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Scandinavia’s leading beauty chain KICKS initiated a mission to both create more awareness about cosmetic recycling–and making it increasingly available–in 2017. What was then a collaboration with Stockholm Water and Waste has since grown into a bigger project, and customers can now return cosmetic waste in selected stores all over Sweden.
We asked Åsa Fredriksson Jedeskog, KICKS Sustainability Specialist and the one responsible for collection of cosmetic waste at KICKS, about the developments of the recycling mission and how it’s been received so far.

What made you want to launch this initiative?
– KICKS wants to help minimise the environmental footprint of beauty products and make them easier to dispose of after use, through increased awareness and accessibility.

What have been the challenges so far?
– In Sweden, municipalities have a monopoly on collecting consumers’ cosmetic waste. KICKS is therefore not allowed to collect cosmetic waste itself and needs to work with the municipalities or their waste management companies by acting as a collection point for the municipalities who collect and process the waste. To be able to take back cosmetic waste, KICKS therefore has to get the municipalities on board, which is very time consuming. We are constantly adding more collecting stores and municipalities.

What has been the response from your customers?
– The customers have been very positive and we receive many questions from customers who want to see their local store as a collection point for cosmetic waste, feedback that we include in the dialogue with the municipalities.

What’s in store for the initiative in the coming months?
– Currently we are able to collect cosmetic waste in stores in Stockholm and Gothenburg, focus going forward is getting a spread across Sweden, as well as investigating the possibilities for collection of cosmetic waste in Norway and Finland too.

What’s the most common mistake or misunderstanding among consumers when it comes to cosmetic waste (what it is or how to handle it)?
– There is a big gap of knowledge when it comes to how to sort ones cosmetic waste, and where to recycle it. Which is easy to understand. We hope that we will get more people to sort their cosmetic waste by highlighting this subject and by working for more collection points where people are in their everyday lives.

Find the KICKS stores accepting cosmetic waste hereIf you don’t live close to one, turn to your local recycle center that handles hazardous waste.

Read more about the initiative here, here and here

This post in published in collaboration with KICKS. 

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