Pure Beauty

Sephora rolls out in-store recycling scheme into over 600 US stores

By Austyn King | Published: 21-Apr-2023

Consumers will be able to return their beauty empties to be converted into new materials or energy, in partnership with non-profit Pact Collective

Sephora is rolling out its first in-store recycling scheme in the US and Canada in a bid to tackle beauty waste.

Launching in partnership with non-profit Pact Collective, the Beauty (Re)Purposed initiative allows consumers to return their empty beauty packaging from any brand to more than 600 Sephora stores across North America.

The empties will then be repurposed into new materials or energy – such as new packaging, carpet, asphalt or pallets – instead of going to landfill, according to Sephora.

The beauty and wellness industry is said to generate 120 billion packages every year, while almost 80% of all plastic is said to end up in landfill or as pollution, according to Pact Collective.

Sephora’s latest sustainability initiative builds on its work with sustainable solutions provider g2 revolution, which the LVMH-owned retailer said has prevented almost 24 million pounds of cosmetics waste from going to landfill over the last 15 years.

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With more than 45% of consumers interested in returning their beauty packaging to stores, retailers are increasingly investing in recycling schemes to help consumers cut down on their packaging waste.

MAC recently scrapped its free lipstick initiative – which rewarded customers with a free lipstick for every five beauty empties they returned – in an effort to expand its Back to MAC programme to "have greater action and impact for change".

Meanwhile, Boots, Harrods and Space NK are among the retailers that have launched in-store recycling schemes in recent years, encouraging consumers to return their beauty empties in exchange for rewards including discounts, extra points and more.

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