How To Recycle Your Beauty Products In The UK

The majority of us are attempting to be sustainable and live as ethically as we can. We can all do our part in small steps by aiming to reduce our plastic footprint, and making small changes to benefit the environment, and recycling beauty products is a great place to start. 


Experts at WeThrift have shared their top tips on how to start recycling your unwanted or empty product containers. In this detailed guide we have compiled everything you need to know about disposing of beauty products properly, so you will never have the excuse of throwing them in the bin again: . 

  • Clean out your product

The first thing you need to do is dismantle the product, and separate each material out. Once this is done, thoroughly wash out any residue left in the product and set it aside to dry on a towel. 

If the material is paper, cardboard, or glass these can of course be recycled in your back garden into the correct bins. 

  • Brush up on your knowledge of what can and cannot be recycled 

Unfortunately many are not aware of which parts of their products cannot be recycled, and what the specific requirements are when it comes to recycling. So here is the low down, pumps and some bottle caps can’t be recycled so make sure they are removed and binned before recycling. 

It is also important to know that if the product has a label, you should remove it because labels cannot be recycled. Makeup brushes, palettes that contain mirrors or magnets, and mascara brushes are also listed in the non-recyclable category. 


Although traditionally made of  glass, nail varnish bottles are surprisingly among the products that cannot be recycled,  due to toxins used in nail formulas that make them unrecyclable.

  • Re-use items if possible 

This may seem like an obvious option but many forget to do this. Almost any beauty products can be reused now, so if you have any leftover tubs and jars lying around, they can be used as storage or as a container when making a homemade face mask.  What’s more, a spray bottle can be used to mist and water your houseplants. 


There are multiple uses that our everyday beauty products can have once we have finished using them, you just need to be a little creative. 

  • Using a nearby location drop off 

Many high street retailers are taking part in their own recycling schemes, to prompt their customers to become more environmentally friendly. 

TerraCycle has made the process of recycling very simple by providing users with a local drop off point, all you have to do is drop off your empty beauty products from any brand. Once they reach the local drop off point it is out of your hands, they will sort, separate and recycle to ensure the minimum ends up in landfill. 

Some makeup brands even have their own drop off locations, for example Maybelline have makeup recycling locations all over the UK. A quick search will lead you to many stores nearby that provide this service.  

  • Take note of where you shop 

One of the easiest ways to start recycling your products is to already shop from ethical brands, as the materials from their products will most likely be recycled. 

TerraCycle is a company that focuses on helping people recycle non-recyclable materials, like the ones mentioned above. Brands like REN skincare have partnered with TerraCycle to create products that are purely made from recycled materials. 

Kiehls is another well known skincare company that is prompting their customers to be more aware of recycling.In fact, the brand is  now inviting consumers to take part in their recycle and be rewarded scheme, so for every kiehl’s product or any other brand of skincare plastic packaging customers can expect to receive a stamp on their loyalty card. 


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