Our Lush pot-return program is relaunching as Bring It Back!
We are always striving to offer the ultimate waste-free shopping experience—from naked products, to unique packaging materials, to recycling plastic through our own closed-loop system.
A while ago we learned that, even with all the domestic recycling programs across the world, only 9-12 percent of plastics are recycled. Additionally, 90 percent of all plastic products are made with virgin plastic. While plastic is an incredible and useful tool, we do not need to be producing any more of it.
Continued production of new plastic (relying on fossil fuel extraction), overuse in application and irresponsible discarding of polymer is causing catastrophic pollution to our planet. In response to this, we committed to using post-consumer plastic for our packaging and, in 2008, launched our first pot return program—offering customers a free fresh face mask for every five clean pots returned to Lush. But we recently evaluated our current pot return rate and found it averaged at only 15 percent, meaning 85 percent of pots we sell are, at best, being recycled locally or, at worst, ending up in landfills.
Our new Bring It Back program is made to be more accessible—allowing customers the option to either save up five pots and still receive a free fresh face mask, or return one pot for $1 off their purchase. This way, the more pots that come back to us, the more we can recycle them through our closed-loop recycling system—giving them another life as a future Lush product.
How to Bring It Back
- Take home and enjoy your favorite Lush products, packaged in a black or clear pot.
- Clean your empty pot (or pots).
- Return either one Lush pot over 45 g or 1.5 oz for $1 off your next purchase, or five empty pots for a free fresh face mask.
- Your returned pot will get a new life through our recycling program!
Where Do Returned Pots Go?
After you return your black and clear pots over 45 g or 1.5 oz, they are then shipped to our recycling partners in BC or Ontario for processing—shredding, washing and pelletizing. These new raw materials are then used by our supplier to make new black pots that can once more be filled with fresh Lush products, creating a closed-loop recycling system.
If we break it down step-by-step, the process looks like this:
- You return your used clean Lush pots to one of our stores (and we appreciate you for it)!
- We send them to one of our recycling partners to be shredded, washed and dried.
- This processed plastic is then melted down, extruded into spaghetti-like strands and chopped into pellets.
- Once this is done, these pellets are melted with other post-consumer plastic (previously used to package food) and we add a touch of black colorant.
- All this melted plastic magic is poured into a mold to become new Lush pots that can once more be filled with fresh product! Pretty neat, eh?
Why Are We Doing This?
Great question! This update to the program aims to make pot returns more accessible—taking to heart customer feedback that collecting five pots was a barrier to participation.
Easier access to this program allows Lush to take responsibility for our packaging, strengthen the circular economy and have visibility into what happens to our pots—aligning with our value for conscious consumption and striving for a genuine harmony between commerce and sustainable resources.
If you are still curious about our Bring It Back program, head into a Lush location to ask one of our staff or take a look at our Bring It Back Terms & Conditions for more helpful insight into closed-loop recycling.