Here's how to recycle your empty beauty products — because the beauty and health of our planet matters, too
Here’s a not-so-fun fact—the average American throws away roughly 185 pounds of plastic every year, and over 29 million tons end up getting piled in landfills. Climate change is very real, and our planet is in peril, but there are ways you can help. Start by looking in your beauty product stash, particularly at those select items that have only a few drops left before they get tossed in your wastebasket. Most makeup, haircare, and body products come housed in packaging that can be recycled. The handy recyclable logo, usually printed on the bottom or back of the object, is one indicator, and if the product happens to be bottled in glass, plastic, or aluminum, just be sure to sort it in with other empties that follow suit. To help clean up your act in time for Earth Day, we outlined exactly how to recycle your empty beauty products, below.
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Because most packaging is made from either cardboard or paper material, you can easily throw the exterior into the green recycling bin. Break down the tiny boxes if you can, otherwise they’re just fine placed alongside all that Home Depot cardboard your neighbor used to move in with earlier in the week.
Provided that the empty shadow pans and lipstick tubes are plastic, these can be placed with the empty water, soda, and juice bottles you’ve rinsed and thrown into your blue recycling bin. Give your cosmetics the same treatment by cleaning out any lingering product, but double-check to see if the brand in question has its own recycling program going—MAC, for example, allows you to bring in 6 empty MAC containers to trade in for a new lipstick of your choosing, while Origins will accept and recycle any empty products, regardless of brand.
Give those long-gone fragrances and empty foundation bottles a thorough rinse once the last drop has been used. They can be thrown in with the wine bottles and your other glass recyclables.
Your empty shampoos, conditioners, body lotions, shower gels, face washes, and other formulas once carried in a plastic exterior will fit right in among the rest of your plastic goods, including the aforementioned cosmetics you didn’t take back to your local Origins counter.
Metal or Aerosol Cans
Gather up your cans of dry shampoo, hairspray, mousse, shaving cream, and sprayable deodorant no longer waiting to exhale. These can be lumped in with your aluminum and metal cans.
This article originally appeared in InStyle by Marianne Mychaskiw.