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Scrub up your bathroom recycling habits

A recent report published by a plastics recycling charity looks at the current recyclability of beauty and bathroom product packaging. The report by Recoup assesses a range of products including nail care, personal hygiene, hair care products and skin care items.

The report states that mixed-packaging material is often why bathroom and beauty products aren’t or cannot be recycled. Furthermore, cosmetics products made from plastic packaging that have built-in mirrors or brushes are another example of mixed material that is hard to recycle. Items like these would not only cause issues for machinery during the sorting process, but also contaminate other material that is mixed in with them.

According to research conducted last year, a whopping 57% of Brits do not recycle items from their bathrooms. Casepak’s guide to recycling offers useful advice and tips on how to get the best out of materials, and we’d urge householders to look around their homes and check with their local authority about what they can recycle.

As a general rule all bottles, jars or containers that have held a liquid or substance should always be rinsed out and left to dry before being placed in the recycling. For example, an almost-empty bottle that has traces of shampoo left in it would contaminate other material, such as cardboard or paper, that it’s mixed in with and render the card and paper un-recyclable.

We’d also call for the beauty and cosmetics industry to make labelling on packaging much clearer to improve knowledge and understanding among consumers about what materials can and cannot be recycled. Quite often bathroom and beauty products come in colourful packaging designed to appeal to consumers, but making packaging less ‘fussy’ and allowing bottles, such as those that contain shampoo or moisturiser, to be washed out and dried easily would not only help recover these items, but also help towards reducing contamination.