Cosmetic Retailer Offers Packaging Recycling

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Cosmetic retailer Origins has become the first nationwide cosmetic company to offer recycling for cosmetic packaging, which is now accepted at all Origins retail stores and department store counters in the U.S.

Origins will be collecting all brands of packaging but is limiting the program to the bottles, jars and tubes that contain the cosmetics (including caps). Plastic bags or wrapping, paper boxes and applicators will not be accepted. Another requirement is that the packaging must be empty.

Origins is the first cosmetic company to launch a recycling program for cosmetic containers. Photo: Treehugger.com

Origins is the first cosmetic company to launch a recycling program for cosmetic containers. Photo: Treehugger.com

The glass and plastic will be recycled and reprocessed into new products, with any unrecyclable waste being used for energy recovery. This means that instead of ending up in a landfill, leftover waste will be incinerated to generate energy.

In the case of plastic cosmetic packaging, it is usually made from plastic resin that is more difficult to recycle, such as polypropylene (or #5 plastic). While many curbside recycling programs won’t accept it, this plastic can be recycled into other packaging or plastic lumber.

To launch the new program, Origins had nationwide recycling events on April 2 featuring actresses Kelly Rutherford and Jessica Stroup. At each of the seven events, the first 50 people to bring in packaging to be recycled received a one-month supply of Origins’ hydrating body cream.

Don’t feel left out if you weren’t able to attend an event. As a reward for bringing in your recyclable cosmetic container, Origins will treat you to a free sample of your choice from its high-performance skincare products.

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Trey Granger

Trey Granger

Trey Granger is a former senior waste stream analyst for Earth911.
Trey Granger