The beauty industry produces an incredible amount of waste each year. More than 120 billion plastic packaging units are produced by the beauty industry each year, but less than nine percent gets recycled.
Major fashion retailer Nordstrom is doing its part to be apart of the solution instead of the problem. This month, the retailer announced BEAUTYCYCLE, the first beauty take-back and recycling program accepting all brands of beauty packaging at a major retailer.
Customers can now bring in their empty beauty product packaging to be recycled at any of Nordstrom’s full-line stores or Nordstrom Local service hubs in the continental United States. Through this program, Nordstrom aims to take back 100 tons of hard-to-recycle beauty packaging by 2025 to ensure it’s recycled. Many municipal recycling centers do not accept beauty materials and packaging, as they often contain a mix of materials that are not locally recyclable.
How does it work?
- Starting October 1, customers can bring their empty beauty products to any Nordstrom or Nordstrom Local to be recycled. BEAUTYCYCLE boxes will be available in the beauty department.
- Nordstrom will send the content of these boxes to TerraCycle, where they are cleaned and separated into metals, glass, and plastics.
- Those materials are then recycled based on material composition. For example, plastics are recycled into a wide range of new products, including park benches and picnic tables. At the same time, metals are reused as base materials for stamped product applications like nuts, bolts, washers, and rings.
What items can be recycled?
Customers can bring empty cosmetics, haircare, or skincare packaging regardless of brand or purchase location. This includes:
- Shampoo and conditioner bottles and caps
- Hair gel tubes and caps
- Hair spray bottles and triggers
- Hair paste plastic jars and caps
- Lip balm tubes
- Face soap dispensers and tubes
- Lotion bottles, tubes, dispensers, and jars
- Shaving foam tubes (no cans)
- Lip gloss tubes
- Mascara tubes
- Eyeliner pencils and cases
- Eye shadow and tubes
- Concealer tubes and sticks
Nordstrom says it is the first major retailer to offer such a service. To learn more, visit