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Walmart partners with P&G in beauty recycling pilot

walmart recycling
Walmart is recycling used packaging at its stores.

Walmart is part of a collaboration to collect used hair care, skincare and cosmetic packaging at select stores.

The discount giant is teaming up with leading CPG manufacturer Procter & Gamble (P&G) and international recycling provider TerraCycle to offer free in-store recycling collection for empty hair care, skincare and cosmetic packaging at 25 of its stores located throughout Pennsylvania, New Jersey, Oklahoma, and Arkansas.

The program is known as the Walmart U.S. Beauty Recycling Program. Participating stores feature dedicated collection bins for beauty packaging.

Acceptable items include:

  • Plastic and glass tubes, pots, pumps, sprays, and jars.
  • Lipstick, lip balm, and lip gloss tubes, cases, and caps.
  • Mascara tubes.
  • Eyeliner pencils and cases.
  • Eyeshadow and bronzer cases.
  • Foundation packaging.
  • Powder cases.
  • Eyeshadow and concealer tubes and sticks.
  • Shampoo and conditioner bottles, caps, and pumps.
  • Hair gel and styling product tubes and pots.
  • Non-aerosol hair spray bottles, triggers, and pumps.
  • Body lotion and body wash bottles and caps.
  • Face cream and sunscreen tubes and pumps.
  • Cleanser and serum packaging.
  • Soap bottles and dispensers

Not accepted items include: Aerosols, cardboard packaging, electronic or battery-powered items, makeup wipes and sponges, nail polish, perfume, reusable cotton pads and cloths, wooden pencils and makeup brushes, sharps, broken glass, and razors.

The program accepts empty cosmetics from all brands, not just those sold at Walmart. Once collected, beauty and skincare product packaging is cleaned and separated by material type. The materials are recycled at TerraCycle facilities into raw formats that manufacturers use to make new products.

“Walmart and P&G are working together to strengthen recycling solutions and educate their communities about the importance of sustainability by offering convenient in-store drop-off points for haircare, skincare and cosmetic packaging,” said Tom Szaky, CEO and founder of TerraCycle. “The innovative collaboration offers consumers the opportunity to divert traditionally non-recyclable beauty waste from landfills in a convenient way.”

Walmart pursues ‘regenerative’ status
Walmart has committed itself to becoming a “regenerative” company — helping to renew people and the planet through its business. The company detailed progress towards its goal in its recently released 2022 “Environmental, Social and Governance Summary Report.” 

In the area of sustainability, Walmart reported that is continue to make progress toward its science-based targets for emissions reduction (for example, reporting a 17.5% reduction in FY2021 relative to baseline for Scope 1 and 2 emissions).

The company said it has crossed the halfway mark toward reaching its goal to reduce or avoid one billion metric tons (a gigaton) of greenhouse gas emissions from the global value chain by 2030. To date, suppliers report having reduced or avoided more than 574 million metric tons of supply chain emissions.

In addition, Walmart reiterated its commitment to help protect, restore or more sustainably manage 50 million acres of land and 1 million square miles of ocean by 2030.

Based in Bentonville, Ark., Walmart operates more than 10,500 stores and clubs under 46 banners in 24 countries and e-commerce websites.

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