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Keep Earth Around: Recycling Empties




You’re on your last few drops of a product in your precious skincare routine. As you jump to order new online or stop in to see us at CLEO to re-up, you’re left with empty product bottles of differing sizes and materials, and you may be unsure of what to do with them. Sure, you may already be pretty familiar with proper recycling practices, but when it comes to beauty and skincare products, it can get confusing!


We love the planet as much as we love skincare, and we’re alarmed by the billions of units of plastic the beauty industry produces each year that don’t get recycled. We’re hoping to make smarter choices that help change this narrative—and help you curb the uncertainty of what to do with the empties.


So what do you do with them?


Recycle the parts you can at home. Clean out bottles thoroughly with soap and warm water or run it through the dishwasher. Remove the label if you can. Keep any removable cap or screw-top attached—these are recyclable, but are too small to be recycled on their own.

Certain parts, though, may not be recyclable. This is where it gets tricky.

Pumps or droppers that are attached to the top of a bottle may contain a metal spring or may be made of a combination of rubber, glass, and/or plastic, so throwing it in all into your recycling bin won’t always suffice. Containers with multiple layers may not be made recyclable materials entirely, so be cautious and check for the recycling symbol on the packaging. If you’re still unsure, check your local government’s website for updated information and restrictions.


Go no-waste and reuse for something else. This might require some creative repurposing: use as travel-size containers for your next trip, water house plants, add a few drops of your favorite essential oil to water and create a room spray, refill with hand soap for your kitchen or bathroom…the options are endless!

Head to your nearest Nordstrom. Currently Nordstrom is the only major retailer to offer a beauty recycling program, BEAUTYCYCLE, and they accept all brands of beauty product and skincare packaging, such as pump caps, hair spray triggers, lipstick cases, eyeliner pencils, and mascara tubes. Any empty packaging that can’t go into your regular curbside bin can be dropped off in a BEAUTYCYCLE bin in the Beauty department in every Nordstrom in the U.S. Check here to search your nearest Nordstrom.


Bring your CLEO bottles back to us! Some brands encourage you to return empties to them for proper recycling, and we’re now one of them! CLEO Skincare now offers recycling credit: bring back clean CLEO Skincare bottles for $1 credit per bottle for your next purchase.


Happy Recycling!


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