ALL OUR PLASTIC BOTTLES WILL BE 100% RECYCLABLE BY 2025
We are working hard to ensure our packaging, and use of plastic in particular, doesn’t cause avoidable harm to our planet.
We mostly use glass bottles and jars, except for where weight and safety dictate, for example glass can be dangerous in the shower.
For where we do use plastic, we’ve set targets in line with the UK Plastics Pact including that by 2025, 100% of our packaging will be recyclable, compostable or reusable.
Additional to this, our aim is for all our plastic packaging to be made using an average of 30% recycled plastic, with all our plastic bottles using 100% post-consumer recycled (PCR) plastic before then.
We’re already on our way to meeting our PCR plastic target, having switched to 100% PCR plastic for our most common blue plastic bottle in 2009. Currently all our blue plastic shower, hair and skincare bottles up to 300ml are made from 100% recycled material.
Leading conservation charity Fauna & Flora International recognise our ‘careful and rational’ actions to limit plastic use:
‘We have appreciated Neal's Yard Remedies' active support for our work towards a world-leading microbeads ban in the UK and its ongoing interest in ensuring other countries are also acting on this issue. We acknowledge Neal’s Yard Remedies’ careful and rational approach to sustainability and commend its efforts to find the most sustainable and practical use of plastic in packaging.’
Banning Plastic Microbeads
Microbeads are harmful plastic particles used in many personal care products that end up polluting our oceans and entering the food chain. We only use natural exfoliating ingredients such as rosehip seeds for our scrubs and polishes - never microbeads.
We successfully lobbied the UK government, alongside Fauna & Flora International, to #BanTheBead. We are now looking to expand the ban worldwide and have already contributed to an EU consultation on banning microplastics.
We were the first UK brand to be certified with the Look for the Zero logo, showing that we use zero plastic ingredients in our products. We are also seeking to ensure the plastic we use has been carefully managed during production by asking our key plastic suppliers to sign up to Operation Clean Sweep an industry best practice standard to ensure that care is taken to avoid plastic pellet loss during manufacture and transport.
Calling Bathroom Warriors
We aim to help bring about a UK-wide plastic packaging recycling rate of at least 70% by 2025. However, only 50% of recyclable bathroom waste is currently recycled. That’s why we need your help in keeping bathroom recyclables out of general waste and in to recycling bins!
The majority of our packaging can already be recycled locally. To find out how to dispose of all our packaging see here.
Recycling reduces material and energy usage, as well as reducing the chance of packaging getting into our environment. However, reuse is better than recycling – we’ve seen some great upcycling of our blue bottles, such as vases and in decorations. Why not share how you upcycle yours on social media?
In 2017 we became the first national company to provide free water refills as part of the Refill Scheme, to help reduce the use of single-use plastic. Find your local participating store on our store finder or the Refill app. Why not spread the word by using hashtag #NYRefill?
Our staff do annual beach cleans with Dorset Wildlife Trust. If you want to get involved there are organisations across the country that run beach cleans and community litter picks.
Reusable & Recyclable Bags
The recyclable brown paper bags we use in-store are made from recycled paper. Alternatively, our organic cotton bags can be used again and again! All our cotton is 100% organic, reducing water and pesticide use.
Zero Waste Mission
Our mission towards creating zero waste is driven by repurposing by-products and using them in our products, such as our Frankincense Intense™ Lift range, which uses our award-winning Frankincense Active Phyto Complex. This uses a by-product of frankincense essential oil distillation, developed with a University Research Centre in Italy and made using a patented enzymatic process.
We use other by-products such as ground peach pits in our scrubs. Not only do these cut down on resource use, they often create additional revenue streams for farmers.
Reduced Packaging Options
We’re taking steps to avoid packaging completely where possible, for example, we sell dried herbs and encourage customers to bring their own containers for refills, we have also launched a product refill scheme in ten of our stores.
Two of our most loved products, Geranium & Orange Hand Wash (200ml) and Bee Lovely Bath & Shower Gel (295ml), can now be refilled in the following locations:
Bristol, Covent Garden, Gillingham (Dorset), Glasgow, Islington, Manchester, Marylebone, Oxford, Salisbury and St Pancras Station.
Simply return your clean and dry original bottles with the label intact for a discounted refill, saving £2 per bottle*. Not only this, but the refill scheme also allows for sustainable consumer decisions that benefit our environment, the opportunity to save money and to reduce personal plastic waste.
*refill bottle cost saving based on savings made from equivalent products at full price, before any other offers or discounts. Please click here for full terms and conditions that apply.
We have 1 litre bottles for several products in our bath and shower range, which uses 60% less plastic than buying the equivalent in 200ml bottles. We also have refills available for our reed diffusers.
We use low preservative formulations and have a responsibility to ensure that all products reach the consumer in perfect condition and remain so for the duration of their use. This means we haven’t yet found a way to offer in-store refills for other products, such as skincare, which we’re working hard on finding a solution for. We’ll keep you posted!
How to Dispose of our Packaging
Most of our packaging is fully recyclable through your local council’s recycling centres. Your recycling options depend on your local authority. The Recycle Now website is a great source of information to find out how, and where, to recycle each item.
For items that are harder to recycle locally, we’re now offering an in-store recycling scheme. Recycle with us by bringing pumps, atomisers, superfood packets and empty sample sachets from any brand in-store and we’ll recycle them for you.
These are usually the best ways to recycle our packaging:
- Glass bottles & jars:
Upcycle and reuse at home. Alternatively recycle with green bottles, in your kerbside recycling or at your local bottle bank.
- Plastic bottles & jars:
Recycle with plastics, usually in your kerbside recycling, or at household waste recycling centres.
- Aluminium tubes & containers:
Recycle with your kerbside recycling, or at household waste recycling centres.
- Plastic tubes:
These are made from PE and are recyclable but not all local authorities accept them yet. Check with your local authority if they can be disposed of in kerbside recycling or at collection points. Remove the lid and recycle separately.
- Lids & caps:
As part of our commitment to making all our packaging reusable, compostable or recyclable by 2025, we’re taking steps to replace all our current black lids and caps to a version that is easier to detect at recycling plants. Our 200g jars, 15g jars, bath salts, shampoos, conditioners and shower gels are the first products to use our new lids. Made with non-carbon black pigment, the lids are more likely to be recycled when sorted with plastics. We advise customers check local recycling to determine correct sorting.
We’ll be changing more of our black lids and caps used on our bottles, tubes and jars over the next year, in the meantime we suggest that customers check with their local authority where these can be recycled.
- Pumps & atomisers:
Pumps and atomisers are made from plastic and metal which makes them hard to recycle. You can bring your used pumps and atomisers, from any brand, into store and we’ll recycle them for you.
- Superfood & facial wipe packets:
Facial wipe packets are made from a plastic, PET/PE laminate, and Superfood pouches are PET/AL/LDPE laminate, neither of which are commonly recyclable in local schemes. Please bring your empty Facial Wipe packets and Superfood pouches into store, and we’ll recycle them for you.
Peel off the bottle or jar, double over and recycle with plastics.
- Cartons, corrugated card & paper:
Recycle in your kerbside recycling, or at household waste recycling centres.
- Packing chips (used in deliveries):
They may look like it, but these aren't plastic - they're made out of corn starch. They are biodegradable and compostable to the EN 13432 standard. Do not put in with recycling, either place in industrial composting waste streams where available or in general waste.
- Cotton/natural fibres:
Wash and reuse. They are naturally biodegradable, however, for us to make claims around composting, they would need to be tested to meet specific standards. Cotton can be added to textile recycling collection points - simply dry out first.
- Dried herb bags:
We will have finished moving to a new eco-friendly Natureflex™ film for our clear herb bags by March 2019. This renewable, plant-sourced bag is made from PEFC/FSC® certified wood pulp and meets both industrial and home composting standards. It is also suitable for anaerobic digestion (food waste recycling). Remove stickers first.
You can ask in-store if they have switched yet. If they haven't, please dispose of the old bags in general waste. Alternatively, you can bring in your own clean container.
- Sample sachets:
Our sample sachets are laminates, which are not commonly recyclable in local schemes. You can bring your empty sample sachets into store and we’ll recycle them for you, we don’t mind where they’re from, we’re happy to accept them from any brand.
- Electronic Diffusers:
We will happily take back your old electronic diffuser for recycling when you buy a new electronic diffuser from us. You have 28 days from purchase of the new product to return an old one to us. You can also recycle used electronics in Household Waste Recycling Centres.
Electronic waste needs to be separated from other waste to be recycled properly, and we are required by the Waste Electrical or Electronic Equipment (WEEE) Directive to provide this service. Electrical equipment is a large source of waste, and if not properly recycled can have damaging effects on the environment and human health, whereas if it is recycled the resources can be used again.
If they are faulty return to store or contact Customer Care