Recycling and Upcycling 101

Recycling and Upcycling 101
In 2018, we pledged to become Zero Waste by the end of 2021. That means, we’ll only produce packaging that’s Recycled, Recyclable or Reusable. It was an ambitious pledge, and while we (as with many businesses *and* people) certainly didn’t expect 2020 to be quite so challenging - we aren’t letting anything derail our waste-minimizing goals.

But, we do need your help. It’s all well and good producing packaging that’s designed to be easily recyclable - but we need you, and of course recycling facilities, to enter it into the recycling stream. Creating gifting boxes that are designed to be reusable doesn’t help the planet if they end up right in the bin. So with that, let’s go through the three R’s of our Zero Waste Pledge, and how you can make a positive difference.

Recycled packaging.

As our CEO, Arnaud Meysselle often says, “there’s no silver bullet to sustainability”. The packaging we employ for a product must ensure our products are protected, and this varies between product type: e.g. moisturizers and oils and consequently the packaging that can be used. We’re working to repack our entire portfolio in various Zero Waste skincare solutions. Here’s some highlights so far...

Post-Consumer Recycled Plastic (PCR)

Our grey-capped tubes have been made with 50% recycled plastic with a 100% recycled cap. See them in: Clean Jelly and Clearcalm Clarifying Clay Cleanser


Infinity Recycling
A beauty industry world first in partnership with SABIC, this tech allows us to recycle mixed plastic waste otherwise destined for incineration or landfill, delivering a high-quality transparent plastic with less reliance on fossil fuels. See it in: Global Protection Day Cream Reclaimed Ocean Plastic
In partnership with TerraCycle, we’ve created bottles made from 100% recycled material, 20% is floating plastic debris that has been removed from the ocean. See it in Atlantic Kelp and Magnesium Body and Hand Wash and Lotion

Recyclable packaging.

To close the loop on waste, even packaging with recycled content must be designed with its future in mind. While employing the aforementioned recycling technologies, we’ve made sure the end product can, too, be recycled. In fact, REN Clean Skincare was the first brand to be certified by SUEZ, a world leader in sustainable resource management, for our Clean Screen Mineral SPF 30 packaging (and more recently Clearcalm Clarifying Clay Cleanser) meaning these packs have been designed for recyclability.

However, designing our packaging with the best of intentions doesn’t always mean they’ll be recycled - and for this we’ll call in an example. Atlantic Kelp And Magnesium Energising Hand Wash sports a 100% recycled and recyclable bottle. The pump however, is currently not recyclable and this must be separated before placing in the recycling. We’re working to find a recyclable pump in line with our Zero Waste Pledge, and for any nuances like this we include a How To Recycle section on each of our product pages to help you dispose of your empties responsibly.

Reusable packaging.

Good news: some packaging doesn’t need to enter recycling (or at least, straight away) like our Dark Spot Sleeping Cream. Designed with a 100% PCR cap and glass jar, you can reuse it as a succulent pot, (reusable) cotton pad holder, or to hold earrings and their all-too-easily-lost backings secure. If you ever find yourself not needing it any longer - simply add it as one to the recycling.

And, there are some (pride-causing) cases where the three R’s can be found in the same pack. Our Holiday gift boxes for example are made from FSC-approved card with recycled content and have been finished with vegetable-based inks and biodegradable lamination. They’re 100% recyclable and easily reusable for stationery, well-wishing cards or socks - you name it - and if they’re reaching the end of their life, simply add to the recycling, and they could make up next years’ gift box, too...