It may come as a surprise, but even though a lot of us know the importance of recycling (especially amidst growing concerns for the health of our planet), not all Canadians are aware of what can be recycled. A whopping 91% of plastic isn’t recycled (whoa!) and each year about 8 million metric tons of plastic is thrown into the ocean.
An annual awareness campaign, Zero Waste Week, reported that more than 120 billion units of packaging are produced every year by the global cosmetics industry. Our beauty routines affect the environment, and that’s why we want to find ways to support us all in becoming more conscious of what we do with items like our empty shampoo bottles and hairspray cans.
Let’s face it—recycling beauty products can feel like a daunting task. With so many different materials in packaging, sometimes it’s hard to know whether it’s recyclable or destined for the trash. So, we’ve laid it all out for you to make the process smoother.
Your Quick Recycling Checklist
Local rules: It’s important to look into your local recycling rules, as every city has varying restrictions. Your local government website is a great place to start.
Recycling logo: The recycling logo is a good indicator that an item is recyclable.
Lather, rinse, repeat: Yes, you do have to rinse out bottles before you recycle them!
Let’s Talk Packaging
Cardboard: Cardboard is a very common form of packaging for cosmetics. You can easily break down the boxes your products came in and place them in the recycling bin.
Plastic: Your empty shampoos, conditioners, cleansers, and moisturizers don’t belong in the trash! These plastic containers can often be recycled alongside your other plastics. Don’t forget to include the lids!
Glass: Rinse your empty bottles and toss them in the recycling bin with your other glass items.
Pumps: Pumps can be tricky as they often contain multiple materials (a metal spring and cap for example). Just remove the metal spring and place the cap back on the bottle before you toss it in the appropriate recycling bin.
We’re Here to Help!
Still feeling a bit overwhelmed with the details? We’ve got good news! London Drugs is happy to accept recyclable packaging for cosmetics and beauty products that we sell, including:
- Cardboard boxes
- Plastic containers
- Plastic lids and pump sprayers
- Clear plastic clamshell-style packaging
Unfortunately, we can’t accept glass, lipstick tubes, or nail polish containers at this time. The recycling industry is still working on how to recycle small items like this. As most of the facilities use automated machines, small items like lipstick tubes are often missed and end up back in the landfill.
We’re working toward a goal of recycling everything we sell one day. Thanks for working with us to get there! We’re here to make it easy for you to feel good about consuming your favourite beauty products conscientiously.