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Take-back schemes for beauty and grooming packaging that is difficult to recycle

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We have been working closely with members of the Cosmetic, Toiletry and Perfumery Association (CTPA) to show their take back schemes for beauty and grooming items that are currently not accepted in home recycling. Our Recycling Locator tool displays their scheme locations, which you can filter by type of packaging or product.

Which beauty and grooming packaging items are accepted?

The new scheme sends beauty and grooming packaging items that are not accepted in household recycling collections for recycling, removing them from the waste bin.

These include make up packaging such as eyeshadow palettes, plastic lipstick tubes and mascara tubes, as well as other items like toothbrushes, wipes packets, contact lens cases and plastic lip balm pots - view the full list below.

  • Plastic eyeshadow and brow palettes, concealer or eye shadow tubes (including applicator), eyeliner or concealer pens, make-up tubes and mascara tubes (including brush/wand)

  • Plastic combs, contact lens cases, roll-on and stick deodorants, toothpaste tubes, toothbrushes and electronic toothbrush heads

  • Plastic body, hair and face cream pots and tubes, dropper bottles, body lotion, hand cream and sunscreen tubes

  • Plastic sachets, samples and hotel bottle minis, refill pouches, wipes packets and single use face and hair mask packaging

  • Plastic lipsticks and lip balm pots and tubes

Which beauty and grooming packaging items aren't accepted?

  • Aerosols, cardboard boxes and sleeves, toilet roll tubes, shampoo, shower gel and conditioner bottles - these are not accepted as part of the scheme and need to go in your home recycling collection if your local authority collects them

  • Hairdryers and electric tools - these are not accepted as part of the scheme and need to be recycled as small electricals at retailers, Recycling Centres and as part of your home recycling collection, if your local authority collects them

  • Toilet roll wrapping - this is not accepted as part of the scheme and needs to be recycled at large supermarkets in their plastic bags and wrapping collections

  • Wooden eyeliner, eyeshadow and concealer pencils - just plastic ones are accepted

How to take-back your beauty and grooming packaging

  1. 1

    Check the participating retailer websites for full details of the individual schemes, including which materials are accepted and which stores are taking part.

  2. 2

    Separate anything that can be collected in your home recycling such as plastic shampoo and conditioner bottles - these need to go in your kerbside collection.

  3. 3

    Empty and rinse - if you can, give a quick rinse of any product off or inside the items. This ensures the product doesn’t contaminate and cover other items also being collected.

  4. 4

    Put lids and caps back on – this reduces the chance of them getting lost during the sorting process as they can be recycled separately.

Who’s locations are on the Recycling Locator?

The following participating stores can be found on our Recycling Locator tool - just click on 'Where to recycle a specific item', select one of the beauty and grooming items and then enter your postcode to find your nearest store.

To find out more about the individual schemes please visit the retailer's websites.

  • Boots

  • Kiehl's

  • Maybelline

Members of the John Lewis & Partners loyalty programme can also return these item in-store - find out more on their BeautyCycle page.

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