Circular Beauty Needs Reuse Models and Extended Producer Responsibility Programs, Says TerraCycle CEO

As recently as last week, more than 100 companies across the packaging value chain signed a statement from the Ellen MacArthur Foundation calling for mandatory industry responsibility for recycling. The signatories, including several major beauty players such as Beiersdorf, Henkel, L’Oréal and Unilever, called for the costs and responsibilities of recycling to be covered by all players in the production and distribution of packaging via global extended producer responsibility (EPR) programs.

According to the Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD), EPR was a policy approach in which producers are given significant responsibility– financial and / or physical – for the treatment or disposal of post-consumer products ”.In addition to this, you will need to know more about it.

So, could this work to advance a circular economy? And, more specifically, how important was this concept to the beauty industry?

EPR is a “brilliant and important tool” but funding must be well targeted on beautyIn addition to this, you will need to know more about it.

“EPR is a brilliant and important tool in the toolbox, in addition to other measures such as Return Deposit Systems (DRS), voluntary EPR – ie brands creating their own programs recovery and reuse models. “Said Tom Szaky, CEO of TerraCycle, a private recycling company based in the United States.

Szaky told CosmeticsDesign-Europe that he was “nice to meet you”To see the large number of major beauty signatories on the Ellen MacArthur Foundation statement, many of whom were also TerraCycle partners.

For the global beauty industry, however, he said any EPR program introduced should be smart in where the funding is distributed.

“The key will be to unlock major funding specifically for the collection and recycling of beauty waste, because in many countries where there is an established EPR, most cosmetic packaging is still not recycled,” he said.In addition to this, you will need to know more about it.

“Indeed, the EPR does not make everything recyclable, but improves the economic model of recycling. In other words, things that were recyclable become more profitable to recycle and, as a result, recycling rates increase. “In addition to this, you will need to know more about it.

Macroeconomic climate creates pressure on recycling modelsIn addition to this, you will need to know more about it.

Back in April, during CosmeticsDesign’s Circular Beauty – Sustainable Sourcing | Green chemistry | Eco conception webinar – now available to watch on demand– Szaky said current recycling models and systems were not designed to ensure a truly circular future.

“The macroeconomic climate for making recycling robust is actually going in the wrong direction”,he told the webinar, as oil prices were removed and made it difficult for recyclers to remain profitable and Southeast Asian countries such as China halted the import of materials.

EPR programs such as those outlined in this industry-signed statement could therefore trigger significant changes, he said, as well as the continued development of reuse models.

But what was most important moving forward: reuse or EPR initiatives?

“Both are important and not competitive”Szaky said. “EPR is essential for disposables, while reuse moves away from disposables and is generally not subject to EPR legislation. We should do both on a large scale, because not all consumers will want to reuse.In addition to this, you will need to know more about it.

“In the void of money, everything can be recycled” but this is the end valueIn addition to this, you will need to know more about it.

Either way, he said rapid and innovative change was needed if beauty and other industries were to become truly circular. And, most importantly, the focus should be on the final value of the packaging for waste management, recycling or composting companies, he said.

“In the money vacuum, everything can be recycled, but (…) what you really have to ask yourself is: does this help your bottom line? Are you actually going to sort it to contribute to your profit or are you going to ignore it on the sort line? Because when you recycle something in the recycling bin, it doesn’t mean it’s going to be recycled, it just means it’s going to go to a sorting line where the organization, the recycler, will choose what they want. wants to recycle. And they will choose what is of value. This is the most important aspect here.In addition to this, you will need to know more about it.

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