How to Recycle Beauty Product Containers

Everything You Need To Know About Recycling Makeup

Article by Hayley Hyer

Photography by Stock Images + Caroline Tompkins

Do you ever think about what you do with your beauty product containers after they run out? Most of us just throw them in the trash. Some of us may make an effort to recycle them but don't know exactly which materials can be recycled and how to completely clean out any leftover product so it doesn't contaminate the rest of the recycling. It's complicated being an eco-friendly beauty lover! But don't despair. Thatiana Diaz at Refinery 29 did some research and put together a perfect guide called Everything You Need To Know About Recycling Makeup.

It’s critical to know that simply tossing makeup products into recycling bins is not enough — and might not even ensure those products are properly recycled. “Where someone lives — as in, their local municipality — will dictate what can be recycled in their area,” says Herrera.“Each municipality has different recycling requirements, and consumers should check with their town to find out what can be put in their curbside bin.” This information could be found on your town or city's official website, or on Call2Recycle.org.

Aside from the technicalities of location, there’s also the fact that many makeup products cannot be recycled. The top culprits are anything with a mirror, pump, applicator, or magnet, and makeup brushes, too. "There’s not a pump in the industry that’s recyclable," Āether Beauty founder Tiila Abbitt previously told Refinery29.

Herrera also emphasizes the importance of emptying out any excess product; this applies whether you're sending the packaging off to organizations or just curbside. Doing this ensures that harmful chemicals don't end up being thrown into waste streams as facilities have to physically remove what's inside. The best way to clean out the leftover product is to rinse out the packaging and put the excess into a sealed jar before sending it off to the landfill; this proper seal guarantees that chemicals aren't seeping into the trash, which is ultimately harmful to the air.

READ MORE: Everything You Need To Know About Recycling Makeup

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