latter often contain a metal spring that you can’t see. You don’t have to remove caps and screw tops (even if they are made from a different material as the bottle or jar itself) but it is good practice to replace them after washing.  

Don’t forget about aerosols

Dry shampoo, deodorant and hairspray cans are made of steel and aluminum, which are both recyclable. But it is still advisable to check with your service to see if aerosols are okay to include.

A large proportion of personal care items can be recycled.  But often it’s tricky to know what can and what can’t be recycled. Which is true for recycling in general – and when veering away from the traditional packaging you see in the kitchen it can be overwhelming.

Luckily, it’s not just consumers who are slowly getting their heads around the idea of cosmetics recycling, as some beauty brands are trying their hand at bettering their plastic footprint and thinking of sustainable packaging in a meaningful way. Traditionally brands buy unused or “virgin” glass and non-recycled plastic containers for their products. It’s simply cheaper and easier to get because using recycled materials can be tricky and expensive, and the quality of the packaging can affect product efficacy and shelf-life.

It takes a massive commitment and a lot of work for a brand to make a positive impact and invest in it.

So, until we can take the idea of recycling for granted and assume that most packaging is sustainable, here are a few tricks to keep in mind when recycling your beauty products, making it just a bit easier for you:

Know your symbols and numbers  

The paper and cardboard boxes that products come in are pretty standard and can easily be recycled. When it comes to plastic, look for the Mobius loop – the classic triangle with arrow symbol that will often include a number. The number (one through to seven) identifies the type of plastic the item is made of. Numbers one and two are the most recyclable plastics, three denotes PVC, a particularly difficult plastic to recycle and almost always excluded. As for numbers four to seven it depends on the recycling company you use and their rules. If you spot a symbol that looks a bit like a yin-yang with arrows, it is an indication that the packaging is made from recycled materials. The same goes for a Mobius loop with a circle around it. There is a catch though: just because it is made from recycled materials does not mean it can be recycled, so always check your numbers.  

Find out what can and what can’t be recycled in your area

The recycling company or service you use will have specific rules regarding what plastics they will accept. Check and make sure what the specifics are for yours as not every type of plastic will necessarily be recycled in the city, area or country that you live in.

What color is the container?

Black and dark plastics are trickier to recycle because they’re harder to process in recycling plants. For glass, the three common colors of clear, green and brown are easily accepted. Odd colored glass is often harder to recycle and depends on what it is destined to be used for.

Always rinse it

Yes, it does matter if you rinse or not. Not only is it messy and the dirty packaging can attract pests and bugs, but it also affects the actual value of the recycled item, making it less valuable when sold by the recycling company. It also means more unnecessary work for the people working at the recycling depot, so try keeping it clean.

If you can squeeze it…

It often indicates a multilayer or multi-material and can be challenging to recycle. You’ll notice a coating or film on the inside of the product packaging that is made up of different types of plastic. Flexible pouch-like packaging (think sheet masks in pouches) and toothpaste tubes are classified as multilayer and should go in the bin unless it explicitly states it can be recycled.

Pumps and droppers are a problem

Pumps and droppers are problematic because they are often made from a variety of materials. It’s a good idea to remove droppers and pumps from any bottle as the latter often contain a metal spring that you can’t see. You don’t have to remove caps and screw tops (even if they are made from a different material as the bottle or jar itself) but it is good practice to replace them after washing.  

Don’t forget about aerosols

Dry shampoo, deodorant and hairspray cans are made of steel and aluminum, which are both recyclable. But it is still advisable to check with your service to see if aerosols are okay to include.

More like this

关于更多

No items found.