How To Recycle Your Cosmetics Empties

How To Recycle Your Cosmetics Empties

How To Recycle Your Cosmetics Empties

Did you know 120 billion units of packaging are manufactured by the global cosmetics industry each year? And that 91% of cosmetics packaging heads directly to landfill?[1]

With those chilling facts, we should all be making every effort to recycle our beauty and skincare empties, right? But a staggering 56% of Brits don't recycle their bathroom products[2] - that's 4.5 million people! And around 95% of our cosmetics empties still end up in landfill[2].

The bad news is cosmetics packaging is often composed of different types of material. Beauty, skincare and make-up packaging usually combines more than one material, like mirrors, cardboard, plastic, pump marts, metal, glass, PET plastic and more. Think of the different parts making up your eyeshadow palette - a mirror, a plastic case, metal pans holding the eyeshadow shades, glue sticking the pan to the compact... All these different components make beauty packaging difficult to recycle. Pumps often feature as part of skincare packaging but they're notoriously hard to recycle as they often use different types of plastic and have a metal coil mechanism, making them difficult to take apart during the recycling process. 

The good news is you've got lots of options to sustainably dispose of your cosmetics empties. Here are our top choices:

Option 1: Use Recycle Now’s Recycling Locator tool

Recycle Now is your one-stop hub for all things recycling. When it comes to beauty and skincare, you can find local recycling schemes to drop your cosmetics empties off here. You can also use their Recycling Locator tool to understand what materials you can recycle at home.

Option 2: Recycle at Boots Stores

Once you're done with your beauty and skincare products, keep a hold of your empties. Sign up to Boots’ recycling scheme to register your cosmetics empties, drop them off in-store & earn points which you can convert into cash redeemable against purchases at Boots.

Option 3: Recycle at Superdrug Stores

Recycle cosmetics empties from any brand by dropping them off in an in-store collection box, thanks to Superdrug’s partnership with TerraCycle and Maybelline.

Option 4: Get a Zero Waste Box

This option involves a cost, so it may not suit all budgets - but it's a super convenient option and will definitely encourage you to recycle all your cosmetics and skincare packaging. You can buy a Zero Waste Beauty Box from TerraCycle to dispose of your beauty empties at home. Use the pre-paid shipping labels to get your empties collected for recycling.

Boxes start from £124, so they're an investment.

 Option 5: Use John Lewis' BeautyCycle Scheme

John Lewis recycles beauty empties for free - you just need to bring 5 or more empty containers to one of their beauty counters. And if you're signed up to their rewards programme, you'll get £5 off your beauty purchase if you spend £20 with them that day! They accept a wide range of beauty packaging - from make-up and skincare to haircare products, but they can't currently recycle glass packaging or aerosols.

[1] ‘The Courage to Change’, British Beauty Council (9 November 2020)
[2] Research carried out by Garnier, as reported in 'Here's why you're wrong for throwing your empty beauty products in the bin', Katie Thomas, 17 April 2023, Marie Claire,,still%20end%20up%20in%20landfill.
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    We are committed to keeping beauty and wellness products out of landfill. By shopping on Boop, you can help reduce product waste and support a more sustainably beauty and wellness industry.

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Frequently Asked Questions

What Does Boop Do?

Boop works directly with brands to source luxury beauty and wellness products and keep them out of landfill.

Each year, $4.8 billion worth of beauty products get destroyed due to overproduction or expiry. We're on a mission to change that.

We source and sell beauty and wellness products when brands make to much, discontinue products, reformulate, change their branding or packaging, or if products look a little imperfect on the outside.

We sell skincare, haircare, make-up, cosmetics, fragrance, beauty supplements, home fragrance, beauty tools, luxury silk sleep masks, candles and more.

How Can I Be Sure My Products Are Authentic and High Quality?

Boop only sources beauty and wellness products direct from brands.

We inspect each product and we only sell products which are new, unopened and safe for use. We sell a range of items from skincare and haircare to fragrance and make up, and we always review product condition with the brands.

Beauty and wellness products you buy on Boop could be overstock, items missing their external box, discontinued, a previous formulation or a product with wonky labels or typos.

Each product page will detail its flaws under its ‘Product Condition’ section.

Why Are Boop's Prices Discounted?

Boop is an outlet for premium beauty and wellness products. We can offer discounts on beauty and wellness products because we negotiate clearance prices with brands and pass savings on to you.

What Delivery Do You Offer?

United Kingdom:

We offer free shipping on orders over £25. For all orders £25 or below, shipping is £4.00.

Delivery Method: standard Tracked 48 Delivery by Royal Mail to addresses within the UK only (England, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland).

Estimated Delivery Time: 2 Business Days.

Channel Islands & Isle of Man

We offer free shipping on orders over £25. For all orders £25 or below, shipping is £3.29.

Delivery Method: standard Tracked 48 Delivery by Royal Mail to addresses within The Channel Islands & Isle of Man.

Estimated Delivery Time: 2-4 Business Days.

Items may arrive separately if they are shipped directly by the brand.

Please refer to our Shipping Policy for exclusions and our redelivery policy.