Beauty Recycling



How beauty buffs can recycle products and give back to charity at the same time 

With the New Year well underway, I bet you received some new beauty products for Christmas, and you’re wondering what to do with your old, used beauty products. Have you ever thought about what happens to your beauty products and packaging when you discard them? The statistics are ugly. A staggering 120 billion units of packaging are produced every year by the global cosmetics industry [i], and 56 per cent of us don’t recycle our beauty products (compared to the 90 per cent who are conscientious with their kitchen waste [ii]). Our beauty product consumption is also adding to our worldwide plastic waste issue, ending up in oceans, waterways and creating environmental problems.

However, the lack of recycling is not necessarily due to laziness. Many bathroom waste items are not acceptable for collection by kerbside recycling programs, so even if you do have all the best intentions in the world, your rubbish may end up on landfill anyway.

It’s never too late to start a new beauty regime. Read on to see what you can do with your waste. After all, it’s a beautiful world – let’s keep it that way.


Plastic Bottles



You can recycle most of your shampoos, conditioners and shower gels, although it’s important that you rinse them thoroughly first (and remove the trigger head or pump before placing them in the bin). Alternately, if you want to reduce your packaging foot print even further, consider soap bars or a brand which allows you to take along an empty receptacle to refill it in-store.





Empty hairspray and deodorant cans can be recycled in most household collection schemes. Before placing aerosols into recycling, check with your local council to ensure they will include these in your recycling bin.


Cotton Wool Pads



Dirty cotton wool pads can be disposed of with your normal kitchen waste, and can’t really be recycled, due to contamination with beauty products. For a more environmentally friendly option, consider using a reusable cotton wipe instead. Face cloths make a great alternative. With your kitchen waste, remember that food scraps can be composted, and put to further use.


Glass Bottles



Most glass bottles can be recycled once they’ve been emptied and washed thoroughly. However, empty perfume bottles should be placed with your normal rubbish and not in the recycling bin. If you want to do an extra bit for the environment, look for refillable fragrances – there are some around. 





Most of your beauty products – mascara, lipstick, make-up palettes, including eye shadows, bronzer and blusher – cannot be recycled. Which is where TerraCycle comes in. The world leader in collecting and repurposing waste, TerraCycle has partnered with Burt’s Bees to help recycle their beauty packaging. Whether it’s branded personal care, lip care and beauty care packaging, you can ship it to TerraCycle free of charge. Best of all, you’ll also earn donations for a school or charity of your choice. For every shipment over one kilogram sent to TerraCycle, collectors earn $1 towards their nominated Australian school or charity. Visit to find out more about Burt’s Bees Recycle on Us initiative.




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