Home General Info & Awareness Boots Recycling Scheme For Sustainable Beauty – Earn £5

Boots Recycling Scheme For Sustainable Beauty – Earn £5

by InvisiblyMe
A birds eye view of a peach-coloured desktop with green leaves on it to decorate and various beauty bottles and dispensers. Overlaid is the post title - Sustainable Beauty: Boots Recycling Scheme.

To help encourage recycling, Boots has kicked off their own beauty recycling initiative, giving you the chance to dispose of empties that can’t often be recycled at home while giving you £5 in points for your efforts! Unfortunately getting to a store may not be possible for everyone right now during the Covid19 pandemic, but it’s a brilliant scheme worth considering if you’re going to the shops for essentials.

Boots Recycling Scheme : What Is It?

Boots has teamed up with their much loved make-up brand No7 to bring recycling points to hundreds of Boots stores in the UK. They aim to recycle various health, beauty, dental and wellness product empties, many of which can’t typically be recycled by your curb-side council collections. It’s predominantly aimed at the harder to recycle plastics, which includes those composed of composite materials, non-recyclable materials and smaller products like travel minis. If the product can’t be recycled, it’ll be renewed and given a new lease of life. 

With their innovative Scan 2 Recycle technology, you’ll be able to access your online account to scan your products and keep track of how many items you’ve recycled. This is a digital-based scheme, so you’ll need a smartphone and internet access, but thankfully you should find free WiFi in Boots stores. 

Which Boots Stores Offer Recycling?

Find out more about the Boots Recycling Scheme and search for your nearest participating store here.

What Can I Recycle With Boots?

The scheme accepts a wide range of health and beauty products. The packaging should be as empty as possible. It doesn’t matter what size or brand the products are and they needn’t have been purchased from Boots to begin with. You’ll need five empties to be eligible for the reward.

A bird's eye view photo taken of various product empties on a white desk ready for recycling with the Boots Recycle Scheme. They include Simple face lotion, mini toothpaste, hand gel, face scrub and toothbrush.
5 emtpies ready for recycling at Boots.

Products you can recycle include, but are not limited to: Anti-perspirant sticks, creams and roll ons. Body moisturiser, butter, scrub and oil. After sun cream, moisturiser, lotion and pump dispenser. BB cream. Aftershave lotion. Blusher and bronzer. Brushes, brush cleansers. Bubble bath and salts. Cleansers. Contact lens case and solution. Dental care minis and samples. Eye liners, eyeshadow palettes and eye cream. Fake tan lotions and pump dispensers. Face wash. Feminine creams and lotions. Hair cream, gel, jelly and haircare minis. Hair mousse pump, paste, putty, serum and spray pump. Hair wax and hair treatments. Hand lotion and cream. Hand sanitiser and hand wash bottles. Insect repellant lotion and stick. Lip balm and cream tubes, tubes and pots. Lip gloss, lipsticks and pencils. Soap. Make-up minis and samples. Make-up sponges. Shower gel. Teeth whitening products. Mascara. Micellar water. Nail polish remover. Mouthwash. Shampoo and conditioner. Shaving creams/gels and pump dispensers. Toiletry samples. Talcum powder Toothpaste and toothbrushes. Supplement and vitamin bottles, tubs and tubes. 

What Can’t Be Recycled?

For health and safety reasons, there are a few items that can’t be recycled. These include: 

Aerosol cans; nail polish bottles; perfume bottles; brow/lash tints; razors and razor blades; hair dyes; used PPE; medicine/supplement foils and blister packs; medical devices (electrical and non-electrical); food packaging; electrical items (like hair dryers). 

> UPDATE – 1st January 2021 Onwards

Boots have issued an update to the recycling scheme, reducing the products that are eligible for a reward and adjusting a few other aspects. Please see below for the information provided by Boots:

Only 8 rewards per account holder can be issued in any calendar month.

Reward barcodes will be available in your Scan2Recycle Account in the Reward section and will no longer be issued to your registered email address. The Reward must be redeemed on the day of issue in a participating store at the No7 counter along with your Advantage Card for the points to be added.

Deposits of shampoo, conditioner, shower gel, hair & body wash packaging (as well selected other types of products – see full Ts&Cs on the website) are not eligible for rewards, because they can be widely recycled via local recycling facilities. Also, contact lens cases must be recycled via the Boots Optician Recycling Scheme and will no longer be eligible for this scheme. Any such items already banked can still be deposited before these changes take effect.

Individual items from multipacks cannot be used as qualifying items. These items must be submitted as part of the multipack originally purchased, for example, dental picks, interdental brushes, small make-up applicators etc. These must be uploaded as a complete set to be considered as one qualifying item.

Small samples, such as beauty counter testers, make-up applicators etc., will not individually qualify as one item. A minimum of 5 samples, from any brand, must be uploaded in one photo to be counted as one item.

If a product is dismantled into component parts, or items such as brushes and sponges are removed and submitted as separate items, they will not qualify. Outer cardboard boxes or protective plastic foil wrapping are not required for an item to be considered whole.”

Boots Recycling Team

What Is The Incentive?

Boots are offering an incentive to recycle by rewarding your efforts with £5 in Advantage Cards points. This free fiver is valid on products in-store with no minimum spend. You can only get one reward in a 24 hour period, regardless of how many items you recycle. 

How Can I Get Involved?

The number 1 in a hand drawn circle.

Navigate to https://boots.scan2recycle.com/s2r/  on your phone’s internet browser.

The number 2 in a hand drawn circle.

You’ll need to sign up for an online account, which requires a mobile number. This is what you’ll use to log in. You’ll need to provide a few other details too, like your email address for the reward to be sent to.

The number 3 in a hand drawn circle.

If you’re returning to your account, all you need to do is enter your mobile number on that same link. The system will generate a secret code via SMS to prove it’s you. Enter this when prompted. I find that this hasn’t been required after the first time; I’ve bookmarked the page and can return without verification.

A trio of mobile phone screenshots showing the 'secret code' page where you log back in to the Boots Recycling Scheme website, the home page showing 0 banked items, and me holding my phone to take a photo of the items on the wooden table at home, including an empty Garnier hand cream tube.
Left to right: Secret code to re-access your account, home screen, taking a photo of a product.

The number 4 in a hand drawn circle.

Scan your items on your account. You do this by taking a photo via the webpage. Take a photo and it’ll either automatically register the product or you’ll be prompted to select the brand and product type. Start typing the brand name so see if it’s listed. If it’s not, you can select ‘other’. Then choose the product type to match. Submit and add another, repeating the same process.

Two screenshots of the mobile website as the photo of the product is taken and process on the Boots recycling website.
On the left is the image processing (unrecognised in this example) as I need to select the brand name and product category on the right.

The number 5 in a hand drawn circle.

Once you hit 5 that are accepted you’ll be ready to go. These will show as ‘banked’ in your account.

The number 6 in a hand drawn circle.

Take the products to your nearest participating store. The recycling box is found by the No7 counter in most stores. 

The number 7 in a hand drawn circle.

On your account, click to deposit and you’ll be asked to scan the scan the QR code found on the box in store. Once you’ve done that, pop in all of your items. It’ll list all of the items you’re depositing for confirmation, so just press continue.

The number 8 in a hand drawn circle.

You’ll be instantly issued a barcode to your registered email address. Note: On occasion this can take 5 minutes to arrive.

The number 9 in a hand drawn circle.

Show the email on your phone to a member of staff at the No7 still along with your Boots Advantage Card. They’ll redeem the code and credit you with £5 of points. This needs to be done the same day that you deposit the empties in the box in store.

A trio of photos showing the Boots Recycling large cardboard box in store, the email voucher, and a close up of the top where you drop in the products as I hold the receipt showing my points.
Left to right: Recycling point in Boots, the email voucher received, the receipt after taking the email & Advantage card to the till.

The number 10 in a hand drawn circle.

Pick the treats you’d like to buy. There’s no minimum spend. You’ll get £5 free so if you spend more you can make that up with your own pennies. If you don’t fancy purchasing on the day you can save the points for another time! These are regular Advantage Card points so they last like regular points do.

The number 11 in a hand drawn circle.

Take your shopping and your Advantage Card to the till to checkout, and select the option to pay with points.

The number 12 in a hand drawn circle.

Celebrate feeling good for doing good for the environment & getting a free fiver! 

My Experiences With Boots Recycling

I personally think this is a fantastic initiative! I love that Boots accept a wide range of products for recycling from any brands, not just their own, including sample sizes. I found the process of logging in nice and quick, and taking the photos is straightforward.

The technology is continually growing and adapting as more people use it, so you’ll notice more brands listed and more products being automatically recognised over time.

Not all products are quite as obvious when it comes to inputting them. A nasal spray for sinusitis, for instance, can’t be regularly recycled at home so you’d anticipate it being accepted by Boots, but it’s not listed on the drop-down. There’s obviously an abundance of product types, so you just need to familiarise yourself with what’s listed and select the closest to your item. If in doubt, leave it to one side and check in store. 

I have encountered a minor issue with a product not being accepted in store despite it being listed & being banked on the website. That’s why it’s helpful to have at least one spare item just in case. I dropped an email to the recycling team and they advised this was actually just a glitch, so in future that item (Carex pump dispenser anti-bacterial hand wash) should be accepted without any problems. 

I’ve almost always found Boots staff to be very friendly and helpful, so it was a pleasure to drop the items off in store and ask for the email code to be redeemed. It’s fairly contact-free aside from me giving the staff member my phone, but even that was done at a distance while we were both wearing masks and most till points will have plastic partitions.

The email came through instantly after depositing the products the first time, but on later occasions it took a few minutes, which is a good opportunities for checking your other emails or taking a browse in store. Once at the counter, points were added on my Advantage Card account super quickly and without fuss. Perfect! 


  • Most products will need to be entered manually on your account. You can either browse all brand and types, or start entering the word to pick up all matching responses. For instance, if you’ve got a St Ives face scrub, start entering “St I” and select St Ives. Then in the product box start entering “scrub” or “face sc”. This will save a little time and the process becomes a lot quicker once you get the hang of it.
  • You need to show the emailed barcode to a member of staff to get the points put on your Advantage card the same day you drop off your items. However, the points will then be on your Advantage card to spend any time you wish, no rush.
  • If the brand isn’t recognised, select ‘other’ and you’ll be prompted to type in the brand name.
  • The tool is continually growing & developing, so it’s worth checking back to see if new items you regularly use are added.
  • Take at least one back-up item as a spare with you into store just in case you encounter any problems. 
  • If you don’t get your email, check the spam folder. While it may go through instantly, it can take a little while to be sent. If you need to do shopping in store or pick up a prescription, then do that and check back for the email in 5 minutes.

It’s unfortunate that its launch has coincided with Covid-19 and as such many won’t be able to use this, and I think it would be wrong to encourage people to get out to the high street just for this scheme. However, if you’re already having to go out for work or essentials, then this is worth considering. Hopefully once the pandemic is a thing of the past the recycling scheme will still be in full force. 

This is a brilliant initiative that enables more items to be recycled and gives back to customers at the same time.

Take a browse of the Boots website here.

A black scroll divider.

What do you think of the Boots Recycling Scheme? Do you already try to recycle health & beauty products, or is this something you’d be interested in doing in future?

Caz  ♥

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ashleyleia October 26, 2020 - 4:51 pm

What a fantastic idea!

InvisiblyMe October 28, 2020 - 11:11 am

It really is pretty awesome! Good for the planet, good for our purses. I just wish it would be rolled out to more stores like the out-of-town ones where it’s easier & safer for people to get to. Maybe it will, fingers crossed ???? x

Sandee October 26, 2020 - 5:37 pm

Recycling is a good thing. Better than just tossing things out.

Have a fabulous day and week, Caz. ♥

InvisiblyMe October 28, 2020 - 11:18 am

I absolutely agree. If there’s a way to recycle, do it, it certainly beats throwing it out & adding to landfill.
I hope the week’s treating you kindly, Sandee xx

Masha October 26, 2020 - 9:22 pm

I’m 100% for recycling, this is such a great idea, thank you have a wonderful week ahead <3

InvisiblyMe October 28, 2020 - 11:19 am

Same here, Masha. Recycling is a wonderful thing, so I thought this scheme was fab! It’s great somewhere’s trying to tackle the harder-to-recycle products.
Hope you have a lovely week! xx

Marilyn October 26, 2020 - 10:30 pm

Thanks for sharing this initiative. It’s a great idea, and well done Boots, and well done you! ❤????????❤
Maz X

InvisiblyMe October 28, 2020 - 11:20 am

Thanks very muchly, Maz! I’m so pleased to see Boots doing this – long may it last! ???? xx

Megala October 27, 2020 - 9:43 am

Great initiative! If this system is followed all across the globe, it will help us keep our planet free from pollutants to a large extent.

InvisiblyMe October 28, 2020 - 11:22 am

Such a good way to look at it – rolling out more of these initiatives will make such a huge difference to the planet as a whole by reducing waste & pollutants, and that can only be a good thing. xx

justcalmwildness October 27, 2020 - 11:10 am

Really Good Idea. I wish this was in Kenya.

InvisiblyMe October 28, 2020 - 11:24 am

Do they have any/many recycling schemes there? I actually have no idea. I’m not sure of how different countries ‘do’ recycling generally, let alone the smaller initiatives like this one. I hope the idea catches on and more governments, businesses and stores offer similar worldwide! ???? x

Darnell Cureton October 27, 2020 - 4:10 pm

I like this idea, as a lot of people are becoming savvy using their phones. Treat this like a fun game, and receive points on an Advantage Card while doing the world good. ( yourself too ) Need this in the US. It’s just a matter of time. Good programs like this spread out.

InvisiblyMe October 28, 2020 - 2:33 pm

You know, you’re right – it is a bit like a game, isn’t it? Recycle 5 things, take photos, scan a code, get yourself points & level up! I hope it catches on with other brands and stores worldwide. A little extra recycling could make a big difference! x

Svet Pavlovsky October 27, 2020 - 6:48 pm

That sounds like a wonderful idea. If there is an opportunity to recycle even more I always choose that one. Great post, Caz!

InvisiblyMe October 28, 2020 - 2:35 pm

Same here, Svet. Any opportunity to recycle is worth taking up because every little helps! Hopefully more of these initiatives will flourish worldwide, especially when they’re tackling the less widely recycled products that usually go to landfill. Glad you liked the post! Have yourself a lovely day ???? xx

thatblogwherecheriemovestogermany October 28, 2020 - 2:48 pm

I love this idea!! Hope it continues to grow.

InvisiblyMe October 28, 2020 - 4:12 pm

Me too, it really is a fab initiative! ????

Terri, Reclaiming Hope October 28, 2020 - 4:12 pm

Wow, what a fabulous incentive to recycle! I love that they take the things not typically accepted at curbside pick-up. The more we can keep out of the landfills, the better. Great post, as always!

forresting365 October 29, 2020 - 2:32 pm

WOW! That is the absolute COOLEST!!! I’ve never heard of a store here in the states doing that. Amazed and smiling so big! Thank You for sharing this, Caz! You ROCK!!!!! Cheers!????❤️????

InspiresN October 30, 2020 - 7:32 pm

It’s truly a great initiative and I love that If the product can’t be recycled, it’ll be renewed and given a new lease of life. Thanks for sharing such a wonderful post. This kind of stuff needs to be promoted more.

The Oceanside Animals October 31, 2020 - 10:40 pm

Lulu: “We totally thought this was going to be about like turning in your old galoshes so they can be transformed into like pavement or water bottles or stuff like that!”

englishwithkirsty November 2, 2020 - 2:27 pm

I think this is a great idea, and I used the Body Shop scheme when that was running. I’m avoiding all shops at the moment, but for those who aren’t, and for the rest of us when we’re not staying away, this is a really good way to help the environment!

fleurdelailis November 4, 2020 - 11:40 pm

This is such a great and important post!! Not many people out there know there are recycling schemes so thanks for highlighting them.

Holly December 8, 2020 - 4:00 pm

What a great initiative! I always hope that our recycled products are actually being given a ‘new life.’ Recycling, when done correctly, has the ability to change so much. To be honest, I grew up in a family that never recycled anything. (sigh) It wasn’t until years later that I became aware of what recycling was and why people did it that I came on board with fully supporting it too.

Thanks for sharing what Boots is doing. You’re awesome! I hope access will be as easy as possible for everyone so that people can truly make use of this great service! ♥


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