How to Recycle Your Beauty Packaging.
If we want to keep our planet pretty and healthy, it’s time for recycling to move beyond the kitchen and into the bathrooms. Research shows that currently, only about 34% of us are recycling material outside of the kitchen — and we all know the rest is either in landfills or floating in our ocean. We can do better!
We’ve all tossed a shampoo bottle in the trash and ditched a Lip Balm or Lotion bottle because we just weren’t sure if it could be recycled. Thankfully, the beauty and self care industry as a whole is moving toward more sustainable packaging and like Raw Sugar, is committed to using less virgin plastic. But as we progress, there’s still the issue of how we recycle packaging that has a lot of moving parts. There are pumps and mirrors and cardboard flaps and metal cases. So what can and can’t be recycled from your self-care and beauty routine?
Start with your local guidelines. Check your local government website as recycling efforts are different in every city and have varying recycling restrictions. Here are some general guidelines and tips to follow:
•While you’re shopping look for the classic triangle with arrows symbol (which is called a Mobius loop) to be 100 percent sure what you’re buying is recyclable to begin with.
•Paper and cardboard packaging: This is a solid yes and easily recycled. (Note: Look for Raw Sugar’s new Deodorant with 100% biodegradable packaging!)
•Plastic Bottles: The plastic that houses Body Wash, Shampoos and Conditioners, Hand Washes, etc are a definite YES. But, with brands other than Raw Sugar, make sure you read the label on your bottle. Some plastics are not recyclable, so if yours isn’t, maybe it’s time you switched brands and used packaging that is. The clue is to look at the bottle — usually on the bottom of the plastic, there will be a number. 1 and 2 are the most easily recyclable. Rinse your bottles and put in the recycle bin. If it has a plastic pump, that’s good to go as well. Caps and bottle tops, even if they’re different materials, are generally acceptable.
• Pouches and squeezable tubes usually can’t be recycled.
Anything that is multilayer or has multiple materials is questionable. Certain flexible pouches (like resealable pouches with face masks) and toothpaste tubes are considered multilayer and should be thrown in the trash unless the package explicitly states that you can recycle it.
•Aluminum and steel bottles, like the kind on Raw Sugar’s Dry Shampoo or new Hand Wash Therapy are fully recyclable. Bonus: They look amazing on the counter too!
•Glass jars are a definite yes. The natural brown and green colors are even in high demand.
•For Lipstick, compacts and eye shadow palettes: These are more complicated because again, there are usually multiple materials involved. If it’s a solid plastic, like Raw Sugar Lip Balm, the answer is yes. Others may need to be trashed.
•Cotton pads and Face Wipes: These are actually compostable and recyclable with your food waste. So take your makeup off and toss it in with the kitchen to throw it away.
Do you need to rinse packaging first? Yes, please. When bottles arrive dirty at the recycling plant it lowers the value of the finished recycle product. So if you take a few extra seconds to rinse your bottles, you’re helping create a more robust recycling effort.