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Australian shavers now have their own recycling program

Australia’s first national recycling program for razors badged the Gillette Razor Recycling Program has launched after P&G brands Gillette and Venus joined forces with TerraCycle.   The program covers disposable and refillable razors, blade cartridges and plastic packaging for all brands of razors and their packaging. Just like a takeaway coffee cup, while technically recyclable, the metal and plastic components of razors are also time consuming to separate and sort. This means that they usually end up in landfill. Now any household, community organisation, business or individual can sign up to recycle these items as well as raise money for the school, sports club, or charity of their choosing. To participate in the program, shavers sign up through the TerraCycle website, download a free shipping label and place their used razors in any cardboard box or carton. These can then be sent for free through Australia Post. TerraCycle Australia and New Zealand, general manager Jean Bailliard said he expected that this would be one of TerraCycle’s most popular recycling initiatives to date. “We expect there are many Australians who will be very keen to start collecting and returning their razor blades and packaging so they can be recycled, rather than placing them in landfill. “Later in the year once normal routines commence, we will also be encouraging community participation through sports clubs, gyms and our existing community networks to increase the volume of collections even further,” he said.

A handy guide to recycling your beauty products

From refillable products, zero-waste packaging and ocean waste plastics, to what you can and can't actually recycle, Kelsey Ferencak and TerraCycle's Jean Bailliard explain how to properly dispose of your #empties.
As we become more sustainably savvy and environmentally educated, we’re also becoming more aware that what we can and can’t recycle is trickier than we originally thought. Especially when it comes to our favourite beauty products and personal care. Although big brands are focusing on switching to environmentally respectful methods of not only what’s inside the packaging, but the packaging itself and how it got there, (fashion is taking a huge step in sustainability too, FYI) it’s still up to us to make informed decisions when it comes to both buying and throwing away goods. So, instead of just throwing your empty products straight in the bin, recycling them properly with beauty-specific programs like TerraCycle is the best way to go. Jean Bailliard General Manager of TerraCycle Australia and New Zealand explains how.

Why can’t all beauty products be recycled?

“Because beauty products aren’t made equally - some come in recyclable packaging while others don't, it makes it harder than just throwing them all in the same bin. We have to look at what makes something recyclable. Why is a shampoo bottle recyclable, while a lipstick container isn't? The reason is purely economical. It costs more to recycle certain items (often complex smaller and made up of more than one material), than the recycled material of that item is worth. This is where TerraCycle steps in. They’re able to recycle the items and products that your regular kerbside bin can’t take. Our brand partners (including innisfree, Kiehl's, Jurlique, L'Occitane, The Body Shop, Burt's Bees, Edible Beauty and Colgate) sponsor the programs and thereby fill the economic gap in the system pay for the recycling of their products. This type of approach is called product stewardship; where brands take responsibility for the end use of their products and packaging.”

How do we know what we can and can't recycle?

“Each state and region differ in regards to what council collection schemes will accept. A handy way to tell is to look underneath a plastic item and look for the chasing arrow symbol. If it contains the number 1,2 or 5 then it will most likely be kerbside recyclable. But again, this differs across the country. For the most accurate information it would pay well to do some research into the recycling system in your area. For example, the City of Sydney provide many resources on what can and can't go in your recycling bin.” For cardboard boxes, bottles, caps, plastics and glass visit the Australasian Recycling Label to find out exactly where packaging can be thrown out – whether it be into your normal kerbside recycling bin, taken into a store or into general waste. For hairdryers, straighteners and electrical tools if your item still works and can go to charity, pass it on, if not you can check out Recycling Near You to find where you can drop off your e-waste items. For smaller items like makeup including mascara, palettes and brushes it’s best to do a quick check first. Mascara and foundation bottles can often be rinsed and recycled without the pump or wand, while some palettes and brushes may need to go in general waste.

What can we do to help?

Where possible, look to packaging materials that are easy to recycle, such as glass. Or, make the switch to zero-waste packaging. 2020 is the year of the bar with more and more brands choosing to create or reformulate eco-friendly no waste shampoos, body wash, cleansers, moisturisers, scrubs, serums, bath salts and even laundry and stain removers. Try Bar None Shampoo Bar ($16, at Woolworthsand Ethique The Perfector Face Moisturiser ($44.95, at Nourished Life). There’s also the option of refillable products. Brands like L’Occitane offering eco-refill products, which required 65-90% less plastic. L’Occitane Shea Verbena Shower Gel Eco-Refill ($45, at L’Occitane).

What does the future of recycling and beauty packaging look like?

“The future is green. With more and more brands realising that not only do consumers want to use more planet-friendly products, but that they have the power to change the industry for the better, I think we will see more examples of product stewardship and innovation moving forward. In the near future in Australia we will actually be able to buy our favourite beauty products in durable, reusable and refillable containers through our new platform, Loop. Launched in Paris and New York early last year, Loop has signed up big name brands such as REN, Pantene and Gillette to offer their products on this online service. In Australia by mid-2021, customers will be able to purchase Loop products at participating Woolworths stores which, when returned, will be cleaned and refilled, thereby eliminating single-use, disposable packaging. As an unintended consequence of using Loop, you wouldn't have to know what can and can't be recycled because Loop will be a zero-waste system, turning off the 'tap' of waste at the source.”

Blue beauty

In an industry that undeniably has a plastic problem, with a lot contributing to the eight million tonnes dumped in our oceans every year, there’s a movement in place to deal with the damage. Although not necessarily new, many are thinking the coronavirus pandemic and it’s impact on the environment has refuelled the crusades fire. Founded by Jeannie Jarnot, blue beauty focuses on wider issues (inclusive of those that the green beauty movement does – cleaner formulations, sustainability and recycling), but spotlights being ocean safe by encouraging brands to adopt to better packaging choices and consider the full life cycle of a product (including what’s inside the plastic), while contributing to environmental philanthropy. Australian haircare brand Kevin Murphy is the first beauty brand to use packaging made with 100% reclaimed ocean waste plastic, saving around 360 tons of plastic from hitting the ocean every year.

The COVID-19 waste problem we must address

During COVID-19 restrictions, many households bought more cleaning and disposable products than before but as restrictions ease, it is becoming apparent excess waste is a problem.
We have all needed to make adjustments during COVID-19, from setting up multiple home offices and homeschooling spaces to refraining from hugging or kissing family and friends. Restaurants and cafes have also moved across to takeaway menus in an effort to keep their businesses afloat. And in the interests of hygiene, reusable coffee cups and containers have been replaced with plastic versions and takeaway cups. Jean Bailliard, general manager for TerraCycle says there has been a knock-on effect as the amount of household waste generated has increased. “People have been buying more cleaning products — and those products are not always easy to recycle,” he says. “During times like this, we tend to buy more packaged goods like vegetables, just to be safe. As well, gloves, masks and other PPE are not recyclable. “It makes sense — it’s a natural behaviour — but in the process we have made an impact on the environment.” TerraCycle is an innovative recycling business that specialises in hard to recycle materials. These days, Jean says, the onus is very much on the consumer to dispose of their packaging with care, which is a shift from years gone by. Remember when the milkman delivered bottles of milk to your door and picked up the empties? For millions of Australians the sound of clinking glass bottles used to signal the start of the day. While many of us enjoy the convenience of buying our milk in plastic cartons from the supermarket, the responsibility for the bottle used to lie with the manufacturer. “With something like milk bottles, back in the day the product belonged to the manufacturer so it was in their best interests to make those bottles last longer,” Jean says. “By making it in cheap plastic, you saw a massive drop in recycling rates. In the past, we drank Coke in glass bottles and now we drink it from products that are harder to recycle.” He says it is easy to feel that as consumers that we have no power to change things, but that’s not necessarily the case. And now that restrictions have eased and community recycling centres are reopening, it’s the perfect time to start clearing out packaging. “The first thing is to educate yourself,” Jean says. “Check your council website to see what can and can’t be recycled. In Australia, the recycling label is a clear indication if the packaging is recyclable or not. “With soft plastics, you can take them to bins outside Coles and Woolworths.” If you want to take it a step further, Jean says it’s worth engaging with brands on social media sites like Facebook and asking questions. “With things like beauty products, see what their policy is,” he says. “When consumers challenge brands on platforms like Facebook explaining that they like the product but they want to know how sustainable it is, the brands will often respond.” Jean says most products are recyclable, it’s just a matter of how many steps there are involved in the process and whether it makes a profit. Recycled plastics have been used for everything from creating textiles for clothing through to winners’ podiums in the Olympic Games. But we could do better. “Aluminium cans are widely accepted for recycling, but aluminium coffee capsules are not, because they’re not so easy to recycle,” he says. “With the capsules, you have to separate them and get rid of the coffee grounds. It doesn’t make sense from a business standpoint.”

Conscious consumerism is key for UK prestige beauty says NPD

The coronavirus pandemic is dominating most consumers’ and businesses’ thinking at the moment, but companies and market analysts are still looking to a post-coronavirus world in which other subjects come to the fore.     With that in mind, NPD UK said on Wednesday that sustainability remains the key topic in the prestige beauty market "and will shape brand strategy for years to come”. The market researcher’s UK beauty account manager, Emma Fishwick, said: “Sustainability is the number one topic for brands in the prestige beauty market as consumers demand a cleaner, greener approach to products, packaging, and the environment. The market has shifted substantially in the past few years and we have seen brands respond to the changing demands of conscious consumers with innovation. A notable shift is the reduction in unit sales: we saw a [5%] decline in unit sales in 2019.”   She explained that this decrease was partly due to consumers buying fewer single products and instead opting for multi-purpose, larger sized products. Hybrid, multi-purpose products are proving popular, “especially those that combine skincare and make-up benefits”. She feels it’s important for companies to respond to what really matters for consumers and to avoid PR problems in running their businesses. Fishwick said “transparency and traceability in the supply chain, in ingredients used and the formulation of products is a priority for the beauty buyer. The problems caused by over-packaging, a reliance on plastic and the creation and disposal of waste regularly make headlines in the beauty press. Carbon footprint and waste reduction are now part of the vernacular of the beauty industry.” What this all means for the market as a whole is that we are seeing a lot of new ideas and innovation. NPD cited Dior, Lancôme and Yves Saint Laurent that have all developed refillable packaging for their super-premium lines. And it said refillable fragrances have the potential to reduce waste. Meanwhile, “Kiehl’s is using sustainability sourced quinoa husk in products, Upcircle is one of many brands repurposing coffee grounds in body scrubs and the Body Shop is using bananas that have been rejected due to the incorrect shape and size in its latest hair conditioner. REN has championed beach clean-ups and has developed the first fully recyclable pump.” One challenge that the industry has to face up to and that is also possibly denting sales is that conscious consumers are thinking twice about buying more. “The eco story goes beyond beauty to the wider public,” Fishwick explained. “There is a strong social media movement to buy less as demonstrated by ‘Buy Nothing Day’ in November. Amongst beauty devotees we are witnessing a backlash to the ‘beauty haul’ videos on YouTube. Throughout 2019 and into 2020, the ‘anti-haul’ video has grown in popularity. And Green Friday was launched as an antidote to Black Friday to champion sustainability over spending.” Additionally, packaging initiatives such as Terra Cycle’s focus on recycling hard-to-recycle plastic waste, and bans on ingredients such as microbeads, are having an impact. But NPD said brands need to go further in meeting consumers’ “seismic shift in attitudes and behaviours”. That includes pursuing carbon-neutrality and setting strong targets for cutting the volume of packaging and waste.

Unpackaged Eco explores shop, refill, return model

https://insidefmcg.com.au/wp-content/uploads/2019/09/Unpackaged-Eco.jpg With climate change front and centre in the mind’s of consumers in Australia and around the globe, FMCG businesses and retailers are removing plastic, cutting back on packaging and reducing food waste, to say the least. But pressure is building to reduce waste further across the supply chain and in stores. Zero waste retailers are no longer a myth and are starting to gain momentum in the current climate. In August, Australia’s largest bulk foods and zero waste retailer The Source Bulk Foods unveiled its first outlet in Singapore. And earlier this week, Coles announced that it was trialling its first zero waste to landfill store as part of its sustainability initiatives. Irene Chen, founder and CEO of Unpackaged Eco, is working with Australian suppliers and retailers to help make zero waste achievable. Unpackaged Eco is a Melbourne-based shop, refill and return model, similar to the Loop model developed by Terracycle and used by Nestlé, Coca-Cola, PepsiCo and Mondelēz, to name a few. The start-up was founded just under 12 months ago, borne from Chen’s own frustrations about waste as a consumer. “I saw the plastic waste issue and felt a little bit helpless about what I could do from a practical perspective, and I realized that perhaps there’s another solution to this,” Chen told Inside FMCG. With a background in retail, she started to examine it from that perspective. https://insidefmcg.com.au/wp-content/uploads/2019/09/Unpackaged-Eco-1.jpg “Unpackaged Eco is a way for consumers to purchase their everyday products in reusable and durable packaging. We give them the option to come back and refill in-store. When they’re done with their container, they return it back to us, we clean and return it back to be reused,” Chen explained. Unpackaged Eco has launched a private label range across four shops in Melbourne with manual dispensers in-store to test the refill model for products such as dish washer liquid, handwash, laundry liquid and multi cleaner. The team are also looking to venture into shampoo and conditioner as well as dry food and eventually dairy and other groceries. “I think one of the learnings that we’ve had from early trials and feedback from customers is that, they want to shop zero waste across the board, not just two or three items. Otherwise, it’s just a lot of trouble to go to five different shops. Our aim is to offer a good basket of products to customers, and obviously, with brands involved it will really elevate the offering.” https://insidefmcg.com.au/wp-content/uploads/2019/09/kindeco-600x401.jpg The business is also developing technology that uses a combination of radio-frequency identification (RFID) and quick response (QR) to track every single container. “We want to harness that whole refill, shop, return model, and collect data to enable us to make better decisions around packaging; to understand consumption patterns a bit better, to help brands and retailers really get some customer insights on how they shop. So that’s very exciting. We’re just under six months away from a trial launch.” Customers will be able to tap to borrow containers, and tap to return. The container deposit management system is automated to make borrowing and returning seamless. “The technology will help us get a little bit closer to the customer. We’re so used to disposing so to actually encourage a shift in behavior, I think we need to do a bit more than just put a refill station there. I think we need to actually engage with the customer,” Chen said. Commenting on industry efforts on sustainability, Chen believes the intentions and goals are right. “I’m talking to most of the brands, they all have the similar 2025 packaging targets, which is great. I think what’s missing for us as a means to get there.” She expects brands may be reluctant to commit to costs of such a project but said it needs to be viewed as a long-term solution. “Packaging now, instead of being a single use disposable thing, is an investment. So you lay out more upfront, but the more times you reuse it, and refill, the more you save,” she said.

Zuru Partners With TerraCycle To Launch Global Balloon Recycling Program

  LOS ANGELES: Leading toy and consumer products manufacturer ZURU Inc, announced today the Bunch O Balloons Recycling Program powered by a long-term strategic alliance with the innovative recycling giant TerraCycle.   The partnership encourages consumers to think 'green' and recycle 100% of their used balloon plastics and packaging. Beginning September 1st 2019 all ZURU Bunch O Balloons products in the USA, Canada, U.K., Australia and New Zealand will be fully recyclable. Consumers will be able to ship or drop off used Bunch O Balloons packaging, balloon pieces and fast-fill stems - at TerraCycle recycling stations, where they will then be processed and recycled into new materials. Taking steps to make our products more sustainable is a top initiative especially when it comes to left-over balloon latex and packaging from our Bunch O Balloon brands, said Anna Mowbray, COO & Founder, ZURU. Through our partnership with TerraCycle, we're providing consumers a simple way to recycle material, reduce the amount of landfill plastic around the world and produce recycled materials. TerraCycle and ZURU will make it easy for consumers to collect all their ZURU Bunch O Balloons materials after use, pack into any available box, print off their shipping label after signing up and then simply ship out or drop off to be recycled. We're thrilled to partner with ZURU on their Balloon Recycling Program, said Global spokesperson Tom Szaky, TerraCycle CEO. Together, we are working to encourage consumers to take action to reuse and recycle waste instead of incinerating or landfilling it. This moves waste from a linear system to a circular one, allowing it to keep cycling in our global economy. The multi-market TerraCycle program, is one part of ZURU's 10-year sustainability program to rethink how they design new and existing products, reduce usage of plastics in items while still delivering a top quality experience and how they encourage recycling at all touchpoints. For example the company consciously built sustainable practices into ZURU Bunch O Balloons Self-Sealing Party Balloons, the latest addition to the category-leading Bunch O Balloons brand, ensuring the fast-fill stems make all party balloons reusable. Bunch O Balloons Party allows consumers to fill, tie and string 40 party balloons in 40 seconds. There is no more blowing, no more tying and no need to add ribbon or string. Simply attach the balloon stems to the Electric Party Pump and press go. Additionally, Bunch O Balloons Party can also be filled with helium. ZURU also encourages safe use of party balloons and advises consumers not to release balloons, especially helium, into the atmosphere.

Frederick Irwin Anglican School students recycle oral health care products

Frederick Irwin Anglican School has launched a recycling drive for oral health care products at the Meadow Springs primary school campus. To help children champion recycling and sustainability, Colgate, Chemist Warehouse and TerraCycle launched the 2018 Colgate Community Garden Challenge to give students the chance to win one of five recycled community garden sets to grow their own vegetables.