The sign of a successful beauty purchase isn't just hydrated skin or defined brows — it's also those moments when you find yourself rolling up the end of a tube to coax out the last few molecules of a holy-grail cream. But much as we appreciate what products can do for our faces and bodies in the moment, we don't give nearly as much consideration to what happens to them after they've been used — which contributes to the sobering fact that, of the more than 120 billion units of plastic packaging the global beauty industry produces each year, only 9% gets recycled.
That's why, if you're dropping your empties in the bin and hoping for the best, you need to know about Nordstrom's BEAUTYCYCLE, a take-back and recycling program that accepts all brands of beauty packaging. "User-friendly" doesn't even begin to cover it: Simply bring any spent cosmetic, haircare, or skincare to your local Nordstrom beauty department, where you'll find TerraCycle® Zero Waste Boxes™. TerraCycle® then cleans and separates the contents, which are recycled into new products such as park benches and picnic tables.
Through this initiative, Nordstrom aims to take back 100 tons of hard-to-recycle beauty packaging across the U.S. and Canada by 2025. An ambitious goal, to be sure, but one we can reach together. So the next time you go for the dregs of a prized lip balm or perfect-match concealer, ask not what they can do for you — ask what you, by giving them a sustainable sendoff, can do for the planet.