Close the Loop Limited, an end-to-end solutions provider from design and manufacturing, through to collection and recycling of products, is conducting a trial product stewardship for cosmetics.
In conjunction with Myer and with guidance from peak industry body, Accord, the trial will research new ways of recycling cosmetics to reduce the estimated 5000 to 11,500 tonnes of cosmetic packaging that is currently being landfilled in Australia each year.
Consumers will be able to take their used cosmetic items from any brand to collection points in 12 participating Myer stores.
The trial project received grant funding from the Australian Government’s National Product Stewardship Investment Fund and will run for an initial eight weeks to 16 September 2022. It will inform the feasibility of any future ongoing product stewardship schemes for cosmetics. Products collected during the program will be sorted into eight categories and processed by Close the Loop to be recycled or remanufactured into new products.
Hard and soft plastics will be shredded and used in Close the Loop’s TonerPlas, an award-winning asphalt additive which uses waste plastics and toner from old printer cartridges to create roads. The plastics will also be used in the company’s Resin8 concrete additive. Metals will be separated and sent to a metals recycling facility and glass will be crushed for use as a sand replacement in building materials for the construction industry.
Materials that cannot be processed will be used to fire a low-carbon emissions cement kiln, ensuring that no products collected will be sent to landfill.
Joe Foster, Chief Executive Officer of Close the Loop Group, said cosmetics packaging is traditionally a complex waste stream – often including plastics, glass, metals, foils, rubber, natural fibres, mirrors, foam, paper and residual products.
“This Australian Government, industry, and sector partnership can pave the way for the global cosmetics industry to become much more sustainable. It is a great example of what can be achieved when all stakeholders work together to enable end-of-life products to be efficiently collected, and then recycled or remanufactured into other products – a true circular economy in action,” he said.
“The launch of the trial is very timely given the Australian Government’s second round of plastics export bans has just come into effect. The ban means it is now illegal for companies and organisations in Australia to export any mixed waste plastics. It is expected to result in even more recyclable materials being sent to landfill every year unless product stewardship and industry-led initiatives like this one are quickly implemented.”
Participating locations can be found at: https://www.closetheloop.com.au/cosmetics/ or through the Recycle Mate app https://recyclemate.com.au/ by photographing a cosmetic item, or typing in the item name. The Australian Government funded Recycle Mate app helps de-mystify what can and can’t be recycled through a database of local council waste and recycling services.
For more information, visit: www.closetheloop.com.au