Nordstrom Launched a New Recycling Program for Beauty Product Packaging

It'll take some of the guesswork out of recycling your old product containers.

Nordstrom Beautycycle box
Photo: Nordstrom

If you're committed to recycling, you may have noticed that disposing of beauty packaging is a bit complicated. The types of plastics you're able to recycle through your curbside recycling program will depend on what's accepted in your area, and curbside recycling isn't ideal for small-sized packaging, which tend to get lost during sorting. But if you have a pileup of tiny containers or other recyclables that aren't accepted in your area, you can now unload them on your next trip to Nordstrom. The brand just launched BEAUTYCYCLE, a take-back program for beauty products. (

Starting today, every Nordstrom and Nordstrom Local service hub will have a box where you can drop your used-up (and rinsed out) beauty packaging. From there, Nordstrom will ship the empties to TerraCycle, a recycling program that accepts hard-to-recycle items. TerraCycle will clean and sort everything into metals, glass, and plastics, and then the materials will be recycled into new products.

The hope is to make the process of recycling old beauty containers easier. This way, if you have several containers that aren't accepted in your curbside program, you can take all of them to a Nordstrom store — no need to research whether each brand has launched a third party recycling program. You'll be able to drop off just about everything, including lip balm tubes, mascara tubes, eye shadow containers, eyeliner, bottles from your shower products, and more. However, aerosol cans, perfume bottles, nail polish bottles, nail polish remover bottles, and electronics are no-gos. (

In addition to its latest initiative, Nordstrom has committed to numerous other sustainability measures. In 2017, the company launched a clothing donation program to collect gently-used clothes and accessories and give them to charities. The company announced that by 2025, it aims to cut how much single-use plastic it uses in half and donate $1 million to support textile recycling innovation. (

To take a step toward your own personal waste-reduction goals, you can take advantage of BEAUTYCYCLE on your next Nordstrom trip. The next time you're picking up a beauty product, you can send the remnants of your last ones on their way. (And remember: One of the most sustainable things you can do is use the stuff you have before you go buy more!)

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