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Tricky-to-recycle pots, pumps jars and tubs no longer need to end up in landfill.

When it comes to beauty, environmental sustainability approaches might not offer as much to get jazzed about as new research with the potential to reverse skin aging or an amazing new lipstick texture.

But undoubtedly addressing the growing mountain of waste is the most dominant and important talking point around the future of beauty right now, along with the brands and products leading the way.

The ‘clean’ conversation continues, as what’s in our products remains of vital interest but increasingly, it’s joined by a more pressing issue: the state of our planet, in more ways than one.

Given estimates by Zero Waste Week UK that beauty packaging accounts for 120 billion units a year, and as the climate crisis accelerates, considerations around every aspect of beauty and personal care production, packaging and waste are being cconsidered.

The good news is that although the problem is immense, it’s both the big changes, and the small, that can have an impact. 

New options for tricky to recycle packaging

Mecca staff with one of the new Terracycle bins. 

This week Mecca has announced its new partnership with Terracycle, an initiative that takes beauty packaging and recycles it at dedicated locations, something often not possible through your usual curbside recycling as beauty products often have tricky components like pumps and metal inserts.

All you need to do is collect up your empty bottles, pots, tubes, palettes and more, and deposit them in dedicated Terracycle bins placed in every Mecca store or pass them to a staff member. Ensure each item is empty or they cannot be accepted. 

Since commencing an initial trial in selected Mecca stores in October 2019, Mecca and Terracycle together have collected approximately 10,240 beauty containers and successfully diverted them from going to landfill.

This partnership follows brands including Emma Lewisham and Schwarzkopf’s previous commitment to Terracycle which means you now have more opportunities to ensure the products you used are recycled correctly.

Schwarzkopf Cares program even involves recycling waste haircare, hair colour and even steel and aluminium hair aerosols for free via courier.

Lewisham has also put significant effort into ensuring the plastic used in new Brighten Your Day Crème, as with each of the brands previous products, remains in circularity. The initial purchase comes with the airless pump components as well as a loose tub containing the daily moisturiser that easily slots into an outer casing. When finished you can re-purchase a refill and return the empty inner tub to the brand for free using the delivery bag the refill came in. It is then cleaned, sterilised, refilled and re-sold. 

Kiwi beauty brand Aleph is taking a similar approach with the launch of Re Aleph, a circular initiative to encourage the return of its glass packaging for refilling and reusing.

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