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How To Recycle Beauty Products 2009-04-16 06:00:42

What Can and Can't Be Recycled?

When you've finished your favorite lipstick or blush, what do you do with the packaging? Do you toss it in the trash, recycle it, or just stare at it blankly not knowing what to do? According to the EPA, each year Americans create millions of tons of waste. Check out my chart for general guidelines on what can and can't be recycled, when you


Cardboard, glass jars and bottles, metal lids and caps, plastic bottles, and steel (tin) cans
Mirrors, plastic wrap, and waxed cardboard
Empty aerosol cans Accepted by some waste management systems, as long as they are empty. Check first to be certain.
Aerosol cans with product Consider it hazardous waste, as contents are still under pressure.
Plastic containers and clamshells Check which types of plastic your waste management system accepts.
Compostable plastic Should go in compost, instead.
Nail polishes Treat as hazardous waste, and dispose of properly.
Lipstick Many companies, like MAC and Cargo, will take back used tubes and handle the recycling for you.
Plastic bottle caps While some cities accept all plastic bottle caps, some do not. If yours doesn't, check your community for bottle cap collection drives, or consider Aveda's recycle caps program.

Remember, when in doubt, check the label or call the manufacturer or your local waste management. Consider only purchasing products that are recyclable and/or made from post-consumer recycled materials. Or head to Origins. The stores will accept any brand's cleaned-out cosmetic containers for recycling. Plus, you'll get a free skin care sample.


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Join The Conversation
girlfunkmusic girlfunkmusic 7 years
What about batteries? I never know what to do...
k1tsune k1tsune 7 years
how about mascara tubes?
Beauty Beauty 7 years
Hi sarasonne! When in doubt, head to your nearest hazardous waste facility to drop off your old polishes. Or, you can always call the nail polish manufacturer to see what they recommend. I hope this helps!
sarasonne sarasonne 7 years
I still don't understand how to properly dispose of my nail polishes.
dyskrasia dyskrasia 8 years
"Nail polishes: Treat as hazardous waste, and dispose of properly." How would one go about disposing of this "properly", just for clarification?
emalove emalove 8 years
I have a pretty detailed list that I printed from the web awhile back...I use it to help me sort for recycling.
miss-malone miss-malone 8 years
Good to know..
aimeeb aimeeb 8 years
Plastic containers like old tupperware maybe? That seems odd.
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