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Woman finds dumpster full of unopened products outside Sephora store: 'I really can't believe this was thrown away'

"Everything was in the packaging. These perfumes are full. Everything is new."

"Everything was in the packaging. These perfumes are full. Everything is new."

Photo Credit: TikTok

Beauty may lie in the eye of the beholder, but for one savvy scourer, beauty was lying in a shopping mall dumpster — well, beauty products were, at least. 

What happened? 

In a TikTok video, GlamourDDive (@glamourddive), a dumpster diver with over one million followers, shared what she said was likely her craziest haul yet.  

As the video starts, the text on the screen reads, "hidden jackpot dumpster diving at Sephora. My most expensive score ever…"

@glamourddive Dumpster diving at my most requested place.. (tiktok muted so reposting) #sephora #dumpster #dumpsterdiving #insane #oops #caught #glamourddive ♬ original sound - GlamourDDive

"So I'm dumpster diving at Sephora, and there's a Dyson box here. It says empty, but it's actually really heavy. And then this bag actually might have some stuff in it," she says over a video of the finds as she discovers them. 

Before long, security kicks her out, but not before she gets her haul. The video picks back up once she's home, where she shows what she rescued. 

"I'm just starting to go through this bag, but this might be my craziest jackpot ever," she says. "All of this is so expensive."

The products include La Mer skincare, Dyson hair tools, and other brand-name skincare and perfume — all of which could total well over $1,000. 

"Everything was in the packaging. These perfumes are full. Everything is new," she states.

"An employee haaaaad to be coming back for this," wrote one viewer. 

"I really can't believe this was thrown away by the store. I am from Europe and this does not exist," said another. 

The OP further explains that she typically does not find anything at Sephora, so she rarely checks. 

Why is the waste worrisome? 

American households alone produce nearly 300 million tons of trash per year. Of this, about 40 million tons are plastic waste, only about 5% of which is recycled

Products that end up in landfills pump out pounds of methane — a gas 28 times more powerful at warming Earth than carbon dioxide — as they decompose. The plastic products could take tens to hundreds of years to break down, creating havoc-wreaking microplastics as they do. 

Sephora is one of many brands whose products have been found filling dumpsters

What is the company doing about it? 

A Sephora representative told The Cool Down that it was investigating the incident, which went against company policy.

"Sephora does not dispose of product waste in trash cans," the representative said. "As part of our sustainability goals, damaged, returned, and unused products are processed with a recycling solutions partner to ensure products are disposed of safely and sustainably. All Sephora employees are trained on our waste management policies. As such, we are looking into this incident further."

The company did partner with Pact last year on a recycling program called Beauty (Re)Purposed that allows customers to return empty makeup and skincare containers to drop-off bins in Sephora stores in an effort to keep plastic out of landfills.

What can be done to help?

Holding brands with sustainability claims accountable can go a long way in ensuring they are truly working to reduce their waste. 

Reducing our reliance on single-use plastic products and opting for brands that employ plastic-free packaging can also help prevent new plastic waste from making its way into the environment. 

The bottom line is that looking good doesn't have to be bad for the planet. 

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