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Nordstrom and TerraCycle Announce Recycling Collection Program For Cosmetic Packaging

by Rudy Sanchez on 10/06/2020 | 2 Minute Read

The cosmetics industry has a single-use plastics problem.

Not only does the beauty and personal care industry produce around 120 billion units of packaging annually, but the packaging, though often made of recyclable materials, can feature individual components that are too small to get processed by curbside collectors. Even worse, it might come comprised of mixed materials, like a mirrored compact, and god luck trying to recycle that.

To reduce the impact of plastic packaging from the cosmetics industry, New Jersey-based recycling specialist TerraCycle and retailer Nordstrom have announced a partnership that will make 94 of the department store chain’s outlets BeautyCycle drop-off locations. Now, the merchant will accept the beauty and personal care items from any brand, no matter where the customer purchased it. 

Editorial photograph

The new program aims to collect 100 tons of material from the public to ensure it is properly recycled. It is part of Nordstrom's 2025 circularity goals, which also includes extending the life of 250 tons of clothing through donation, contributing a million dollars in grants towards textile recycling innovation, and the formation of an internal working group in support of developing circular Nordstrom Made products.

"We understand our customers care about sustainability, and we want to help them move toward a zero-waste beauty routine so they can look great and do good at the same time," said Gemma Lionello, executive vice president and general merchandise manager of accessories and beauty at Nordstrom, in a press release. "We're proud to partner with TerraCycle on a solution to help our customers reduce their beauty packaging waste."