How to Recycle

How To Properly Recycle

We are aware that not everyone knows how to properly recycle their packaging. We have gathered some information and created a handy guide below that helps you recycle your packaging properly, explaining the symbols that we're used to seeing everyday but don't understand.

Glass Jars

Recycling plants will accept glass bottle beauty products. However, remnants of skincare formulas can contaminate the rest of the recyclables, so you need to give them a good rinse first. If the product inside is oily, you will have to use washing up liquid to get rid of any residue. Also, in most cases, you can't recycle polish bottles at all.

Plastic Tubes and Bottles

Don’t wash the labels off the bottles. This will help the recycling plant identify what the bottle used to have in it, in case it could have contaminated the packaging. Also, make sure the lid is still attached to ensure this gets recycled too. The bottles will also need to be cleaned out with hot water and soap. And finally, squash the bottles down to save space.


So many beauty products, like fragrances and new make-up products, come wrapped in cellophane. This cannot be recycled and should be put in your normal bin. Avoiding products that use cellophane is a great way to cut down on your plastic waste – choose products that use an aluminium foil instead.

Plastic Caps and Pumps

Plastic caps are too small on their own to be recycled but if they're left on the bottle or jar they came with, you can put them in your recycling bin. As for pumps, check to see if they have a metal spring in them. If it has, the pump will need to go into the normal waste bin as it can’t be recycled.

Rinsing empty bottles

Rinsing empty bottles is a must - whether it's shampoo or food waste, anything left in the bottle can contaminate other products at the recycling plant and mean they don't get recycled.

Shape and Size Matter

If you throw lipstick tubes and sample packaging into your recycling bin, you could be doing more harm than good. Product packaging that’s too small usually gets lost when it’s being sorted. A good rule of thumb is to leave anything that’s smaller than an index card out of your recycling bin.

Recycling Symbols

It's easy to get confused with the recycling symbols on packaging - they can all end up looking very similar! So, we've created a guide to recycling symbols, to help you recycle the best you can.

Widely Recycled

Widely Recycled

This label is applied to packaging that is collected by 75% or more of local authorities, for example plastic bottles.

Widely Recycled Rinse

Widely Recycled – Rinse

Rinsing packaging, for example food trays or shampoo bottles, ensures that any residue doesn't contaminate other materials, particularly if they are collected together with paper.

It also helps to stop attracting vermin into the recycling sorting centres where people work.

Widely Recycled Rinse

Widely Recycled - Flatten, Cap On

Flatten – you might see this on plastic bottles and drinks cartons. Squashing or flattening the packaging means that you have more space in your recycling bin. It also makes the transport of recycling much more efficient – less air, more recycling, better for the environment. Replacing the caps on bottles (and some cartons too) helps to keep them flat.

Cap On - you might see this on plastic bottles. If the cap is too small then it will fall through the holes in the sorting process. Keeping the cap on means that all of the packaging will get through the recycling process. When recycling is collected and all mixed together, it also helps to prevent other materials, particularly glass, getting stuck inside the bottles.

Check Locally

Check Locally

This recycling symbol is applied to packaging that is collected by between 20% and 75% of local authorities (e.g. specific types of plastic)

Not Yet Recycled

Not yet recycled

This symbol indicates that less that 20% of local authorities will collect the packaging for recycling (an example being crisp packets).

Types Of Plastics

Widely Recycled


Post-consumer recycled plastic (PCR) is an environmentally-friendly packaging option that many manufacturers are using in support of recycling programs, consumer demand, and to reduce their impact on landfills.



Polyethlyene Terephthalate PET is widely recycled back into the manufacturing of items such as textiles, clothing, food and beverage containers and even carpet.



High Density Polyethylene (HDPE) is used for milk bottles, bleach, detergents and some shampoo bottles. It is easily recyclable back into items such as non-food containers, detergent bottles, recycling containers and floor tiles.



Polypropylene is used in the packaging of food and non-food containers, margarine tubs, microwaveable meal trays. Its fibres are also used for carpets, wall coverings and some vehicle upholstery. After this plastic is recycled, the material is often used for its original design purpose. Please check whether you can recycle this at your local facility.

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