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Ulta employee shares frustrations after having to throw countless products away: 'I really do not understand people thinking it's OK'

"Stop using product if there are no testers."

"Stop using product if there are no testers."

Photo Credit: iStock

A recent Reddit post in the r/Ulta community has sparked a conversation about the waste generated by beauty retailers due to a lack of product testers.

The post, which features a photo of a bin filled with foundation bottles that were opened by customers but can no longer be sold, highlights the environmental impact of this common practice.

What's happening?

The Reddit user, an Ulta employee, urged customers to "Stop using product if there are no testers. We have to destroy all of these now."

Instead, they suggested, "Ask an employee to shade match you instead of creating more waste for the planet."

Photo Credit: Reddit

The post has attracted attention from the Reddit community, with many commenters expressing frustration with the difficulty of finding the right foundation shade without access to testers. They also criticized large cosmetics companies for their role in creating this wasteful situation.

One user commented, "I really do not understand people thinking it's OK to just open up packages. Ugh. Or how gross people can sometimes be with testers."

Why is product waste concerning?

The beauty industry is notorious for its excessive packaging and product waste.

When customers are unable to test products before purchasing, it often leads to incorrect shade matches and ultimately, the disposal of perfectly good products.

This not only contributes to the growing problem of landfill waste and pollution but also represents a significant waste of resources used in these products' creation and distribution. As the climate crisis worsens, it's crucial that beauty brands take responsibility for their environmental impact and implement more sustainable practices.

Is Ulta doing anything about this?

While Ulta has not issued a specific statement regarding this Reddit post, the company has taken some steps toward sustainability in recent years.

In 2020, Ulta committed to achieving 50% recycled or bio-sourced plastics in its packaging by 2025 and has implemented in-store recycling programs for beauty empties.

However, the issue of product waste due to a lack of testers remains a concern. It's unclear whether this is an isolated incident or a more widespread problem across Ulta stores.

What's being done about product waste more broadly?

Some beauty brands are taking steps to reduce waste by offering more sustainable packaging options, such as refillable containers or biodegradable materials.

Additionally, some beauty brands have implemented virtual try-on tools or sample programs to help customers find the right products without creating waste.

As consumers, we can also play a role in reducing product waste by researching products before purchasing, seeking out eco-friendly brands, and properly recycling or disposing of empty containers.

By working together, beauty companies and consumers can create a more sustainable future for the industry and the planet. As the original Reddit post reminds us, it's essential to be mindful of our actions and their impact on the environment, even when it comes to something as seemingly small as testing a foundation shade.

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