Solution Cosmetic Waste: Zero Waste and Recycling

For most of the women, cosmetics are one of the essentials things. Even some of them may feel strange or uncomfortable when going out without using any makeup.

However, we do not realize that most of the cosmetics that we used everyday use plastic materials as its containers. With an increasing number of cosmetics that sold, it also created a  higher amount of plastic waste.

If the plastic waste is not properly managed and recycled, the trash will be pileup and become an environmental problem. To solve this problem, some well-known cosmetic brands have begun to implement a program called Zero Waste to Landfill (ZWTL) for their waste management.

Whereas to be able to succeed in this program, there should be cooperation between producers and consumers of cosmetics themselves.

Basically cosmetic are divided into 2 types which are differentiated based on their function. First is a decorative function, such as powder, lipstick, eyeshadow, blush even eyeliner.

The second function is treatment, such as soap, shampoo, body lotion and so on. The materials used for this packaging also vary, such as mica plastic, glass, or even metal. With various types of packaging, the recycling process itself will be different as well.

Based on the data published by, in 2015 it was estimated that 61% or cosmetic packing and skin care products were made from the plastic.

Meanwhile, in 2019, this percentage will increase to 12% along with the increasing number of cosmetic that produced and purchased in the market. Not only that fact, more than 40% of the plastic that we used every day actually come from disposable packing products which are dangerous for the environment.

The data also states that only 14% of plastic packaging has been successfully recycled. The data from the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) also states that approximately 25% of the waste that ends up in a landfill is packaging waste which cannot be recycled anymore.

With the increasing number of plastic waste that people produces every day, it would be better if we start reducing the number of plastic that we used, especially for disposable plastics.

According to the survey conducted by the WWF Indonesia and Nielsen in 2017, 63% of goods consumers in Indonesia are willing to buy an environmentally friendly product even though the price is more expensive rather than the other product.

The result also indicated how Indonesian people have begun to show their awareness of environmentally friendly products. One of the cosmetic manufacturers which have started the environmental care movement is PT Body Shop Indonesia.

Body Shop has its flagship program called Bring Back Our Bottle (BBOB) to ensure that the packaging waste from their product is managed and recycled optimally and responsible. The used bottles given by the consumers will be collected and processed further in the recycling process.

To make Zero Waste to Landfill (ZWTL) program runs successfully, it will better if the consumers also can help in realizing the program. Then what ways can be done by cosmetics consumers to reduce the amount of plastic nowadays? There are some tips that can inspire you to reduce the amount of cosmetic waste of your daily use.

1. Switch to use waste-free cosmetics.

Simple Victoria/ source:

Switching to waste-free cosmetics probably will be considered as difficult for some people. But actually, using waste-free cosmetics in our daily routine is very convenient and make us save money even more.

It can be done by making our own cosmetics or skin care that we use every day, for examples deodorants, toothpaste, even shampoo, soap, and lipstick

2. Use your skin care products that already expired as synthetic leather cleaners and furniture care.


If your face cleanser and toner has expired, what do you usually do? Maybe most of us choose to throw it away since we cannot use it for our skin anymore.

However, interestingly, it turns out that these products actually can still be used for another useful need, like to clean our furniture or items made from synthetic leather.

Your lotions, toner and facial cleaner will remove all the dust, dirt and its even make your furniture and leather items will be more glossy.

3. Reuse your cosmetic packaging for the other purpose.


Reusing a cosmetic packaging which we already used may seem trivial, but this method can also be used to reduce the cosmetic waste that you dispose of.

Cosmetic packaging that we can use again for another purpose for example perfume bottles or powder packaging. With a perfume bottle, we can make air freshener by filling the bottle with essential oil. Also, you can use powder packaging to store your favorite accessories or needle.

4. Used your expired cosmetics products which have color pigments as a medium for a painting to hone your creativity.


If you are a kind of person who has so many creative, you can use your eyeshadow, lipstick, or eyeliner that has expired as a media of painting or to decorate your old items. With a variety of colors, surely you can make good artwork too.

5. Resell the cosmetics that irritate your skin (preloved).


If you are a type of person who likes to try new cosmetic products, there must be some of cosmetics that are suitable for your skin, yet some are not.

Most of the time, those cosmetics that are unsuitable for you will end up on your dressing table and you will not use it anymore, even though these cosmetics can still be used by other people in need.

And then, how to make these cosmetics become more useful and we can also get benefit from it? The easiest and the most recent way that women are interested in is by selling their secondhand cosmetics in the secondhand buying and selling applications.

Your cosmetics will be offered based on their condition. If you are interested in selling your preloved cosmetic, you can sell it to the Carousell or Prelo application.

Anyone can be part of the changer for a better environment. The Zero Waste to Landfill (ZWTL) program certainly will not be carried out without the awareness and assistance of the Indonesian people themselves.

Waste4Change as a social entrepreneur which engaged in waste management and focuses on responsible waste management, offering one of our programs known as Waste4Change’s Beautiful Earth (Bumi Tetap Cantik) Programme.

Waste4Change facilitates and collects waste in a responsible manner. We ensure to reduce the amount of waste that piles up in landfills by sorting the waste, recycling, and managing the residues, as well as doing a composting.

We also collect the waste in schedule periodically and provide the information about sorting waste that has been done by the consumers in a transparent way.

To give convenience to our customers, Waste4Change provides a waste collection service for Jakarta, Bogor, Tangerang, Depok, and Bekasi area. In need for a responsible and segregated waste collection service? You can use services from Waste4Change.

Other than collecting the waste for residential areas, Waste4Change also serves commercial waste collect for companies, businesses, buildings, cafes, and restaurants. See more information about residential waste collect services at Waste4change Blog.

Read the article in Indonesian version in here.

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