How To Recycle Skincare
You are recycling everyday and perhaps wonder how you can take it a bit further. It all starts with the five “Rs” of recycling and then there’s some technical stuff you should know. So, what are the five Rs? Reduce, Refuse, Repurpose, Recycle, Remember.
- Reduce consumption of items that are not responsible like forks and straws.
- Refuse things that are unnecessary like plastic bags and ask stores to rethink their choices.
- Repurpose, take those old plastic jars and plastic items you’ve managed to collect into other things like planters, watering cans, pencil holders and even travel containers. Caution: this does not include plastic that housed toxic chemicals like car oil or cleaning fluid for instance due to leaching issues, please check your local towns rules for products with toxic warnings. Safely repurposed items are food containers and shampoo bottles etc and fancy travel bottles that you can refill with your favorite products when you travel. Coming from a company that understands on-the-go we endorse having your favorite products on hand at all times, so, if you did manage to use a little shampoo bottle at your last hotel take it home and repurpose so you can “refuse” one the next time.
- Recycle, this is actually taking the time to do the basics and not cheat by trashing items that need a recycling bin.
- Finally the last two r’s, remember to recycle, like flossing after a dental visit try to keep up the good work for the best long term benefits. Do it every day.
The technical parts are not as obvious. Of course we want to have handy reusable things like metal or paper straws, mason jars, and choosing items that are biodegradable or made from post consumer recycled material when using a convenience product. The containers you choose make a difference as well. Like avoiding heavily multi-layered, multi-wrapped packaged items, and items with tons of mixed material caps and packaging that cannot be recycled.
Flip caps and screwtops that are one material are easier to recycle. Many brands are taking note and making changes, by supporting brands that are responsible we can make the most change. Droppers in skincare are best if they can be taken apart so you can recycle the glass tubette. Plastic that is clear or white is the most recyclable. Colorful plastic can sometimes be singled out for garbage by recycling plant’s automated readers and is harder to be cleaned at the recycling plant, making them one small step away from a cleaner choice. You should recycle all colorful plastic anyway, in hopes that it makes the cut.
Clear plastics are always preferred in the recycled material world because transparent plastic can be dyed more easily. Removing labels makes the bottles even better to recycle. Glass and aluminum containers are ideal for recycling, please remove the labels here as well. Glass, again, is best in clear and white but colors are a safer bet here for brands that really want colorful packaging. Knowing what you buy makes it easier to make a clean choice and to be able to recycle purchased goods in an easy manner.
Step one is to clean the container and remove the label and cap. Many recycling plants do not recycle caps but some have a cap area for single material items like plastic caps and things like corks.
Step two, decide if all or part of the cap can be recycled (sorry no pumps can be without being taken apart).
Step three is to recycle the container in the proper bin. It is important to understand your local town’s rules on recycling. Make it a fun activity to do together with family and friends. Organize as you use products and have a bin system in your kitchen or pantry area to encourage the quick process of recycling as you go and avoid weekly build up. It feels good to do it.
Skincare recycling can be confusing and does contribute to the total pie of what you consume, so here’s some helpful tips. Get a popsicle stick and remove leftover product. Buy smaller bottles and try to finish what you bought to avoid accumulation of unused decaying products. This may increase the likelihood to not fully clean and recycle, creating a “trash” item. Focus on empties before restocking product, do you really need 5 shampoos? Maybe one or two but avoid “collecting”. Decide if the bottle can be reused and then move on.
PET and HDPE are both recyclable and easy to clean and reuse; they are preferred plastics for recycling. Our biggest use of plastic on average is in food and beverage but all areas of the market need to be examined and recycling your skincare is an easy thing to do. When it comes to food and beverage, learn to love packing and cutting your own fruit and snacks in reusable containers and enjoying the use of reusable drink bottles over the convenience of single use plastic ones. Reducing, is part of the five Rs above and implies there will be times that you will need to use single use but to reduce the total amount you contribute in one year. Always recycle what you do use.
Caring for the planet starts with you, it’s not a cliche. Choose companies that give back to the environment. DUCALM MD Skincare has made efforts to support land and water conservancy organizations as part of our sustainable efforts at ducalm.com with a commitment to support American forests to plant trees in areas of need and 4Ocean to reduce ocean trash. We have streamlined our packaging to be low profile white HDPE milk jug plastic, with no secondary packaging on most products.
Our caps are of single material and the droppers can come apart, our wipes are biodegradable and the substrate comes from post consumer recycled material in the first place. We strive to be easy to recycle and continue to improve year over year looking for new ways to improve our company. Recycling is a part of our journey and we hope that these tips can enhance your journey to keep the planet clean by helping you recycle skincare products along with all your other products.