John Lewis Introduces Recycling Scheme For Empty Beauty Products

Loyalty members will get £5 off if they bring in certain used items to recycle.

Most of us are pretty good at recycling waste in our kitchen – but when it comes to bathroom and beauty products, we’re lagging behind.

The beauty industry produces an estimated 120 billion units of packaging each year, and very little of this is ever recycled. To help tackle the issue, John Lewis has partnered with TerraCycle to trial a new recycling scheme ‘BeautyCycle’, open to 500,000 John Lewis loyalty members.

It will take any beauty items – except for perfume bottles, nail varnish and aerosol cans, due to their potential flammability – and recycle them.

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“Beauty products are notoriously hard to recycle which can make it hard for customers to know what to do with them, which often means they end up being thrown in the bin,” said Martyn White, senior sustainability manager at John Lewis. “One of our key aims is to make being sustainable as easy as possible for customers, so it doesn’t have to be a difficult choice.”

Laure Cucuron, general manager at TerraCycle Europe, explained that very few beauty products are accepted by most council kerbside recycling systems due to the complexity of the materials – which is why this scheme is such a game-changer.

The trial will last for nine months and loyalty members who bring in items to recycle will receive a £5 discount on a beauty purchase in return. Those who are eligible to take part in the scheme will receive an email informing them.

Customers can return the items to any John Lewis store that has a full beauty offering (there are 36 of these in total including in Cambridge, Bluewater, Cardiff and Stratford). Depending on the results of the trial, John Lewis may look to roll out the scheme to all customers and all stores.