How Healthy is Your Bathroom Recycling Routine?
It seems like we read headlines on plastic pollution and global warming almost every day. We might think we’re doing our bit by recycling, and while you might religiously rinse out and recycle your tins of beans and your plastic bottles, what about the products you use in your bathroom?
Whether you have a personal care routine to rival Cleopatra or you’re happy with soap and a splash of water, the figures show that we’re not recycling as much of our bathroom waste as we could be. The beauty company Garnier carried out a survey last year which found that while around 90% of kitchen waste is recycled in the UK, we’re only recycling around 50% of the waste we produce in our bathrooms.
Bathroom products can be tricky to recycle
The problem with bathroom product waste is that it gets a bit tricky. While we have comprehensive product labels and recycling guidance when it comes to food and drink, bathroom products are a different story. Think about the beauty or personal care products you have-they usually have caps, pumps, and sometimes they’re aerosols so could be considered dangerous, even when they’re empty, because they’re pressurised. So how can you reduce bathroom waste and stop your beauty products harming the beauty of the planet and ending up in landfill?
Take your empty containers to a recycling drop-off point
Some prominent beauty brands have teamed up with recycling companies to recycle and repurpose empty beauty containers.
Garnier and L’Occitane have joined forces with the recycling company TerraCycle to set up a recycling scheme where consumers can drop off their empty product containers. The containers are then sorted, separated, and recycled to reduce the amount of waste going to landfill. Of course, there will be some containers that aren’t accepted, so check TerraCycle’s website before you take your waste to the nearest collection point.
The skincare company Origins have teamed up with waste management company WasteCare to launch a scheme they’re calling ‘Return to Origins.’ Customers can drop off empty containers from any brand at an Origins store, and WasteCare will separate the packaging into different materials and recycle it to make new products.
Think again about cotton buds and cotton pads
We get through 1.8billion plastic-stemmed cotton buds every year, and they can’t be recycled. They’re one of the most commonly found items on beaches which is bad news for the environment and for wildlife. Try to opt for paper buds which are biodegradable so they can be composted. Cotton wool pads can be composted too, as long as they aren’t contaminated with nail varnish.
Recycle your electricals
Your trusty hairdryer or electric razor shouldn’t go in the bin once they’ve had their day. They should be taken to your local recycling or household waste facility, or if they are still in working order and you just don’t want them anymore, sell them or donate them to charity.