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Big Beauty Signals Commitment to Recycling

June 25, 2021 Kelly Kovack
June 25, 2021
Sigmund via Unsplash

Brands need to be truly committed to sustainability for real change to happen. They must educate themselves on the complex issues related to the circular economy so they are making an informed decision but, more importantly, so they are not inadvertently “greenwashing” or providing consumers with misinformation. And finally, real change will only happen when brands become activists and participate in fixing the existing recycling infrastructure.

L'Oreal, Unilever, Beiersdorf, Henkel, L'Occitane-En-Provence are among a number of beauty companies that joined 100+ businesses in signing a statement from the Ellen MacArthur Foundation for mandatory responsibility in recycling.

To stop packaging pollution we need a circular economy where we eliminate what we don't need, innovate towards new packaging, products, and business models, and circulate all the packaging we do use, keeping it in the economy and out of the environment. But th collection, sorting, and recycling of packaging typically costs more to do than the money it makes. Extended Producer Responsibility (EPR) is the only proven and likely way to provide funding that is dedicated, ongoing, and sufficient. Through EPR schemes, companies putting packaging on the market are required to pay for its collection, sorting, and recycling after use.

“Setting up Extended Producer Responsibility schemes creates new markets for recycling. It is challenging to set up but, if successful, it is a game-changer in the global transition towards a circular economy,” said Maarten Dubois, Project Lead, Circular Economy, OECD

More than 150 leading businesses and other organizations from across the packaging value chain, publicly recognize that without EPR, packaging collection and recycling is unlikely to be meaningfully scaled and tens of millions of tons of packaging will continue to end up in the environment every year. 

These businesses publicly express their support for the implementation of EPR schemes for packaging and commit to: 
1. Ensure our entire organization is aligned on, and our actions are inline with, this statement
2. Be constructive in our engagement with governments and other stakeholders: advocating for the establishment of well-designed EPR policies and being supportive in working out how to implement and continuously improve EPR schemes in the local context
3. Engage with our peers and the relevant associations and collaborations we are part of to work towards aligning their positions and actions accordingly.

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