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How to Recycle Cosmetics Containers

How to Recycle Cosmetics Containers

Most plastic cosmetic containers are PP 5 plastics and recyclable in your council recycle bin and with some commercial traders. Ensure the item is emptied thoroughly cleaned before you put it into the recycle bin.

You should be able to put the contents in your compost bin if you have one, but be aware that some products container microbeads made of plastic which obviously aren't compatible with compost bins. 

Refilling and reusing your containers if a far better option than recycling and increasing numbers of cosmetic companies offer refilling options. 

Eco Minerals offer refillable sachets and Adorn Mineral Cosmetics operates a refill program. MAC Cosmetics will reward you with a free lipstick when you return six packing containers.

Beauty product tubes (eg: foundation tubes) are accepted for specialised recycling through Terracycle. 
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Science Notes
The problem with a lot of cosmetic packaging is that while individual components may be recyclable, often different plastics are fused with metals and even glass. Separating these can be a problem so if you have the opportunity to reuse containers or buy from a supplier who refills, it is a good idea to do so.

Related Tip
For application and cleaning products, use organic cottons buds and balls without plastic which are compostable.

Every year, Australians use almost 400,000 tonnes of plastic for packaging, bottling and other needs. Plastic takes about 500 years to break down in a landfill so setting it aside for your recycle bin is a great way to help the environment.