Online retail group and technology company THG has set up a new beauty product recycling service, allowing customers to send back used items to be repurposed.
The ‘recycle:me by THG’ initiative will let consumers send all used beauty products, regardless of the brand, to THG. It is a move aimed to improve recycling rates for items with complex packaging such as mascara, lipstick and eyeshadow palettes.
THG, which owns and operates multiple beauty and nutrition brands such as Lookfantastic and Mankind, said it wanted to ensure plastic end-of-life of used beauty products are processed in a way that is environmentally friendly.
To use the beauty product recycling scheme, consumers shopping on THG Beauty sites in the UK must wash out their used products and return them free of charge. They can do this even if the items were not purchased from THG’s beauty websites.
ESPA Skincare customers already have access to the recycling scheme, while Lookfantastic will launch recycle:me to its customers in the coming months, with all of THG’s beauty brands set to be lined up to the initiative by the end of 2021.
THG said items sent back are melted down and repurposed in partnership with Storm Board, a company which turns waste into weather-proof and recyclable materials used for social projects. Storm Board turns old plastic into items such as furniture, playground equipment, and refugee shelters.
Matthew Moulding, founder, chairman & CEO of THG, commented: “The recycle:me scheme is part of our ongoing pledge via THG (eco) to reduce our impact on the environment and create innovative new sustainability practices.
“We have started with our THG Beauty division as we know that recycling processes are particularly complex for plastic beauty products such as mascara, lipstick and skincare items with inbuilt pumps, which leads to many consumers simply disposing of their used goods in their household waste.”
Nick Stillwell, managing director of Storm Board, said his company “recycles the unrecyclable”.
“Our focus is turning waste plastic into a weatherproof and recyclable alternative to plywood that can be reused many times and recycled into another board at the end of its life,” he explained.
“We create a circular economy of waste whilst lowering the impact on our already strained environment.”
Boots launched a beauty product recycling scheme in the UK, in 2020, allowing shoppers to take back items to stores and gain Advantage Card loyalty points in the process.
[Image credit: THG]