The company says that from March 29 it will begin to accept all empty cosmetic tubes, bottles and jars, regardless of who manufactured them, at any origins stand-alone or department store.
All returned packaging will then be sent to a recycling centre where they will either be used for energy recovery or recycled into new materials.
Reuse, Reduce, Recycle
The Returns to Origins Recycling campaign is being marketed under the campaign banner Reuse, Reduce, Recycle, which includes a logo incorporating the slogan, together with an image that represents sustainability.
The company claims that its move is an industry first and will help to bring about a greater level of awareness of recycling issues in consumers, and more specifically the potential recycling for beauty products.
To help promote the scheme the company is offering samples of its skin care products to the first customers in its store to hand in empty beauty products for recycling.
Two publicity events
Likewise, the company is also holding two events on April 2 to help publicize the initiative, one in the GM Plaza, on 58th Street, NYC, the other at Century city, in Santa Monica blvd, Los Angeles. Both events start at 10am.
Estee Lauder made clear signs that it would be introducing such initiatives last year when its head of packaging, John Delfausse underlined the importance of sustainability to beauty businesses.
Delfausse told CosmeticsDesign.com: "Manufacturers must adopt a totally different thought process at the design stage."
"It is the responsibility of industry and government working together to create an infrastructure that ensures that materials can be recaptured."