First-of-its-kind initiative at Boots encourages customers to bring back hard-to-recycle beauty products

By Emily Mullen

February 22, 2023 at 1:38pm


The initiative is being rolled out in 50 Boots stores nationwide

We've all been there, squinting at tiny labels, washing, ripping and separating products before we begin the dance of figuring out which bin it goes in- recycling? non-recycling?

Beauty products can be particularly fraught- the product mix can be harder to decern that your more run-of-the-mill products like cardboard, clear plastics and tins.

This month Boots have announced plans to roll out a first-of-its-kind ‘Recycle at Boots’ scheme to 50 stores up and down the country. The scheme aims to make recycling empty beauty, health, and wellness products easy- using Scan2Recycle technology, customers can use their mobile phone to scan products from any brand, including those not stocked at Boots and upload them to Boots Scan2 recycle. Once verified, they can then head to a participating Boots store to deposit empty products at an in-store recycling point.

After dropping off in-store, the empty products are sent to Boots’ recycling partner, ReWorked, where they are then transformed into new items such as reusable storage containers that are now being used at Boots warehouses.

In return for recycling, customers will get rewarded - for every five products deposited, they will receive a voucher for 500 Boots Advantage Card points (worth €5 when you spend €10 or more) to use in-store or online within 3 days.


Speaking of the initiative, Corporate Social Responsibility Manager at Boots Maeve McNamara said: “recycling processes for plastic beauty products, such as lipsticks and those with inbuilt pumps, can be quite difficult to dispose of. We hope that the scheme will help to streamline this process. As customers are becoming more eco-conscious, we are actively trying to help, and this new initiative feels like a real step in the right direction. We hope that our customers will embrace this new technology and help shape the way to a more sustainable future.”

Sustainable queen and brand ambassador Fionnuala Jones added, "the scheme makes it easier than ever for people to recycle empty beauty products that would otherwise go to landfill. I especially love that people can return products purchased from anywhere, from old mascaras and toothpaste tubes to finished lipsticks and empty vitamin pots. The added bonus is the Advantage Cards points!"

The ‘Recycle at Boots’ scheme was launched in the United Kingdom in 2020. The expansion of the scheme comes after Boots UK saw customers drop off over 1.4 million products since its launch.

What can be recycled:

Mascaras, lipsticks, compacts, tubes, pump packs, wipe packets, vitamin tubs, toothpaste tubes, toothbrushes, etc.


What can’t be recycled:

Medicine and food packaging, aerosols, nail varnishes, fragrance bottles, hair dye packaging, etc.

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