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Beauty products you can refill, reuse and recycle

TextChinea Rodriguez

We’ve rounded up a few more ways to make your beauty routine a bit greener

Recycling your old clothes can be as easy as reselling them online or dropping them off at the nearest thrift store. Dealing with beauty products can be a little bit harder. Although unopened products are accepted by many charities, used and finished products you’re ready to get rid of are often much harder to dispose of in a sustainable way, meaning, a lot of the time, they end up in landfill.

“More than 8.3 billion tons of plastic has been produced since the 1950s and about 60 per cent of that has ended up in either landfill or the natural environment,” The Independent reported earlier this year, while the UN predicted the amount of plastic in the ocean will soon outweigh the fish. As of 2018, the beauty industry was responsible for producing more than 120 billion units of packaging which were mostly non-recyclable, according to Zero Waste Week.

As dire as the statistic seems there are ways to prevent your beauty products from ending up in a landfill or the ocean. After checking whether your empties can be recycled by your local recycling program, we’ve rounded up a few more ways to make your beauty routine a bit greener.


Bleach London

Bleach London is strongly committed to sustainability, from using recycled plastic and cardboard packaging for their vegan hair range to replacing their glitter with a biodegradable alternative. And earlier this year, Bleach introduced refill stations at all their salons for their shampoos and conditioners. Just purchase a glass bottle and bring it back to the salon whenever you need a top up.

Le Labo

When you’ve found your signature scent you’ll probably be buying bottle after bottle. Luckily, the creators of the cult fave Santal 33, Le Labo, offer 20 per cent off refills at select locations when you bring in your used bottle.


Hourglass is cruelty-free, they donate one per cent of all profits to partner, the Nonhuman Rights Project, and they offer sleek gold lipstick tubes refillable with over 30 shades.

Alima Pure

Not only is Alima Pure carbon neutral and their products free of parabens, sulfates and phthalates, but a number of their cosmetics including their concealers and eyeshadow are refillable so you can grab a replacement pan any time you need.

Kjaer Weiss

This brand makes minimal products with packaging so pretty you won’t want to throw away and you won’t have to. Kjaer Weiss offers a range of easily refillable and organic products from lipsticks to mascaras, all in sustainable packaging.


MAC Cosmetics

A greener routine doesn’t have to be minimalist and doesn’t have to mean swapping out all of your favourite products. MAC Cosmetics offers a full-sized lipstick of your choosing when you return six empty full-sized containers, so feel free to stock up on Ruby Woo guilt-free.  


Instead of dumping your beauty products that couldn’t be recycled into the trash, drop off those hard-to-recycle, mixed-materials bits like bottles with pumps and lipstick containers at your nearest Origins. They also make efforts to ship and package their products using recycled materials.  


In partnership with TerraCycle, L’Occitane stores will take your empty full-size products from any brand for recycling and offer you 10% off a full sized product. A win-win situation.


This Australian skincare brand is another TerraCycle partner, offering a 10% discount on your next purchase when you drop off your empty containers. Sustainability has always been in Jurlique's DNA, not only is their packaging made of recycled materials, they make efforts stop farm sustainably without pesticides, herbicides or wasting excess water.

Sustainable Products and Packaging


Not only is it not a good idea to flush single-use wipes but they are also not that great to throw in the trash, taking up 100 years to break down. Which is why it’s great that Simple now offer biodegradable make-up wipes. You can also swap your make-up wipes for reusable cotton rounds or a FaceHalo.


What would a list on sustainable beauty be without a Lush mention? They have their own recycling program offering a free face mask for every five pots you bring to the store, they have products that have phased out packaging altogether and opened their first packaging-free store in the UK earlier this year.

Tata Harper

Tata Harper, a brand known for using 100% natural (non-artificial) ingredients in their products, are doing what they can to make their packaging fully recyclable and minimise their carbon footprint. Founder and namesake Tata Harper has spoken out on the company’s Instagram about using glass bottles for the products whenever they can as glass can be endlessly recycled and is, therefore, the most sustainable option. The company also uses bio-plastic made from sugar cane which captures carbon dioxide from the environment, helping reduce greenhouse gasses, and the paper used for their cartons are sourced from sustainably managed forests.

RMS Beauty

After experiencing health problems stemming from the chemicals in cosmetics she was frequently encountering in her job as a make-up artist, Rose-Marie Swift founded her own brand of clean cosmetics. As well as being cruelty-free, RMS’s cream products come in recycled glass pots and their boxes and packaging are made of 80% recycled materials.


Axiology's vegan lipsticks and lip crayons come in recycled tubes and only ten ingredients make up the pigmented formula. But just because the formula is simple don’t expect the colour range to be.The brand’s founder, Ericka Rodriguez, beauty lover turned entrepreneur was inspired to launch her brand when she realized how many unknown, harmful and difficult to pronounce ingredients were in the lipsticks she loved.

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