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.
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?
Navigate to https://boots.scan2recycle.com/s2r/ on your phone’s internet browser.
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.
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.
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.
Once you hit 5 that are accepted you’ll be ready to go. These will show as ‘banked’ in your account.
Take the products to your nearest participating store. The recycling box is found by the No7 counter in most stores.
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.
You’ll be instantly issued a barcode to your registered email address. Note: On occasion this can take 5 minutes to arrive.
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.
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.
Take your shopping and your Advantage Card to the till to checkout, and select the option to pay with points.
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.
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?