Which beauty brands are challenging plastic pollution?

By Lucy Wagstaffe
Share this articleComments
Share this articleClose Button

This June: Beauty giants take on plastic.


The global cosmetics industry produces 120 billion units of packaging every year according to Zero Waste Week, so if only there was a way we could stop the contents of our make-up bags being thrown into landfill? Thankfully, these renowned beauty giants have come up with ever-improving solutions to tackle needless waste. Some even offer free products in exchange for recycling - free lipstick and a clear conscience anyone? Check out which beauty brands we recommend looking out for this June.

& Other Stories

Many brands could follow in _& Other Stories’_ environmental footsteps as they've worked hard to establish an in-store recycling programme for their beauty products, in order to reduce their impact on the planet. The initiative encourages consumers to bring in their ‘empties’, within the brand’s beauty range, including: colour cosmetics, bath & body and skin care products. Their reward? Not only will customers be aware that their used beauty containers will have another life, they’ll also receive a voucher with a 10% recycling gift. Now, you’ll be able to search for that new summer frock, safe in the knowledge that your container is on its way to the nearest recycling station. It's a win-win in our eyes.

Fashion United
Recyling with us is easyFashion United


MAC's recycling programme ‘Back to MAC’ also offers a reward scheme for those who simply don't fancy chucking their used beauty products into landfill. Once you have collected six empty MAC product containers, like lipstick tubes, skincare bottles, eye shadow pots, blush palettes, mascara cases and foundation tubes, you are able to claim a free lipstick of your choice. So make sure you reap the rewards of this inspirational recycling scheme by taking your six used containers to your nearest MAC counter, or post them to MAC Cosmetics Online.

The Body Shop

The Body Shop are going one step further in their mission to eliminate plastic waste. The ethically renowned beauty chain announced it will buy 250 tons of Community Trade recycled plastic from Bengaluru, India, which will be transformed into nearly 3 million haircare bottles by the end of 2019. But that’s not all, the brand is also relaunching its new recycling and repurposing scheme ‘Return. Recycle. Repeat.’ to encourage customers to give back their empty tubes, pots, jars and tubs to stores. ‘Love Your Body Club’ members will also receive a £5 reward when they return five of their empty bottles. This scheme is currently available in the UK, France and will be introduced in Germany soon!


In 2018, REN launched it’s ‘Clean to Planet’ initiative and pledged to go Zero Waste by 2021. They have introduced biodegradable films on their gift boxes, as well as recycled zips, and continue to repack their skincare to make it entirely recyclable. On top of that, REN is making waves with its Atlantic Kelp and Magnesium Body Wash: the bottle is made from 20% reclaimed ocean plastic waste and the other 80% comprises of recycled plastic bottles. Keep your eyes peeled this year for the skin-loving lotion of the range, which will commit to the same 100% recyclable promise.

REN Atlantic Kelp and Magnesium BodywashREN


Having achieved “the first internationally recognised quality seal for organic and natural beauty products,” Weleda continues to create sustainable skincare that benefits people and the natural world. With the aim of addressing the problem of plastic pollution this year, Weleda has made it possible to recycle all their soft touch plastic tubes in the UK. You simply have to find your nearest public drop-off location and your products will be sent off to have another lease of life. You can even have your empties picked up from your own home if you sign up as a private collector - recycling made simple!

Share this articleComments

You might also like