Most of us throw our trash without thinking about where it ends up, but these days it’s getting harder to ignore the growing problem in our backyard. According to The Straits Times, Singapore generated 8,443 tonnes of solid waste every day in 2017, which is equivalent to the weight of about 5,600 cars.
One particular type of products that we don’t think a lot about trashing is beauty products – after all, it seems natural to throw away an empty toner bottle, or chuck expired makeup into the bin since you can’t use them, right? The truth is, that plastic toner bottle you just threw out could take 450 years to biodegrade, and will probably outlive you in the rubbish landfill!
Thankfully, beauty brands are not oblivious to the environmental problem that is growing larger in scale every year, so some of them have stepped up to try and tackle the issue by encouraging consumers to return their bottles. Of course, taking the effort to recycle is a habit that needs some nudging in order to develop, so beauty brands have also implemented reward programs to thank consumers for playing their part.
Interested to find out where you can recycle your old makeup and skincare containers? We’ve compiled a list of beauty brands in Singapore where you can do exactly that:
Innisfree prides itself on using naturally-derived ingredients, hence it is little wonder that the K-beauty brand has stepped up since 2003 to encourage recycling of its plastic bottles. From 2003 to 2015, Innisfree collected more than 12 billion bottles in Korea alone – just imagine the impact this has when expanded to many countries which the brand retails in!
One of the reasons behind the hallmark success of Innisfree’s Bottle Recycling Program is the simplicity: all you have to do is bring empty Innisfree bottles to any store, and you’ll be rewarded with SGD1 worth of store credits with every bottle.
That being said, take note that Innisfree only collects back glass or plastic bottles for essence, hair, and body products – so no makeup and canned-type of products are considered recyclable. There is also a limit of three empty bottles per member per month, which is a reasonable limit, considering that most of us take months to even finish one product.
Innisfree’s Bottle Recycling Program is an initiative under the Play Green Campaign. This also includes the Eco-Handkerchief Campaign – different handkerchief designs are released every year to encourage usage of this reusable option. You can find out more on the brand’s website.
Kiehl’s is another skincare brand that is well-known for its stance on recycling, with a long-standing recycling program that encourages consumers to bring their old bottles and use their own bags. Since 2009, they have collected nearly 90,000 empty Kiehl’s bottles in Singapore, and continue to collect over 2,000 bottles every month – a truly impressive feat!
For each empty, full-size container you bring in for recycling to a Kiehl’s store, you’ll receive one stamp. You stand to get a travel-sized product after your 4th and 7th stamps, and once you’ve racked up 10 stamps, you’ll receive a Kiehl’s tote bag. You can use this tote bag to keep your future Kiehl’s purchases and get even more stamps in future, which makes this a really sustainable and easy way to keep recycling and getting rewarded for it.
Note: remember to wash your bottles before you recycle them!
You can find out more information about Kiehl’s recycling program on the brand’s website.
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Although less widely-known, one of our favourite makeup brands also accepts returns of its primary packaging through the Back to M·A·C Program.
When you return six M.A.C primary packaging containers (i.e. empty containers, no expired makeup inside) to a M.A.C counter, you’ll receive a free lipstick from the brand – sweet!
You can find out more information about M.A.C Cosmetics’ recycling program on the brand’s website.
Lush’s classic black pots, shop blackboards, and product labels in stores are made from a sturdy polypropylene plastic (or PP for short), which is actually a mix of purchased recycled plastic and recycled black pot material.
Recycled PP is also used to make the bottle tops and some of the lids you’ll find dotted around the shop. If you are not sure what can be returned to the brand for recycling, simply look for the label which tells you what can be returned.
The best part? You get a fresh face mask from the brand and get to play a part in helping the environment!
Lush opened packaging-free shops in Manchester, Milan and Berlin, where their products are sold without packaging, and customers can bring their purchases back home in paper bags made from 100% recycled material or reusable metal tins. We definitely hope the brand expands this initiative to our shores as well!
You can find out more information about Lush’s recycling program on the brand’s website.
Unlike other brands that require you to drop off empty bottles from the brands themselves, Origins takes things up a notch and accepts empty products from any cosmetic brand at their ION, Centrepoint and NEX stores – that’s right, it doesn’t necessarily have to be an Origins bottle!
To thank you for your recycling efforts, they will reward you with free sample sachets of their best-selling skincare products. Sounds like a great deal to us!
You can find out more information about Origins’ recycling program on the brand’s Facebook page.
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