June 02, 2015

As someone who goes through about a bajillion beauty products each year, testing for the magazine and trying to find the latest and greatest for you lovely readers, I am very diligent when it comes to recycling their packaging. But apparently I'm in some lonely company: According to a survey conducted by beauty brand Unilever, only about 34% of American consumers report always recycling beauty bottles. That adds up to nearly 29 million tons headed to landfills each year. That ain't pretty.

Unilever is launching its "Rinse. Recycle. Reimagine." campaign to help educate consumers about the need to toss used bottles into the recycle bin, as well as increase the amount of recycled material content in their packaging to maximum levels by the year 2020. In order to do so, though, the company needs Americans to recycle more because there's not currently enough recycled plastic resin available.

Go to brightfuture.unilever.us to learn more, or share a photo of your bathroom recyclables on Twitter or Instagram using #ReimagineThat and #Sweeps for a chance to win reimagined recycled prizes. Daily and grand prizes range from Unilever beauty kits to goods made from recycled plastics like an umbrella or a backpack.

Additional Unilever Bathroom Recycling Index Findings:

  • Fueling the bathroom recycling gap is a combination of confusion, misinformation, and a bit of skepticism. While the majority of Americans know where they should be putting their empty bottles, 42% claim that they don’t recycle because they aren’t sure an item is eligible for recycling. Additionally, more than a quarter (27%) of Americans are not convinced their recycled items can actually become something new. To find out what qualifies items for recycling in your area and to find out what your plastic bottles could become, go to iwanttoberecycled.org/bathroom.
  • There are quite a few things Americans would do before walking their empty bath and beauty bottles to the recycling bin. One in five (22%) Americans wouldn’t walk across their home to recycle a bath or beauty bottle. In fact, Americans are more likely to go the distance to get a drink when thirsty, charge their phone, or answer a phone call than walk an empty plastic bottle from the bathroom to the recycling bin.
  • Some cities have better bathroom recycling habits than others. Of the major U.S. metropolitan cities, Philadelphia came out on top, demonstrating the best bathroom recycling habits with 52% reporting that they always recycle in the bathroom, while Atlanta ranked last with only 23% reporting that they always recycle in the bathroom.

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