Beauty industry players team up to launch not-for-profit recycling program

Beauty industry players have teamed up to launch what they call the first not-for-profit recycling program dedicated exclusively to the beauty industry.

Called Pact Collective, its founding members include clean beauty retailer Credo Beauty, clean beauty brand MOB Beauty, Canadian retailer Hudson’s Bay and beauty packaging company Element Packaging. The collective was formed to fight what it calls the massive environmental impact of cosmetics and skincare packaging.

The beauty industry generates an estimated 120 billion cosmetic packages annually, the collective claims, mostly made with virgin plastic, while only a small percentage are successfully recycled.

Pact aims to provide sustainable solutions for hard-to-recycle beauty packaging, including plastic packages smaller than a yogurt cup, squeezable tubes, fragrance bottles, pumps, caps and other common formats that are unlikely to be recycled in curbside programs, it says. It will also focus on education and work to fight misinformation and greenwashing.

The collective launched across North America with recycling bins available in 20 Hudson’s Bay stores in Canada and all 10 Credo stores in the US on Earth Day (April 22). Hudson’s Bay plans to roll out the service to all 87 stores throughout 2021. The materials collected in the take-back bins will be sent to a recycling partner where they are sorted, cleaned and then recycled, upcycled or reused.

Pact will open the collective to other industry members later in 2021 with plans to scale.