Boots to Advantage customers with in-store recycling

Products being dropped into the in-store recycling bin

A new recycling scheme combining smartphone product scans and in-store drop banks has been launched by the UK’s largest pharmacy-led retailer, with customers incentivised to bring back empty hard-to-recycle health, beauty and wellness products to receive loyalty card reward points.

Boots, in partnership with No7 will be the first retailer to use the trailblazing Scan2Recycle technology, which allows customers to track how much packaging they have recycled. The customers themselves will also receive Boots Advantage Card Points for participating. Furthermore, in a proactive move to extend the reach of recycling across the wider health and beauty sector, Boots has announced that products from any brand can be returned as part of the new initiative, not just their own lines.

The initiative will be available in 50 Boots UK stores across the country from 24 September and is the first on the market to use Scan2Recycle. Customers simply access the technology via a dedicated Boots Scan2Recycle website, where they can scan their empty products using their mobile phone, before heading to a participating Boots store to deposit them at a recycle point.

How the new Boots recycling scheme, sponsored by No 7, works in practice.

For every five products deposited, customers will receive £5 worth of Boots Advantage Card Points (points will capped at 500 per day regardless of how many products are deposited). The deposited empties are returned directly to Boots recycling partner, ReWorked, where they are formed into new products.

For health and safety reasons, some exclusions apply and Boots cannot accept the following items for recycling at present: aerosol cans, perfume bottles, nail polish bottles, hair dyes, brow and eyelash tints, safety razors and razor blades, disposable razors and razor heads, used PPE (disposable masks, gloves and visors), food packaging including crisps, medicine, vitamins and supplements, blister packs and foils; any electrical items such as hairdryers and straighteners and any medical devices, electrical or not.

Championing the benefits of the recycling scheme, Joanna Rogers, Trading Director and VP of Beauty at Boots said:

“To help our customers shop and consume more sustainably, we’re excited to launch the most inclusive recycling scheme on the market. Customers will be able to recycle even the most difficult health, beauty and wellness empties, from old mascaras and empty toothpaste tubes to finished lipsticks and empty vitamin pots. Our customers can then feel even better about treating themselves with their Boots Advantage Card points.”

Consumer using smartphone to scan product for recycling

Last year, Boots became the first national pharmacy, health and beauty retailer in the UK to move to unbleached (brown) paper carrier bags, replacing plastic bags across its 2,465 stores. In 2019, Boots Opticians stores also introduced Recyclens, the first free recycling contact lens initiative to land on the UK high street.

In 2018, Boots signed up to the UK Plastics Pact, a unique partnership for businesses across the UK with an ambition to work collaboratively to transform the UK plastic packaging sector by 2025. In 2017, it also changed Boots own brand cotton bud stems from plastic to rolled paper, and in 2015 it removed plastic microbeads from rinse-off products ahead of the UK ban.

The Boots brand was first created some 170 years ago and, with 2,465 stores, Boots UK is now the UK’s largest pharmacy-led health and beauty retailer, operating as part of the Retail Pharmacy International Division of Walgreens Boots Alliance, Inc (Nasdaq: WBA).

ReWorked Products is the innovative plastic recycling arm of the MyWaste group. It specialises in the recovery and remanufacture of plastic product from the retail and consumer industry and also ocean plastic recovery — helping maintain a circular economy for plastic waste for brands and supporting the clean-up of the seas and oceans worldwide.

The company will be taking the material from the Boots/No7 partnership and recycling all elements via in-house processing back into graded granules for use in remanufacture. Its onsite board manufacturing facility will also create bespoke items such as furniture, shop fitting and building materials.

Metrisk Ltd developed Scan2Recycle to reward consumers who engage with recycling, creating positive change and a lasting shift in behavioural trends.  Leveraging itspartnership with ReWorked, a recycling powerhouse has been created, which delivers industry leading reporting and traceability, whilst importantly, 100% landfill diversion and zero incineration, ultimately helping to protect our planet for future generations.


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