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How to recycle your bathroom and beauty products

Research has revealed that whilst Brits recycle 90% of their kitchen packaging, only half of their bathroom waste gets recycled. *

The study conducted by bathroom retailer Tap Warehouse, has exposed the extent of the UK’s waste problem with bathroom waste accounting for 30-40 per cent of total landfill waste*. Tap Warehouse has calculated that the average Brit uses over 52,000 bathroom products in their lifetime, weighing a total of 512 kilogrammes. *

Within an average lifetime, consumers use over 38,000 wet wipes which can take up to 100 years to decompose. Additionally, items such as nappies and toothpaste tubes can take up to 500 years to decompose. *

Given these shocking findings, it’s no surprise that beauty and bathroom brands are quickly following in the footsteps of other industries. Consumers are becoming more conscious and many beauty brands are recognising this and switching to sustainable solutions – like Scrubbington’s.

Scrubbington’s approached us to create one of the first in its sector; a range of recyclable, refill pouches for their natural washing solutions for children.

But it’s not just businesses that need to make a change. As consumers, we must do our part by curbing our love of convenience, fighting throwaway culture and improving home habits.

 

So far, we’ve covered where and how you can recycle your sports nutrition, food and drink and pet food packaging. Now it’s time we turn our attention to our bad bathroom behaviours to tackle this eco-friendly fail. Here’s a list of the bathroom and beauty products, you can recycle and how to go about it…

 

The Personal Care and Beauty Recycling Programme

All brands are accepted and there are 2 different ways to participate in this programme:

1) You can drop off your personal care and beauty product packaging at your nearest public drop-off location

Find your nearest public drop-off location on the interactive map to drop off your personal care and beauty product packaging.

To learn more about public drop-off locations, please click here.

 

2) Set up a public drop-off location yourself!

If there are no public drop-off locations near you, you can set up your own in a convenient location where you have the authorisation. Visit here to see how.

The personal care and beauty packaging is separated by polymer type, cleaned, and extruded into plastic pellets to make new recycled products.  Discover more about the recycling process here.

Aerosols and plastic bottles are not accepted into this programme as they are widely recyclable. Plastic bottles are accepted in almost all UK council recycling systems. TerraCycle ask that you only send in bottles if it is not possible to recycle them via your local council system.

To find out what you can recycle at home or in your local area, visit here.

 

The L’Occitane® Recycling Programme

In order to continually reduce their environmental impact, L’Occitane en Provence® have also partnered with TerraCycle® to make their used products nationally recyclable.

Participating is completely free and very easy. You can find your closest participating L’Occitane en Provence® store on the map and bring in your used beauty and skin care products to be recycled.

Once collected, the beauty and skin care packaging are sorted and separated by material composition. The separated items are then cleaned, shredded, and made into new recycled products.

Click here to learn more about the recycling process.

 

The Weleda® Plastic Recycling Programme

TerraCycle® have partnered with Weleda® to ensure that Weleda® packaging that is not easily recyclable in the UK via local kerbside, can now be recycled through this programme.

TerraCycle® points earned through public drop-off locations supported by Weleda® Wellbeing Advisors will go towards the Global Penguin Society conservation charity.

You can view all participating public drop-off locations on the interactive map here.

When you drop off your waste at a public drop-off location, the TerraCycle® points earned for the waste are transferred to the account of the public drop-off location administrator in question, who can then donate the points to the charity of their choice.

Before you go to a public drop-off location with your waste, we advise you check the details (full address, opening hours and location of collection box at the site) and when a telephone number is listed, it’s worth calling just to ensure the collection point is still active.

This map is updated when new public drop-off locations are added or removed, so we recommend you check it in advance of each time you plan to drop off your waste.

 

All Weleda® Soft Touch Plastic Tubes are accepted, including:

  • Skin Food Original and Skin Food Light
  • Beauty Balms
  • Body Washes/Shower Gels/Body Scrubs
  • Sunscreen and After Sun Lotions
  • Lip Balms
  • Hair Care
  • Mini and Travel Size Soft Touch Plastic Tubes

 

Waste that is NOT accepted includes:

  • Any other brand of beauty care packaging
  • All cardboard, glass, aluminium and rigid plastic packaging as these can be recycled via your local council facilities
  • All Weleda® packaging that is not a soft touch plastic tube

The Colgate® Oral Care Recycling Programme

TerraCycle® and Colgate® have partnered to create a free recycling programme for all oral care products and packaging.

The programme operates through a network of private and public drop-off locations throughout the UK.

You can see them here.

The ACUVUE® Contact Lens Recycle Programme

TerraCycle® and ACUVUE® have partnered to create a free recycling programme for any brand of soft contact lenses and blister packs.

The programme operates through a network of private and public drop-off locations throughout the UK. Individuals,

companies, charities and schools can drop off contact lenses and blister packaging at any of these existing public drop-off location.

There are also over 600 Boots Opticians Stores and a network of Independent Opticians participating throughout the UK.

Once the aggregated contact lenses, blister packaging and outer foils are collected, sorted, shredded and washed; The material is then densified into hard-granulated plastic granules. The granules are then extruded so they can be incorporated into the production of different plastic products such as benches.

 

There are many other widely recycled bathroom and beauty products. To see if your product is recyclable, check the symbols on the packaging (refer to our ultimate guide to packaging symbols if you need some guidance!).

 

Best practices for recycling

In order to recycle any of the above waste streams correctly, please ensure your product is dismantled (if applicable) and separate the different materials.

Then, ensure all excess product is removed (i.e. leftover liquids, creams etc) by rinsing it and place all the accepted packaging in the relevant bin/TerraCycle box.

If you do choose to rinse your product, you must make sure it is completely dry prior to shipping.

Finally, if you are using one of TerraCycles programmes, be sure to tape the box together securely ensuring there are no loose edges or corners, then print your label and attach it securely to the shipment.

If you’re not recycling via TerraCycle, just place the rinsed and dried product pieces in their respective recycling bins.

 

We’re doing our bit!

If you’re a business, looking to make sustainable changes to your beauty/bathroom product packaging, look no further! Materials made of the same mono-material, are even easier to recycle through TerraCycle, like our new Ready 2 Recycle range.

Ready 2 Recycle Range Collage

Currently we supply stand up pouches, BOPP woven bags, quad seal and flat bottom bags in PE/PE or OPP/CPP laminates. We have paper bags available in this range too!

In addition to being recyclable, our new generation of plastic packaging provides protection with high barrier properties and excellent shelf-life. This results in decreased carbon footprint in the supply chain.

Additionally, flexible plastic like our Ready 2 Recycle range, can be a more environmentally-friendly packaging solution when disposed of properly.

 

Want to see what else is recyclable? Well, using TerraCycle is super simple, just visit them here. Type in the search bar what you want to recycle, include your location and click to see all of their free and purchasable recycling solutions.

You can also check your local recycling options by entering your postcode here.

If you have any further queries regarding packaging, please don’t hesitate to get in touch. Alternatively, be sure to check our blog regularly! We strive to use our platform to discuss the most common concerns and questions you put forward to us.

You can share our blog using the social media buttons below! Encourage others to use these recycling solutions and free programmes available across the UK

 

*https://www.tapwarehouse.com/blog/bathroom-waste-legacy

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