As creators of the world’s first zero waste eyeshadow palette and first fully recyclable & 100% recycled plastic lip component, we take sustainable packaging seriously. In fact, we refuse to launch any product until we’ve found a fully recyclable, sustainable way to package it.
That’s why we’re so excited to announce our new partnership with Terracycle, a recycling company that’s taking waste-transformation to the next level!
Keep reading to learn more about:
- What is Terracycle and how does it work?
- How to recycle ĀTHR products at home OR with Terracycle
- Why this matters: the truth about cosmetic packaging
- How to help reduce cosmetics waste
WHAT IS TERRACYCLE & HOW DOES IT WORK?
Terracycle is a recycling company that specializes in difficult-to-recycle items. They work with cities, individuals, manufacturers, and brands to reuse, upcycle, recycle, or compost items that would otherwise be landfilled.
2 WAYS TO RECYCLE ĀTHR BEAUTY PRODUCTS
OPTION #1: ĀTHR BEAUTY X TERRACYCLE
While all our products are easily recyclable in your standard household recycling bin, the problem is - recycling isn't happening like we think. Over 300 recycling plants have closed in the US since March last year, and as a result, many recyclables are being incinerated instead. We want to ensure our products truly do end up recycled so we're offering this option for free so that everyone (even those in areas without recycling facilities) can recycle their ĀTHR Beauty goodies.
HOW IT WORKS
- Request your free Terracycle recycling envelope for your ĀTHR Beauty packaging. You’ll fill out this order form, and your envelope will arrive via USPS within 1-2 weeks.
- Once you receive your envelope, remove the prepaid return label from inside your envelope. Cover your address with the label.
- Collect and fill the envelope with all ĀTHR Beauty packaging. This includes outer packaging, inner packaging, and your tarot card if you’re finished with it.
- Seal and return via USPS.
Credo Beauty has a similar program with Terracycle so you can recycle all your clean beauty products! And even better: you earn rewards for your waste, which can either go towards buying products or to a charity of your choice.
OPTION #2 RECYCLE YOUR ĀTHR BEAUTY PRODUCTS AT HOME
If you have access to standard recycling bins (and there are reliable recycling facilities nearby), you can also recycle your ĀTHR Beauty products at home! Keep reading for instructions on how to recycle each item:
OUR EYESHADOW PALETTES & CRYSTAL CHARGED CHEEK PALETTES
OUR SUPERNOVA CRUSHED DIAMOND HIGHLIGHTERS
- Once you reach the bottom of the pan, remove the aluminum pan from the paper packaging
- Rinse out the pan and dry it off
- Put the paper package, the outer box, and the tarot card (unless you’re collecting them) into your recycling bin.
- Congratulations, you’ve just saved one more product from the landfill!
OUR RADIANT RUBY LIP CREMES
Our Radiant Ruby Lip Crème is the first 100% recycled plastic liquid lip component that's also 100% recyclable! By using 100% PCR recycled plastic, we create 25% less carbon emissions than virgin plastic. How to recycle the packaging:
- When your lip crème is all gone, rinse out the tube well. Or invest in a small spatula like The Spatty Daddy to get out every last drop!
- Snip off and discard the small applicator tip
- Recycle the rest of your lip crème packaging including the outer box.
WHY THIS ALL MATTERS: THE TRUTH ABOUT COSMETICS PACKAGING
The plastic-heavy cosmetics industry makes up 1/3 of all landfill space, producing over 120 billion units of packaging every single year.
And the vast majority of these products are completely unrecyclable. They’re either made from hard plastics, mixed materials, unrecyclable inks or dyes, contain magnets, mirrors, or pumps, or are just too complex to separate and repurpose.
And the result of all this disposable packaging? Trillions of tons of garbage that winds up polluting our soil and contaminating oceans. And the truth is: The Earth has a limited amount of space – pretty soon this trash will start encroaching on our everyday lives (it’s already severely impacting marine life).
And it's not just waste: it's climate change! Virgin plastics generate heat-trapping gases at every stage of their life cycle. As plastic breaks down in landfills and oceans, they release damaging greenhouse gases into the environment. And on a less visible level, as ocean plankton consume more microplastics, they’re less able to do their vital job of removing carbon dioxide from the atmosphere. And more carbon dioxide means faster heating of the planet.
You can see the global temperature rises in the image below.
Warming Stripes for GLOBE from 1850-2018 #showyourstripes
HOW TO HELP REDUCE THE IMPACT OF COSMETICS WASTE
Yes, the situation is dire, but the good news: awareness is spreading, consumers are demanding better, and the industry is beginning to make some much-needed changes. So what can you do on a personal level to lessen cosmetics waste and its impact on the planet?
Purchase from sustainable beauty brands
Buy from brands with sustainable, recyclable packaging, those that participate in Terracycle recycling programs, and retailers with sustainability initiatives.
Credo Beauty - accepts all product packaging back and recycles through Terracycle.
The Detox Market - has just launched their Earth CPR Initiative to plant at least 2.5 million trees and become carbon negative by 2025. They'll plant a tree for:
- Every online order
- Every Sustainability Collection product sold
- Every Detox Mode product sold
- Every repost of their #sustainablitystartsnow image on your feed
At ĀTHR Beauty, we only use fully recyclable packaging, offer carbon-neutral shipping, and donate 1% of all sales to 1% For The Planet, who support global environmental initiatives making real impact with climate, pollution, water, food, and wildlife.
Focus on holy grail products and #sayno to throwaway, impulse buys
We’ve all succumbed to an IG glimmer gloss or unicorn mask (and worn once and then forgot about), but the truth is, these single-use, novelty products are entering our landfills by the millions. Focus on finding those staple, holy-grail products that work amazingly, are packaged sustainably, can do double duty, and don’t create more skin woes you have to fix/hide with more products!
Learn the ins & outs of recycling
One of the most environmentally damaging parts of plastics is their end-of-life. When landfilled or incinerated, these materials release massive amounts of greenhouse gases into the atmosphere. So to ensure we save them from becoming waste, it's important to know the basics of recycling:
1. SEPARATE DIFFERENT MATERIALS
Even if all individual components of an item are recyclable, unless they're taken apart before going in the recycling bin, that item ends up in the landfill.
An example: our Eyeshadow Palettes are 100% recyclable, however, you still have to remove the metal eyeshadow pans from the palette before recycling.
Why? Different companies collect each raw material: metal, plastic, paper, etc., and there’s no one separating items to their individual components. So, if the item goes in the bin without being separated, it goes straight to the landfill.
What you can do: separate components where it’s possible to do so. And try to purchase single material products/packaging whenever you can.
2. MAKE SURE YOUR RECYCLED MATERIALS ARE CLEAN
The post-market buyers that purchase recyclables won’t take recycled material that is dirty or “contaminated”. If it isn’t clean, it goes straight to the landfill.
What you can do: wash all plastic containers before recycling. For paper food containers, you cannot recycle them once there’s food residue on them. You can compost them, however.
3. NOT ALL PLASTICS CAN BE RECYCLED - LOOK FOR THE NUMBERS
There are many different types of plastics and only a few are recyclable. Also, if an item is made up of multiple different plastics, and one of them is not recyclable, this renders the whole item trash.
For example, the pumps you see in cosmetic and skincare products are made of several different plastic compounds, and so cannot be recycled. Avoid products with pumps wherever you can - it might be less convenient, but it’s one less piece of waste!
All plastics are labeled with a number from 1-7, usually on the bottom of the container. These numbers tell you if the item is recyclable or not. Look for them when you’re shopping and try to avoid the unrecyclable plastics:
Always Recyclable (if cleaned)
#1 PETE (Polyethylene Terephthalate): water bottles, soft drink bottles, juice containers.
#2 HDPE (High density Polyethylene): milk jugs, cleaning & detergent bottles, shampoo bottles.
#3 PVC (Polyvinyl Chloride): vinyl, food wrap, fruit trays.
#4 LDPE (Low-density Polyethylene): plastic wrap, plastic bags, bread bags.
#6 PS (Polystyrene): styrofoam, toys, disposable cutlery, insulation.
#7 (Other): thicker plastic items (sippy cups, multi-gallon water jugs)
#5 PP (Polypropylene): disposable cups and plates, certain cosmetic containers.
There are some cities and recycling programs that will accept #5 plastics. Your best bet is to call your local program and check on their policies.
Thanks for supporting #sustainablebeauty and making choices for a cleaner planet. Collectively we can turn around the wasteful world of beauty!
- ĀTHR Beauty xo