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THG boosts sustainability credentials with new recycling scheme
Recycle:me programme logo with recyclable products next to it

THG plc (“THG” or the “Group”), the global technology platform specialising in taking brands direct to consumers, has today announced a new recycling scheme – recycle:me by THG (eco) – which will allow customers to send all used beauty products, regardless of the brand, back to THG to be recycled.

Research shows that while consumers demonstrate willing to recycle, often the UK’s recycling systems can cause confusion, particularly when it comes to hard-to-recycle beauty items with complex plastic packaging, such as mascara, lipstick and eyeshadow palettes. According to the British Plastics Federation, only 32% of plastic is recycled in Europe with the remaining going to landfill, incineration or into our environment.

THG’s recycle:me initiative has been created to help solve this problem and ensure that plastic end-of-life of used beauty products are processed in a way that is environmentally friendly. Consumers shopping on THG Beauty sites in the UK simply need to wash out their used beauty products and return them free of charge. They can also include used plastic beauty products from any brand – even if they were not purchased via a THG Beauty website – and THG will recycle them.

ESPA customers already have access to the recycling scheme, while Lookfantastic will launch recycle:me to its customers in Q1 2021, after which all of THG’s Beauty brands will be integrated in 2021.

The beauty products that customers send back to THG are melted down and repurposed in partnership with Storm Board LLP – a company whose mission is to turn plastic waste into weather-proof and recyclable materials which can be used for social projects. These projects include the creation of sustainable furniture and the production of playground equipment and refugee shelters.

To reduce environmental impact even further, the carbon emissions associated with sending the packaging back to THG are offset through its CarbonNeutral® delivery certification.

Matthew Moulding, Founder, Chairman and CEO of THG said: 

“The recycle:me scheme is part of our ongoing pledge via THG (eco) to reduce our impact on the environment and create innovative new sustainability practices. We have started with our THG Beauty division as we know that recycling processes are particularly complex for plastic beauty products such as mascara, lipstick and skincare items with inbuilt pumps, which leads to many consumers simply disposing of their used goods in their household waste.

“By spearheading an initiative that is as simple as possible for the consumer, we are hoping to reduce the amount of plastic that goes to landfill, not just on behalf of our own THG Beauty brands but for the industry as a whole. The added benefit is that the used plastic returned to us will be transformed for some fantastic projects, including storm shelters, playground equipment and refugee shelters.”

Nick Stillwell, MD of Storm Board, said: 

“Storm Board recycles the unrecyclable. Our focus is turning waste plastic into a weatherproof and recyclable alternative to plywood that can be reused many times and recycled into another board at the end of its life. We create a circular economy of waste whilst lowering the impact on our already strained environment.”