Beauty 101

How To Recycle and Upcycle Product Bottles Properly!

Rachel Gibbons Beauty Expert
How To Recycle and Upcycle Product Bottles Properly!

Did you know cosmetic packaging comprises of about 50% of all landfill space, with over 120 billion units of packaging created every single year? Instead of letting your bathroom trash can fill with skincare and makeup bottles and packaging, try being more sustainable and planet-friendly, instead opting to recycle and repurpose!

How to recycle

If your product's packaging is made of one general material like glass, plastic, or cardboard, you can rinse it and toss it directly into its respective recycling bin instead of your trash can. Pro tip: some packages have labels telling you what is recyclable (either a dot that looks like a yin-yang with arrows or the classic triangle with arrows)! However, larger stuff is more likely to be recycled and anything under 2 inches or under 6 ounces (usually all travel and portable beauty products) as well as products that contain mirrors/magnets, squeezable tubes, resealable pouches, pumps, droppers, caps, applicators, lipstick/mascara tubes, single shade eyeshadow pots and lip liner pencils  are not recyclable. Every city has their own rules determining what is recyclable so make sure you first check what can and can't be! Ensure you also separate the different materials within the product.

Many big brands and retailers have recycling programs where you can bring in your empty makeup containers to be recycled. Check with your local beauty retailer to see if they provide these. Make sure you use a paper towel to clean the residue from the inside of these containers and rinse them out.

Heres a list of some beauty brands that we know have recycling programs:
- Kiehls
- The Bodyshop
- Maybelline
- L'Oral
- Garnier
- bareMinerals
- Lush
- Pacifica

How to upcycle

Empty (cream) jars:
1. Use it to store small trinkets and/or jewelry.
2. Use it as home for your small (succulent) plants.
3. Large containers can be used as storage for DIY toner pads by soaking several cotton pads with toner in them.

Empty spray bottle:
1. Fill small bottles with moisturizing, soothing toner or essence (don't forget to use a lightweight, watery texture) so you have a facial (and hair) mist on the go.
2. Fill it with water to water house plants or to spray your clothes while ironing.
3. Fill it with sanitizing solutions such as rubbing alcohol for easy surface sterilization.

Empty pump bottle:
1. Ideal when you don't have a lot of space for your skin care and/or shower gel and shampoo while traveling.
2. Fill it with hand sanitizer or hand soap to clean hands on the go.
3. Fill it with a moisturizer/body lotion or hand cream to moisturize hands on the go.

Empty (serum) bottle with dropper:
1. Fill it with your favorite hair oil and use the dropper to target directly on your scalp and ends.
2. Use the dropper to water small house plants.

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