22 October 2020
United States
  • Background: Each year, more than 120bn units of plastic packaging are produced by the beauty industry, but less than 9% gets recycled. Complicating the situation is the fact that many municipal recycling centres in the US do not accept beauty materials and packaging, as they often contain a mix of materials that are not locally recyclable.
  • Description: To address this issue, Nordstrom created BEAUTYCYCLE. Customers can now bring in their empty beauty product packaging to be recycled at any of Nordstrom's full-line stores or Nordstrom Local outposts in the continental US.
  • Impact: Through BEAUTYCYCLE, Nordstrom aims to take back 100 tons of hard-to-recycle beauty packaging by 2025 to ensure it's recycled. These packaging will be sent to TerraCycle where they are cleaned and separated into metals, glass and plastics.The materials are then recycled based on the material composition. For example, plastics are recycled into a wide range of new products such as park benches and picnic tables, while metals can be reused as base materials for stamped product applications like nuts, bolts, washers and rings.

Photo courtesy of Nordstrom Press