How to Recycle Your Old Cosmetics

Far easier than you'd think.

When it comes to recycling our makeup and cosmetics, many of us are come up wasteful. 

Here in Ireland we currently recycle 33% of all plastics, ahead of our target of 22.5%.

The new plastic recycling targets of 50% by 2025 and 55% by 2030 are ambitious, and work is being put in with all stakeholders – including policy makers, producers, recovery operators and consumers – to help Ireland achieve these targets with the development of a plastic recycling strategy.

While we all know what goes in a recycling bin by now (if you don't, read this), cosmetics are an altogether far trickier beast. However, it's not impossible. 

TerraCycle and Garnier have partnered to create a free recycling programme for all brands of beauty product packaging. The programme designates a communal collection where people can take their empties to be broken down and enlisted as full members of the circular economy

Waste products currently acceptable for collection are: haircare, skincare and cosmetics packaging, including shampoo and conditioner bottles and caps, hairspray caps, lotion dispensers, gel tubes, lipstick cases, mascara tubes, compacts, palettes, foundation bottles, concealer tubes and eyeliner pencils (just make sure they're clean first).

Irish drop-off points can be found here. The map is updated when new public drop-off locations are added or removed, so best to cast your eye on it before making the trip. 

For those based in Dublin, Origins has launched their free ‘Return to Origins’ beauty recycling service at Arnotts where they take on empties from any cosmetics brand and upcycle them into anything from new bottles and containers to street signs and stationery.

A number of brands actually reward you for recycling their old wares. These include:

  • MAC
  • Clarins
  • Innisfree
  • Kiehls
  • Melvita
  • Aveda
  • LUSH
  • Le Labo
  • Origins
  • Garnier
  • Côte
  • & Other Stories
  • L'Occitane

For more information on TerraCycle's recycling centres – and how to set up one yourself – click here

Main image by @laura.craffey

READ MORE: The Rise Of The Sustainable Influencer

READ MORE: What Exactly Is A Circular Economy And How Can It Save The Planet?

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