Do you know how to recycle your beauty products correctly?
A study from Unilever shows that only 34% of Americans take the few extra steps to recycle their personal care products, which might explain why 8 million pieces of plastic pollution end up in the oceans every day. With the global cosmetics industry expected to reach $805.61 billion by 2023, we have to start doing our part to reduce our footprint and keep our oceans clean. However, there are certain dos and don’ts to recycling-when certain plastics and materials are all mixed together, even the recycling plant might skip sorting it and everything ends up in the trash anyway! We’ve put together a few steps to help start your proper recycling habits:
- Find out what CAN be recycled in your area:
Different states and cities accept different materials that can and cannot be recycled. Not all plastics are the same and need to be treated a little differently. To find out what types of materials can be recycled in your city check out RecycleByCity.com, BeRecycled.com, or your local ordinances. Some states even offer some kind of refund or rebate for recycling certain containers!
- Find out what CAN’T be recycled at all
- Do you know how many different components and pieces make up your personal care products? Most pumps or droppers are made up of a few different materials, some use springs or metal rings, which means more often than not they are not safe to be put in with the recycling. Mirrors in palettes also qualify as mixing materials, so remove those before sorting too.
Itty bitty sample containers or lipstick tubes are considered too small for recycling and can get lost or tossed in the sorting process. However, many brands offer recycling programs these days, like Lush and MAC, or check out third-party recycling programs like TerraCycle.
- Clean out your containers as thoroughly as possible. We know, washing your trash?? But if recycling gets cross-contaminated, it isn’t able to be sorted, processed, or repurposed, and then what’s the point? Some residue can even attract bugs to recycling centers, ew! Give your empties a rinse and peel any labels off before placing in the recycle.
- Pay attention to the little things, make sure to leave caps and lids on. Caps are usually too small to go through the recycle sorter, so they are much more likely to pass the test if they are attached to the bigger product.
- Hairspray and Dry Shampoos count! Most cans are made of aluminum which are recyclable so don’t leave those out. Follow the same steps from above, make sure the container is totally empty and remove labels and any other mixed materials you can.
Just a couple steps done regularly create sustainable habits that keep our planet healthier and cleaner for the present and future. Let us know what you do to recycle your products at home!