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Driving Towards Circularity: Beauty’s Newest Recycling Solution

Published October 1, 2023
Published October 1, 2023
Pact Collective

The beauty industry produces an estimated 120 billion cosmetic packages each year, the majority of which are single-use and never end up being recycled. While 81% of consumers look for sustainable packaging for their beauty products, many brands find it hard to execute, leaving a lack of examples for indie, small, and new businesses to follow. To tackle this, climate technology company Bluebird Climate has partnered with nonprofit beauty recycling organization Pact Collective, creating resources that will aid brands on their sustainability journeys.

The collaboration will kick off by presenting a turnkey solution to over 150 beauty and wellness brands that will allow them to quickly assess the recyclability of their current packaging. The technology will also communicate the most effective and appropriate disposal and recycling guidelines to consumers through an interactive e-commerce widget. This was made possible through Pact's extensive knowledge of hard-to-recycle products, which allowed them to optimize Bluebird's methodologies by fine-tuning recycling instructions for different types of packaging. The widget will provide Pact drop-off bin locations and ensure the platform reflects the most up-to-date recycling infrastructure.

"Access and transparency are two core values that Bluebird and Pact Collective share," states Jamie McCroskery, Bluebird's CEO and co-founder. "We are energized by how this partnership can help quickly scale sustainable packaging for even the newest player in the market. By partnering with Bluebird, Pact Collective empowers brands to ensure they get recyclability right during product development and easily communicate recycling instructions to their customers. We look forward to merging our disruptive approaches to bring sustainability to the masses."

For the 150 brands taking part in the activations rollout, much less technical knowledge and effort will be required when it comes to evaluating the recyclability of their products, therefore improving the likelihood that its packaging will be correctly recycled. Before the partnership, brands would need to extensively evaluate each component of packaging and consider its likelihood of reclycling by consumers, the likelihood of its acceptance in a recycling infrastructure, and its translation into understandable instructions for the consumer. The initiative is particularly important because several laws and regulations demanding proper product recycling labels from all brands continue to surface.

According to the two businesses, the recyclability evaluation system is just the first step in this collaborative process. In the future, the team plans to extend tools that give Pact-affiliated beauty companies the ability to measure and optimize the climate impact of their products in development using Bluebird's life cycle assessment (LCA) tools. The duo hopes to continue their partnership to unite consumers and brands and redefine industry standards when it comes to sustainability.

The collaboration brings good news for both beauty brands and consumers. With easier avenues to take in regards to sustainability, brands will have more time to extend their business in other areas, and consumers will be able to spend less time seeking sustainable options and more time searching for their favorite products.

"Our industry needs to speak the same language when it comes to recyclability claims. Through this collaboration with Bluebird, Pact can better communicate our collection guidelines to help our members determine which of their packaging components are curbside recyclable, acceptable by Pact, or destined for the landfill. All while instantly communicating proper recycling and disposal instructions to their customers with e-commerce plugins," concludes Carly Snider, Pact's Program Director.


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