Boots sees sustainable shopping surge as recycling scheme hits milestone

By Austyn King 3-Feb-2022

The retailer's Recycle at Boots initiative has seen consumers return more than one million beauty and personal care empties since its launch in 2020

UK shoppers are embracing more sustainable beauty habits going into 2022 than ever before, according to the latest findings by health and beauty giant Boots.

Analysing user searches at boots.com, the company revealed an upswing of more than half (58%) of consumers searching for 'reusable' in the first two weeks of January compared to the same period in 2021, while 'refillable' searches saw an increase of 18%.

Meanwhile, the retailer's Recycle at Boots scheme, which invites consumers to return their hard-to-recycle beauty and personal care empties and receive Boots Advantage Card points, reported its biggest week to date, banking more than 22,000 items in the second week of 2022 – reaching a total of more than one million products since its launch in 2020, with toothpaste, mascara and face serum the most frequently returned skus.

To celebrate the milestone, Boots is doubling the amount of points its loyalty card holders can receive for using the scheme; while they would usually receive 250 points (worth £2.50) for every five products they bring back, eco-conscious shoppers will be awarded 500 points until the end of March.

Natalie Gourlay, interim Head of CSR at Boots, said: “We are delighted to see so many customers kicking off the new year with new sustainable habits and we are committed to helping them to continue to make ethical choices throughout 2022.

“We are continually looking at how we manage our own ‘Bootprint’ as part of the way we operate our business, while actively seeking ways to make it easier for customers to be agents of change.

Last year, Boots celebrated the 'overwhelming success' of its recycling programme and announced plans to roll out the service to 700 locations in the UK – almost a third of its stores.

Gourlay added: “When we launched the “Recycle at Boots” scheme in 2020, there was nothing else like it on the high street and we wanted to incentivise customers and make it easier for them to recycle products that can’t traditionally be recycled at home.

“We are proud to have hit such a significant milestone.”

The announcement comes as a slew of beauty and personal care brands have upped their sustainabilty game in the last few years by offering customers recyclable and refillable initiatives.

Around the same time in 2020, L'Oreal-owned make-up brand Maybelline rolled out its recycling bins into Boots, as well as competitors Tesco, Superdrug and Sainsbury’s, allowing customers to return their used beauty products from any brand to be recycled.

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Meanwhile, last year saw male grooming brand Bulldog roll out its new recycling scheme in September, allowing customers to recycle their used razor blades and skin care tubes free of charge, while hair care staple Aveda unveiled its pilot recycling scheme in June to entice customers to return their beauty empties to its salons across the UK.

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