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Businesses that are implementing innovative recycling programs

According to the EPA, over 292 million tons of waste was generated in 2018, and only 94 million tons were recycled or composted. There’s still a lot to be done. Only one-third of the trash generated is recycled.

Some people are unable to recycle recyclable items, even though they know that the materials used in them are recyclable. You might find that your local recycling and waste facility does not accept colored plastic or glass items smaller than 2 inches. Some people lack the resources or equipment to recycle items like aerosol cans or clothing.

Many companies have come up with their own innovative recycling programs. Here are 10 of them.

1. Bausch + Lomb

It is estimated that 3 million lenses are thrown away or flushed each year. The lenses are too small to be recycled, and they’re also made of microplastics that won’t break down easily in soil.

Bausch + Lomb has developed the ONE Recyclable Lens Program, where you can take your old contact lenses to a local eye doctor who is participating in this program. They will recycle them properly. Every 10 pounds of contacts recycled triggers a donation of $10 to a program that helps end blindness and vision problems.

2. Best Buy

Best Buy has come up with an innovative way to increase the recycling of electronics. Best Buy will send a van to your house for a small fee. The crew will remove two large appliances and as many small appliances that qualify. The crew will pick up two large appliances and unlimited small appliances.

You can bring your electronics to Best Buy in your area for recycling via ERI. You may need to contact the store first, but you can usually bring no more than 3 electronic devices per household each day.

3. Casper

When you buy a new mattress, leaving behind an old one is tricky. You can pay an extra fee for the delivery of your Casper mattress. This includes the setup of your new mattress, removing and recycling your old mattress, and a 100-night sleep trial. If not, they will remove it and give you a 100% refund.

Casper’s mattresses are inspected. If the mattress can still be used, it is cleaned and sanitized before being donated to a charity. The mattress will be ethically recycled if it is beyond its prime.

4. Crocs

Crocs may be comfortable, but they are also made from materials that don’t break down quickly. Crocs didn’t become vegan until 2021, and now the shoes are made of Bio-based Croslite ™, thanks to a partnership between Dow(r) and Crocs.

Crocs has teamed up with ThredUP to help you recycle your old Crocs. You can print a free online label, then fill up a box of your Crocs, along with other used shoes, bags, and clothing. Then, you will receive store credit that you can use on

5. H&M

H&M stores will accept any unwanted textiles or clothing, regardless of the brand. Give the bag to the cashier, and you will receive a coupon for new clothing at H&M.

H&M will sort the clothes into three piles. The first pile is made up of items that are in good condition and can be sold at second-hand shops. The second pile consists of clothing that can be repurposed into new items. The third pile consists of items that have thread wear, but that can be broken into fibers to be used as insulation.

LG ElectronicsYou can send LG, Goldstar, and Zenith electronic products, such as phones, laptops, and TVs up to 59″ in size, along with accessories, to LG’s electronics recycling provider for free. You can participate by printing out a pre-paid mail-back tag and packaging the item according to the ERI website’s guidelines.

7. MAC Cosmetics

Do you toss out a tube after you finish using it? Most facilities don’t recycle the small plastic container, but MAC has come up with a program that encourages recycling.

Fill out the online recycling form and return your empty MAC containers to participating retailers. You can get a free lip gloss for every six MAC products you recycle.

8. Ralph Lauren

You don’t need to recycle 100% cashmere every day. There’s an alternative to throwing away the clothing in the trash when the time comes.

Ralph Lauren will provide you with a pre-paid shipping label for your clothing to be sent to an Italian cashmere recycling facility. Ralph Lauren’s Cradle to Certified line uses the recycled cashmere to create new products.

9. Walmart

Stores in Arkansas, New Jersey, Oklahoma, and Pennsylvania will accept used cosmetics packaging from any brand purchased anywhere. Bring your empty nail polish tubes, lipstick tubes, and other cosmetics packaging, such as hair spray cans.

Proctor Gamble and Walmart are working together to recycle these items properly. This program is hoped to be available in every Walmart. You can find the recycling bins near the entrance and exit of participating stores or the carts.

10. Zoya

Zoya offers a free return service for all unwanted nail polishes after purchasing Zoya products. For each nail varnish bottle, you buy (up to $30), you get $5 in credit to replace your old bottle. Send your empty or unwanted nail polishes and unwanted nail polishes back to Zoya so that they can be appropriately recycled. You will also receive a $5 credit per bottle.

Recycling is a constant improvement for retailers and large corporations. Ask the company about their take-back or recycling program before you toss anything. Online, many companies provide information on their agenda. Many offer discounts or even free products if you recycle responsibly.

Recycle Nation’s recycle center finder can also help locate where you can recycle your items. You can use our search tool to find recycling options for specific items. Enter your zip code, item type, and driving directions, and you will get contact information, hours, and leadership.


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Jane S. King

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