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Sephora and Pact Collective team up to take down cosmetic waste: ‘This is big news!’

Many package features that make cosmetics easier to use make them more difficult to recycle. Pact and Sephora want to fix that.

Sephora and Pact Collective team up

Photo Credit: Getty Images

Pact Collective and Sephora are partnering to keep your makeup and skincare empties from being dumped in landfills.

On July 18, Pact Collective announced its collaboration with beauty and personal care giant Sephora via an Instagram post.

Partnered together, Sephora and Pact Collective have created Beauty (Re)Purposed, a pilot program meant to “give your finished beauty products a second life,” according to its slogan. 

This program places Pact Collective bins in select Sephora stores where customers can add their empty beauty and wellness products to a bin, diverting these containers from landfills.

According to Pact Collective, the beauty and wellness industries create more than 120 billion packages annually. 

Because curbside recycling services do not accept most of these containers, the majority of them get thrown away, overwhelming landfills and clogging our water supplies with tiny fragments of plastic packaging. This wastefulness is a huge problem.

Joining forces, Pact and Sephora are helping to provide a solution by collecting beauty and wellness empties –– the shortened name for empty packages.

How it works

To participate, completely clean your containers and drop off empties in a Pact Collective bin at a participating Sephora location near you. There are 23 Sephora locations in the U.S. and 11 in Canada that currently have collection bins.

Before cleaning out those containers, try to squeeze the most value out of your products with clever hacks like cutting the ends of tubes off to reach the product stuck to the inner walls and scooping out the remaining product into smaller reusable containers.

Once you clean out your empties and drop them off at a participating Sephora, they are sent to Pact Collective instead of a landfill. 

The empty containers and materials are then sorted and manually recycled into another product packaging, chemically recycled into something different, or converted into energy. 

Acceptable empties

The list of acceptable empties is impressive, encompassing a variety of makeup packaging. 

Here is what you can throw in a Sephora x Pact Collective bin: clean pumps, dispensers, applicators, mascara tubes, mascara wands, lipstick, compacts, palettes, eye/lip pencils, squeezable tubes, and more. 

For a more exhaustive list of acceptable empties, visit the Packaging Drop-Off Guide on the Pact Collective site.

Cleaning up the beauty and wellness industries

Many package features that make cosmetics easier to use, such as a pump for your liquid foundation or a multi-material squeezable tube for your cream blush, make it more difficult to recycle the product.

Pact Collective works to make recycling these hard-to-recycle items easy, allowing you to waste less without compromising your makeup or skincare routines.

Pact Collective’s circular approach to waste management involves reusing products, materials, and resources, keeping these items in the loop for as long as possible rather than sending them to a landfill after a single use. 

Through their partnership, Pact Collective and Sephora will make a considerable dent in the amount of beauty and wellness products that overwhelm landfills and pollute nature. Expect to see more beauty retailers and brands follow in the footsteps of Sephora by partnering with Pact Collective and implementing less wasteful packaging, such as refillable containers.

People seem to be responding well to this partnership. Some comments under the announcement post express excitement about this collaboration, while others ask when a collection bin will be available in a Sephora closer to them, and others still exchange tips on cleaning packaging.

“This is BIG NEWS!!” celebrity makeup artist Katey Denno wrote

“A major milestone!” echoed Luxe Botanics on the post. “So proud of you all and to be part of this collective.”

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