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Hygiene products how to dispose of used beauty products recycling sustainability zero waste up cycling

How to properly dispose of used beauty products?

Have you ever wondered what happens to the used cosmetics that you dispose of? We may think that when we finish the product, we should recycle it because for sure in today’s pro-eco global campaign, there is a system of disposing it. However, the reality is much different. The products that we use in everyday life usually contain chemicals that can cause great harm to the environment and human health. For this reason, most of the used beauty products is non-recyclable.

What exactly can’t be recycled? For starters, anything that is smaller than 2 inches (e.g. bottle caps). If you use anything in dark packaging or containing magnets and/or mirrors – throw it straight to the regular trash. The same goes for pumps, applicators or make up brushes. All these, once finished or expired have come in direct contact with the dermis and epidermis, which means that they do not qualify for recycling.

So once we got slapped with the reality check, let’s focus on a question that leads us to positive answers:

Is there anything that can be recycled? Yes. But the list is short.

Metal jars, clear glass bottles and jars, cardboard and paper are the only winners among the types of beauty packaging that can be thrown straight into the recycling bin. In response to the consumers demanding more of sustainable packaging and who are looking for ways to reduce our impact on the environment, more and more companies have been producing eco-friendly products with recycled materials. The only issue is that it is still a long way to go.

Is there a proper way to dispose of or recycle beauty products? Hell yes.


The best way to dispose of your beauty products is to take them back to the place where you bought them. Most high street cosmetic stores now have some way of recycling products that once brought back by customers are then sent away to be recycled into plastic pallets. That way we stop adding more and more waste to landfill.

If you bought your beauty products in online shop that does not have a stationary store, you may consider looking online for special cosmetic boxes which allow you to store used products until you are ready to send them back to companies involved in local recycling scheme.  


If you decide to make a purchase at our store, you will receive a specially marked recycling bag together with your order. Once your products are finished, you can pack your containers in the bag, send us an email requesting a pre-paid shipping label, and we will take care of your used jars and/or bottles. You, as a customer, will not be responsible for the cost of recycling as we will bear the responsibility of covering any recycling fees. Once we receive the returned empty and used containers, we will dispose of them through NYC’s recycling program.


Since I can remember, my Mom would always repurpose used cream jars and perfume bottles. It was the 90s, Poland has just started getting back on its knees after the end of communism and all the new products from the West started flooding the Polish stores. Whenever my mother got a new beauty product not only did she use it as if it was the last cosmetic in the world available, but she was also super excited about figuring out how she will repurpose each jar. I was 10 at the time, so I really didn’t understand the excitement about getting a new storing solution for bobby pins or jewelry rings, but from the time perspective I can say without any hesitation that my Mom was a true OG environmentalist. Thanks to her I learned how to repurpose smaller bottles and reuse them for travelling or how to turn perfume bottles into small vases.


Questioning everything is probably the best solution to the whole recycling dilemma as it cuts all the issues at the very beginning of the skincare process. Asking yourself if the particular item is worth it, why are you buying it, and who made it are the best practices to becoming a mindful consumer. That way you are the ultimate winner as you are able to discover skincare products that are effective and whose brand aligns with your values. Being a responsible and conscious consumer allows you to make better intentional purchases going forward.


Finally, if all these fail, dispose of your empty containers with your regular household trash – but make sure they are empty first. Also, try avoid dumping the liquids down the drain. Often times, the complex ingredients blends contaminate water supplies and our land, causing detrimental long-term issues.

If the world of beauty products disposal is still confusing, below you will find a pic that includes the summary of what cannot go into the blue bin. Make sure to save it and with time you will become a recycling pro.  




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