Since the beginning, we’ve made recyclable packaging to ensure that none of our products would ever end up in a landfill. When we heard that hundreds of recycling facilities across the US were closing, we partnered up with TerraCycle so that customers without access to recycling could still recycle our products.
We’ve now made the switch from TerraCycle to Pact Collective. Keep reading to find out why + tips on what brands can do for more sustainable packaging (and how you sift through the claims as a beauty buyer).
WHAT IS PACT COLLECTIVE + WHY WE SWITCHED FROM TERRACYCLE
Pact is a non-profit recycling program founded by beauty industry members. It was created to recycle hard-to-recycle beauty packaging PLUS work with packaging designers, brands, and policy makers to make beauty packaging more sustainable overall.
This the crux of the issue for us. While TerraCycle is a great last-resort recycling option, it’s not a replacement for sustainable, easily recyclable packaging made from repurposed materials. Unfortunately, TerraCycle has become a way for brands to continue making unsustainable, incredibly wasteful, landfill-bound, virgin plastic packaging. This is why we made the switch – Pact is more than just a band-aid solution and is beauty specific.
As of now, almost all beauty packaging is non-recyclable in your standard recycling bin. This is where Pact comes in to clean up the mess of irresponsible packaging. What we love about Pact: they are not only addressing this end-of-life aspect of packaging but are actively working with the beauty industry to make better packaging – that means no more virgin plastic, no more unrecyclable mixed materials, and no more beauty packaging filling up our landfills.
SO HOW DOES PACT WORK?
- Finish up your beauty products and clean out any unused product.
- Check out Pact’s takeback guidelines to find out if the packaging should be recycled in your standard recycling bin (all ATHR Beauty packaging), put in a Pact bin, or thrown in the trash.
- Drop off your clean, empty beauty packaging in the Pact Bin at either HBC in Canada or Credo Beauty in the U.S. Bonus - you get points for every empty eligible beauty container you drop of at Credo (up to 12 per visit!)
- As of September 8th, you will also be able to ship your clean, empty packaging to Pact’s sorting facility. Click here for more info!
Once a bin at either HBC or Credo Beauty is full, it’s shipped to Pact’s sorting facility where they sort the materials and find the highest and best use for that packaging. Their long-term goal is to create a circular system in the beauty industry so that all beauty packaging can be turned into new beauty packaging.
HOW BEAUTY BRANDS CAN CREATE MORE SUSTAINABLE PACKAGING
As a beauty shopper it’s hard to tell which packaging is truly sustainable, especially when there are so many confusing claims made by brands. Keep reading for our tips to help brands to improve their packaging + what you should look for when evaluating the sustainability of packaging.
Choose 100% recycled materials
We should not ever be using virgin materials - especially virgin plastic. There is so much plastic waste in this world that can be used to create new packaging. As brands, there’s no excuse to use virgin materials other than cost. 25% or 50% recycled, while an improvement, just isn’t good enough anymore. Look deeper into what you’re using – something that sounds great like Bioplastics is not always what it seems. Materials can be considered ‘bioplastic’ with just 25% biological material and the rest fossil fuels. This is something to keep in mind as a sustainable shopper as well - look beyond the claims!
As consumers, we can communicate the importance of recycled materials to the brands we love.
What our products are made of: Our paper palettes are made from FSC certified recycled paper and our lip cremes are made from 100% recycled ocean plastic. 50 million tonnes of plastic are in our oceans and instead of using virgin plastic, let’s repurpose the waste that’s already out there.
Choose easily recyclable materials
As brands, we need to do the research and find out which materials are mostly easily recycled in our part of the world. If you’re not sure how - talk to recycling facilities in your area and get clear on what will truly be repurposed after it gets thrown in the recycling bin.
In the U.S., paper is the most recycled material, followed by aluminum, and then glass. While glass seems like a sustainable material for beauty packaging, the truth is, many shapes and colors of glass can’t be recycled at your standard facility. As brands, we need to find this out before committing to our packaging design and materials.
For you, the beauty buyer, let brands know how important it is that their packaging be easily recycled. Vote with your dollars and support the brands that are truly making sustainable choices.
The recyclability of our products: Our palettes are made from easily recyclable FSC certified recycled paper and soy inks, plus aluminum pans. We designed our packaging around the most easily recyclable materials available. Our Lip Crèmes are made from recycled ocean plastic and only use PET – the most easily recyclable plastic available.
Make recycling easy for the customer
Brands need to give clear instructions to customers about how to recycle packaging. If you as the consumer aren't sure how to recycle something, send a message to the brand and ask for step-by-step instructions!
We’ve partnered with the How2Recycle program – which helps brands label their packaging with easy to understand recycling instructions. This is something all brands can do to make it easier for customers to recycle their packaging. Keep reading for a recap on how to recycle all ATHR Beauty products at home!
Thanks, as always for helping create a more sustainable beauty world!
-ATHR Beauty xo