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Bring It Back: The LUSH way to recycle

In 2022, our wonderful customers and staff returned an estimated 720,000 items of Lush packaging to our shops. We want to smash this goal in 2023 and you can help!

We know what you’re thinking . . . ‘Recycling isn’t enough when we are up to our necks in plastic waste!’ It’s true, we cannot recycle our way out of the climate crisis, but taking responsibility for the packaging we create as a business is an important step in the evolution towards a circular economy.

How our recycling scheme works

Our Bring It Back recycling scheme invites our customers in the UK&I to return any of their Lush plastic packaging back to our shops for recycling. Not only that but as a thank you for helping us keep our plastic going and going, we offer a choice of rewards:

  • 1) You can claim 50p/c towards your Lush shopping per qualifying item returned and this will be taken off your total bill at the till-point on the same day. You can now also return your 10ml sample pots for an additional 5p/c off your shopping per item!
  • 2) Prefer a fresh face mask instead? You got it! Just return 5 full-sized qualifying items and choose your mask.

For the in-depth lowdown on what packaging items qualify for the scheme and further Terms & Conditions, click here.

Why have we refreshed our recycling scheme?

We have been using fully recycled and recyclable polypropylene (PP) to create our iconic black pots since 2008. Not only that, our recycling-savvy Lush fans have been able to claim a free fresh face mask in exchange for 5 empty Lush pots since 2009. This scheme has seen thousands of Lush pots returned through our shops each year - so thank you to everyone who has helped us to create our closed-loop recycling system.

However, when we learnt that only around 9-12% of plastic is recycled globally, we wanted to do more to encourage our customers and staff to return their empties to us, so we can ensure they are recycled into more great packaging, thus the refreshed Bring It Back scheme was created.

All full-sized Lush plastic pots, bottles and tubs qualify for both money-off and 5 for a fresh face mask rewards.

Of course, we also continue to work hard towards our aims of supporting zero-waste living by continuing to invent naked products; developing unique packaging materials (have you seen our climate positive Cork Pots for our naked Shampoo bars?); focusing on reusable packaging items as well as looking into refilling options for the future.

All we need our customers to do is simply return their clean empties to us at one of our UK&I stores - we’ll take care of the rest.

What about Lush fans outside of the UK and Ireland?

We aim to ensure we have packaging recycling options for all of our retail outlets around the world and have launched similar schemes in many of our global markets. However, if this scheme isn't available in your local market yet, don't worry, for now you can still return 5 items of Lush plastic packaging to receive your fresh face mask or equivalent product.*

* Terms & Conditions vary depending on region, please check with your local Lush team for relevant information.

Why use black plastic?

It’s no secret, black plastic can cause problems for recycling facilities due to it being hard to detect by sorting machinery. So why do we use it? By choosing black recycled plastic we are able to use 100% post-consumer recycled feedstock very easily. This is because we do not have to be too choosy over the colours of the feedstock we use and can incorporate many different sources of recycled PP plastic into the Lush pot mix.

We’ve realised that the most responsible thing we can do is to get as much of our plastic packaging as possible into a loop we can control. By using a deposit-style scheme, whereby Lush customers purchase their products, knowing that they are ‘renting’ the packaging and can simply return it when they are finished, we keep the responsibility of resource recycling as our responsibility.

This project is a big step in our mission to leave the world Lusher than we found it and we invite you all to join us!