Jun 9, 2023
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M&S launches takeback scheme for beauty packaging

Jun 9, 2023

M&S is increasing its commitment to sustainability, announcing a partnership with beauty recycling specialist Handle to launch a Beauty Takeback Scheme in over 40 stores across the UK.


The scheme will enable customers to recycle beauty packaging materials and components that commonly end up in landfill so they can be turned into new packaging and products.

From this month, M&S customers will be able to return any form of plastic or aluminium beauty packaging -- from bottles and tubes to caps, pumps, and tubs – from any retailer, by dropping their used beauty packaging into dedicated boxes located within the store’s beauty section.

The initiative is estimated to collect over two tonnes of empty beauty packaging within the first 12 months.

To celebrate the launch of the scheme, until the 5 July, Sparks customers who recycle their beauty packaging will also receive 10% off Beauty at M&S.

M&S pointed to research that shows packaging is one of the biggest sustainability challenges facing the beauty industry, with 120 billion units of packaging produced globally every year. However, recycling rate estimates range fromjust  9%-50% in the UK due to certain packaging types specific to beauty not being processed through the infrastructure available in mainstream recycling. 

Carmel McQuaid, Head of ESG at M&S, said: “Plastic is one of the biggest challenges facing the beauty industry and whilst there is still lots more to do, we hope this scheme encourages customers to recycle their beauty empties to give them a second life and reduce the amount of packaging that goes to landfill. Alongside our other schemes, including Shwopping and plastic takeback, it’s one of the many ways we’re driving the circular economy on our roadmap to net zero.”

Tom Murgatroyd, co-founder of Handle Recycling, added: “Our mission is to reduce the environmental impact of beauty packaging and this partnership helps to elevate awareness and action toward this mission to the next level. We seek partners who wish to engage in complex issues and that have talented and committed teams to help and support the goals they set out.”

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