IN THIS ARTICLE:
You want your skincare products to make your skin look beautiful. And it’s a bonus when the packaging makes your bathroom vanity look just as lovely. There’s no denying that attractive packaging can help to elevate your desire for a particular product. The problem is, it comes with a cost—and I’m not talking about a monetary cost.
It’s estimated that 120 billion beauty product packages were produced in 2018 alone.(1) That’s a truly shocking number. What’s even more shocking is that the majority of that packaging is not recycled. It’s obvious that our planet is paying a high cost for beauty packaging.
As a company with a deep commitment to sustainability, we wanted, or should I say, NEEDED, to do our part to change these statistics. That’s why we joined forces with Pact.
Founded by beauty industry leaders, Pact is a non-profit collective of beauty industry insiders focused on diverting beauty product packaging from landfills by collecting hard-to-recycle items.
Did you know that mixed material packaging, squeezable plastic tubes, black plastic, coloured glass, any plastic with a side smaller than two inches and many other components of beauty packaging are considered hard-to-recycle? Even if you put these items in your curbside collection bin, they will still likely end up in a landfill. Obviously, that’s not the outcome you had in mind when you put your empty moisturizer bottle in the recycling bin. That’s where Pact comes in.
How Pact works
Pact uses two methods of collecting hard-to-recycle beauty products:
1. In-Store Collection Program: Large Pact bins are placed inside retail partner locations. When the bins are full, they’re shipped to Pact’s specialty sorting partners.
Once you’ve finished your beauty product, clean the inside of the packaging, find the closest Pact bin and toss it in!
This is the most sustainable option, but not everyone has easy access to a Pact bin, which is why Pact offers a second option.
2. Mail-Back Collection Program: Consumers ship their hard-to-recycle beauty packaging directly to Pact’s specialty sorting facility.
Once you’ve finished 5-10 beauty products, clean the inside of the packaging, place the clean items into an envelope or box (try to reuse one), print your shipping label and head to the post office!
Keep in mind, not all beauty product packaging has to be sent to Pact. There are some items that can be placed in your curbside recycling bin and, unfortunately, there are other items that have to go in the trash. For the complete list of what goes where, check Pact’s Collection Guidelines.
Pact is brand agnostic and accepts any brand of hard-to-recycle packing that fits their guidelines. Just don't forget, all items sent to Pact (via the In-Store Collection Program or Mail-Back Collection Program) must be cleaned first! Packages with product left inside cannot be recycled and will be incinerated, which is not the outcome that anyone wants.
So now that you know how Pact collects hard-to-recycle beauty packaging, you’re probably wondering what they do with it. I mean, if your local recycling facility can’t process these items, how can Pact?
Pact’s specialized sorting system is able to catch small and flexible items that the majority of sorting facilities cannot. In addition, Pact pays people to carefully disassemble multi-material items so that the individual parts can be recycled properly.
Throughout the sorting process, Pact works closely with their sorting partners to monitor the amounts of each material collected. Once they’ve amassed a large enough quantity to sell, they diligently find the right end-buyers that will give the materials new life. Materials that cannot be reused are chemically recycled or incinerated. This is not an ideal outcome, but it is better than going to a landfill.
Graydon Skincare and Pact
As someone who is passionate about the environment, it hurts to know that the industry I’m a part of is one of the largest contributors of plastic waste.
At Graydon Skincare, we’re working hard to make our product packaging more sustainable. Our serums are housed in clear glass bottles and some of our other products are packed in 50% post-consumer recycled plastic. Both of these packaging types can easily be recycled in your curbside bin. However, serum droppers, pumps, caps and black plastic packaging can’t be recycled easily.
Through our partnership with Pact, we’re helping to ensure that all of our product packaging can be recycled. But we can’t do it without you!
When you finish your beauty products, clean the packaging and set any hard-to-recycle components in an envelope or box. Once you’ve collected 5-10 items, visit the Graydon Skincare Pact page to print your $5 shipping label. Then, just mail the package and we’ll cover the recycling costs.
When you order your shipping label, you’ll also receive a discount code for $5 off your next Graydon Skincare order. It’s our way of saying thank you for helping us to improve circularity in the beauty industry and take better care of our planet.
Helping to reduce plastic waste doesn’t get any easier than that!