L'Oreal (OR.PA) will install recycling bins in 1,000 UK stores, helping customers dispose of old make-up items in greener way.
The cosmetics conglomerate has teamed up with recycling firm Terracycle to launch the “Make-up, Not Make Waste” programme through its Maybelline New York brand.
From Thursday, customers will be able to drop off empty make-up products from any brand — not just Maybelline or L’oreal products — such as “finished foundations, unloved liners and past-it palettes” at recycling points in Tesco and Superdrug stores.
Terracycle will collect the waste from stores, separate, clean and fully recycle it. It will be turned into into plastic pellets that will be used to make new products.
Customers are encouraged to find their nearest recycling stations via Maybelline’s interactive map.
Most empty make-up products will be accepted, however, make-up brushes, nail polish and aerosol sprays won’t be taken. Additionally, glass and cardboard packaging should be kept to regular recycling to be collected by councils, Maybelline said.
Customers are encouraged to clean out empty containers before dropping them off at bins, to help with the cleaning and recycling process, but items with some leftover product residue will be accepted, the brand added.
Bins will also be installed in Boots and Sainsbury’s stores in September, and the company said it hopes to expand to even more stores in 2021.
The move is part of L’Oreal’s initiative to reduce plastic waste. The firm has also announced its Paris Elvive shampoo will now be sold in 100% recyclable bottles.
The firm is striving towards all of its plastic packaging being refillable, recyclable, rechargeable or compostable, and least half of its plastic packaging being either “of recycled origin or bio-sourced” by 2025, it states in its plastic packaging policy.
Over eight million tonnes of plastic are thrown into the ocean every year, with this figure set to increase tenfold over the next 10 years if serious action isn’t taken, scientific research suggests.
With 146 million make-up products being produced in that time, “the make-up is playing catch up,” Maybelline said on it’s official website.
“Like you, we’ve had our landfill. But Maybelline’s ready to go greener, one old lipstick at a time!” the brand said.
L’Oreal’s UK boss told BBC News that the company wants to “lead the way” in making recycling cosmetics the new norm.
However, Greenpeace said that without reducing single-use plastics, L’Oreal and other firms “can not claim they’re doing enough”, the BBC reported.