Where to recycle beauty product containers on the high street

Posted by for Beauty

From The Body Shop to & Other Stories, multiple high street retailers and beauty brands now offer in-store beauty recycling facilities.

As time goes on, it’s become increasingly obvious that we’re all on the same mission: to reduce our plastic usage and get better at recycling. Given what we know about climate change, tossing packaging into the bin without a backwards glance just doesn’t cut it anymore.

But while we’re all pros at being green in the kitchen, it’s a different story when it comes to the bathroom and beauty products. Sure, packaging-free skincare is now a thing; biodegradable wipes, cotton pads and buds are becoming more and more popular; and we’re all obsessed with our Face Halos. Yet figuring out how to recycle beauty product containers – from foundation tubes to moisturiser pots and perfume bottles – can be a bit of a minefield. 

Some beauty packaging – most plastic or glass bottles, for example – can be fully recycled at home. (See our everything-you-need-to-know guide to at-home beauty recycling for more details.) But not everything falls into this category. Many products come in containers that are partially but not totally recyclable, requiring fiddly dismantling before you can chuck them out with a reasonably clear conscience.

Fortunately, though, several high street retailers and beauty brands now offer in-store recycling services. Some even offer incentives to do so, such as vouchers or money off later purchases. So you’re no longer obliged to spend hours disassembling atomisers and pulling springs out of pumps – and you’ve got literally no excuse not to recycle.

Where to recycle beauty products on UK high streets

  • & Other Stories

    From its excellent creamy lipsticks to its pastel-toned hand wash and body scrubs, we love & Other Stories’ beauty products. We also love that H&M’s sister brand has offered beauty recycling in its UK stores since 2015. 

    Return one or more empty Stories containers to any branch (or old clothes from any brand for textile recycling), and you’ll be rewarded with a 10% off voucher to be used across the store. 

  • Neal’s Yard Remedies

    Recycle beauty products at Neals Yard

    Most Neal’s Yard Remedies packaging can be recycled through local council schemes, as the company predominantly uses glass containers (you can also refill bottles of its Geranium & Orange Hand Wash and Bee Lovely Bath & Shower Gel at select branches). 

    But if you find yourself with hard-to-recycle empties from any brand – such as face wipe packets, atomisers and pumps – simply take them into a Neal’s Yard store and they’ll do the hard work for you. 

  • L’Occitane

    How’s this for an early commitment to sustainability: L’Occitane had a return system for its glass bottles way back in 1976. 

    Fast-forward over 40 years and you can buy refill sachets for over a dozen of the brand’s iconic products, and take empty beauty, skincare and haircare packaging into L’Occitane boutiques for recycling. As a thank you for doing your bit for the environment, you’ll receive 10% off your next purchase of a full-size item. 

  • The Body Shop

    The Body Shop has always championed sustainability, and the brand has joined forces with recycling company TerraCycle – so you can recycle any empty bottles, jars, tubes and pots in store. 

    Even better, if you’re a member of the Love Your Body™ Club (the brand’s loyalty programme), you’ll receive a voucher for £5 off your next purchase when you bring in five clean bits of The Body Shop packaging for recycling.

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Images: Getty Images; supplied by brands

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