L'Occitane partners with Surfers Against Sewage to fight plastic pollution with eco-refill service

The French skin care brand will donate £5 for every refill purchased across 25 of its best selling skin and body care products

L'Occitane is doing its part to help rid the world's oceans of plastic waste by supporting marine conservation charity Surfers Against Sewage with its sustainable refill scheme.

Today, up to 12.7 million tonnes of plastic are thought to enter the ocean every year; if the current rate continues, by 2050 there will be more plastic than fish in the sea, according to L'Occitane.

In an effort to combat this, from 27-30 May – which the company has dubbed 'Green Day' – the French beauty brand will donate £5 for every eco-refill sold to Surfers Against Sewage, funding the UK-based charity's projects such as its Million Mile Beach Clean, which encourages consumers to get involved with cleaning up waste from their local beaches, rivers and parks.

The partnership is the latest in L'Occitane's efforts to cut down on single-use plastic across its products and offer customers more sustainable alternatives.

While today an increasing number of beauty brands, such as Beauty Kitchen and Lush, are introducing return and refill schemes, L'Occitane is said to be one of the earliest adopters of the system, dating back to the brand's origins in 1976 when founder Oliver Baussan encouraged customers to return their glass bottles to be refilled or recycled.

Said to use 90% less plastic than the original bottle, the Provence-based brand launched its current refill scheme in 2008 and today customers can opt to refill 25 products across skin, body and hair care, including shampoo, conditioner, hand and body wash and shower gel.

Meanwhile, L'Occitane also offers an in-store recycling service in partnership with TerraCycle, which allows customers to bring back beauty packaging from any brand to L'Occitane stores worldwide and receive 10% off any full-size product, which according to the company has resulted in collecting 68,300 or 2050kg of beauty empties – the equivalent of four hot air balloons – to be recycled worldwide.

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