Did you know that March 18 is officially Global Recycling Day? It’s the perfect opportunity to reflect on our recycling habits and consider how we can produce less waste. At Desert Essence, we’re committed to creating products that nourish while also working to benefit the world around us. As a certified B Corp, we meet the highest standards of verified social and environmental performance, public transparency and legal accountability. Our products are either recyclable or made from recycled materials — all Desert Essence tubes, bottles, and caps are recyclable and BPA free.


Even as we strive to minimize waste and care for Mother Nature, we know that beauty product recycling can be confusing. That’s why we’ve compiled this guide to help you demystify the process and figure out how to recycle your Desert Essence empties.

Step 1: Check for Recycling Symbols

When recycling products, begin by checking if an item is recyclable. This means one, looking for recycling symbols, and two, checking in with what your municipality's recycling program accepts. The most universal symbol for a recyclable product is the triangle with three arrows, but it helps to be specific and look for numbers. For curbside recycling in most areas, paper, glass, aluminum and number 1 and 2 plastic containers are usually OK. Some recycling programs take plastic packaging with codes 3 to 7, but double-check with local guidelines. One resource for checking your local recycling options is Earth911, which allows you to search by material and postal code.


To determine how to recycle beauty products, check the different numbers on your plastic packaging. Here’s an example: In Desert Essence's line, the tubes are #2 HDPE, whereas the caps are #5 PP. 

Step 2: Separate Recyclable Materials

Most municipalities (but not all) recommend rinsing your recyclables to remove remaining residue, as excess liquids can contaminate paper items in your bin or slow down machinery at a local recycling facility. To play it safe, give your recyclable containers a quick rinse and put them into your recycling bin after they dry. After cleaning your recyclables, figure out how to recycle each part of your product. While the container itself may be able to go into your curbside pickup recycling, the lid may need to be dropped off at a separate recycling center or program. Again, this is determined by the numbers on your packaging and which numbers your recycling program takes. 


For items that go into curbside recycling, determine if you have a single-stream or multi-stream program. For most single-stream recycling programs, you will not need to separate your recyclables. However, multi-stream recycling programs will require you to sort your recyclables. You have to sort your recyclables before collection, usually between paper or fiber materials and containers. Check with your local sanitation program for details. 


Step 3: Find a Recycling Center or Program

If your local curbside pickup program doesn't take some recyclables, consider local drop-off recycling centers or mail-back programs. Some stores, like Nordstrom, work with the private recycling brand TerraCycle to run programs in which you can drop off recyclable beauty packaging at participating locations regardless of brand. TerraCycle also has partnerships with many other beauty brands for mail-in recycling options


Step 4: Consider Repurposing or Upcycling

Another way to give your beauty packaging a second life is by upcycling it. Dropper jars can turn into plant propagation vessels, and full-sized bottles work wonderfully as brush containers. You can also use cream jars to store small accessories and turn spray bottles into containers for your DIY household cleaners. With some creativity, the possibilities are endless. 

Keep these steps in mind to properly dispose of your beauty products with recyclable packaging. Recycling is a small part of reducing waste, but partaking in it can definitely lessen your carbon footprint. After hitting the bottom of your favorite Desert Essence products, recycle, replenish, use and repeat!