As the biggest retailer in the United States, Walmart offers products across several categories, including groceries, electronics, clothing, toys, and home improvement. But lately, it's been trying to grow its cosmetics offering, with the hope of becoming a "leading beauty destination."
Last year, the chain's senior merchandising director told Cosmetics Design that Walmart had "expanded its assortment" to offer "wow-worthy and surprising" beauty and personal care items and brands.
Right now, it offers everything from Naomi Osaka's KINLÒ suncare range to Versed skincare.
But there is one big problem with this expansion: waste.
The latter is something the beauty industry is notorious for, producing around 120 billion units of packaging every year. Plenty of that is not recyclable and doesn't biodegrade, which means it goes on to pollute waterways and ecosystems.
But TerraCycle, a recycling company based in New Jersey, has partnered with Walmart, together with Procter & Gamble (P&G), to try and tackle this problem.
Walmart's beauty recycling program
With the new P&G-sponsored Walmart Beauty Free Recycling Program, customers can send beauty packaging (ranging from tubes and caps to bottles and lids) from all brands to TerraCycle for recycling.
According to a press release, there will be drop-off points in-store at 25 Walmart locations across Pennsylvania, New Jersey, Oklahoma, and Arkansas.
“Walmart and P&G are working together to strengthen recycling solutions," said TerraCycle's CEO Tom Szaky. "And educate their communities about the importance of sustainability by offering convenient in-store drop-off points for haircare, skincare, and cosmetic packaging."TerraCycle's CEO Tom Szaky
“The innovative collaboration offers consumers the opportunity to divert traditionally non-recyclable beauty waste from landfills in a convenient way," he added. The new program will accept items like mascara tubes and pumps, which are often difficult to recycle using mainstream recycling facilities.
Right now, there is no indication of whether the scheme will become available to more customers in more states.
While 25 locations is a start, Walmart has more than 4,740 stores across the United States. If all of these offered a recycling program, beauty waste reduction would be easier for many, as estimates state that 90 percent of Americans live within 10 miles of a Walmart.