Less Than 9% of Beauty Products Are Recycled, but Nordstrom's New Program Aims to Fix That

In an effort to reduce the amount of waste in landfills created by plastic packaging in the beauty industry, Nordstrom has announced a new nationwide recycling program called Beautycycle, in partnership with global recycling leader TerraCycle.

As of Oct. 1, shoppers can bring in their empty beauty products to be recycled at any of Nordstrom's full-line stores or Nordstrom local service hubs in the US. At the Beautycycle drop-off boxes available at the department stores, shoppers can dispose of empty cosmetic, hair-care, and skin-care packaging, regardless of the brand or where the product was purchased. This new initiative makes Nordstrom the first major retailer to offer a recycling program for all beauty products.

Nordstrom's press release states that less than nine percent of the 120 billion units of plastic packaging produced by the beauty industry are recycled each year, and they hope to change that.

"At Nordstrom, we're hopeful that by making it easier for customers to recycle their beauty products, more plastic and packaging will be recycled," Gemma Lionello, Nordstrom executive vice president, general merchandise manager, accessories and beauty, told POPSUGAR. "We're committed to taking back 100 tons of beauty packaging to ensure it's recycled by 2025."

Courtesy of Nordstrom

The products collected at Nordstrom's Beautycycle boxes will be sent to TerraCycle, where they will be cleaned and sorted by metals, glass, and plastics. From there, the materials will be recycled into new products.

Here's a full list of beauty products that can be recycled with the Beautycycle program at Nordstrom:

  • Shampoo and conditioner bottles and caps
  • Hair-gel tubes and caps
  • Hair-spray bottles and triggers
  • Hair-paste plastic jars and caps
  • Lip-balm tubes
  • Face-soap dispensers and tubes
  • Lotion bottles, tubes, dispensers, and jars
  • Shaving-foam tubes (no cans)
  • Lip-gloss tubes
  • Mascara tubes
  • Eyeliner pencils and cases
  • Eyeshadow and tubes
  • Concealer tubes and sticks