How to Recycle Your Beauty Products
Chances are you have a recycling bin in your kitchen and probably a few in your office, but what about your bathroom? Beauty products, while not as easily recyclable as that can of La Croix you just finished, don’t have to be destined for the landfill. From aerosol cans to plastic tubes, here’s your complete guide on how to recycle every beauty product in your medicine cabinet. But first, remember these four things:
- Make sure it’s empty. An item with up to 10% residual formula in it won’t get recycled.
- Make sure it’s clean. Rinse out your empties, but don’t worry about drying them.
- Disassembly may be required. Items with sprayers, droppers, and other pieces will have to be removed.
- Check with your local curbside recycling program to ensure they collect items that look like yours. If they don’t, bring your recyclables to the recycling station located within each Target store.
Jars are some of the easiest items to recycle. Since the cap and jar often are made of the same plastic (like ours are), simply rinse out, replace the cap, and toss in your recycling bin. If there's a white liner, you can toss that in the trash.
To check if your other plastic jars have lids made of the same type of plastic, look for the number 1-7 in the recycling symbol on both pieces. If you can’t find a match, dispose of the lid and the jar separately.
Plastic and Aluminum Tubes
Cut into your tubes to scoop out every last drop, but don’t cut them into two separate pieces. Smaller pieces make items less likely to get recycled. Once clean, remove the caps and either recycle them separately or toss them in the trash per the guidelines below. Don't forget to recycle the paper pouch or box it comes in, too.
Hard Plastic Bottles
Your plastic bottles can be differentiated into 2 categories: hard bottles and flexible bottles (ones that you can squeeze). Hard bottles are usually smaller like your serums, oils, or boosters. Since the droppers are usually made out of a different material, those cannot be recycled and should be removed. If your hard plastic bottle comes in a paper box or pouch, toss it in your recycling too.
Note: Remove the applicator and throw in trash.
Flexible Plastic Bottles
Flexible bottles are exactly what they sound like, they are softer bottles usually bigger. Think cleanser, shampoo, conditioner, body wash, and body lotion. Just like hard bottles, inserts like the pumps and sprayers should be separated and are usually not recyclable. Take those out, rinse the bottle, remove or replace the cap per the guidelines below, and toss it in the recycling bin.
- Keep It Supple Body Oil* (remove the nozzle and stem and recycle separately)
Glass Jars And Bottles
Glass jars and bottles can be endlessly recycled (not including your household glasswares), just make sure you’re removing any liners in the tops of lids, disposing of lids, caps, and applicators separately if they’re not glass, and confirming that your curbside recycling program accepts all three colors or glass (clear, brown, and blue).
When you’ve reached the end of your styling sprays (meaning you don’t hear any liquid inside when you shake them), hold down the nozzle until only air dispenses from the nozzle. Remove any detachable parts, like the lid, and recycle them separately. And as with all these forms, check with your local curbside recycling program to see if they collect empty aerosol cans. If they don’t, bring them to your local Target store’s recycling station.
Other Personal Care Items
While items like toothbrushes and razors aren’t recyclable through curbside programs, the brands you use may have their own recycling programs or partnerships in place to help. Colgate and Gilette, for example, work with the recycling partner TerraCycle. Check with the brands you use to see if they have collection programs you can take advantage of.
Don't see your Versed product on this list? It's likely not accepted through most curbside recycling programs. Bring it to the recycling station located at the front of every Target store instead. Note: Pouch packaging (like masks) are not recyclable and must be thrown in the trash. The good news is our masks use 97% less packaging material than traditional products.
Looking for a more eco-friendly routine? Here's how to waste less in your skincare regimen.