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Boots shoppers embrace new sustainable habits with record use of recycling scheme in January

31 January 2022
News CSR
  • Boots UK's first-of-its-kind ‘Recycle at Boots’ scheme has exceeded one million beauty, health and wellness products banked since launch
  • Since the start of the year, Boots has seen a significant rise in searches for ethical products as customers kick off 2022 with more sustainable habits
  • To encourage customers to maintain their sustainable habits, customers will get double the reward for using the Recycle at Boots scheme until the end of March 2022


Boots has released new data that shows customers across the UK are adopting new sustainable habits as they enter 2022, with more people actively searching for products that have sustainable credentials. In addition, the successful ‘Recycle at Boots’ scheme has seen its biggest ever week, with over 22,000 items scanned in the second week of January with numbers continuing to rise.*

The retailer has seen more customers looking for sustainable options on with an 18% uplift year-on-year on searches for refillable products, while ‘reusable’ has seen a significant increase of 58% vs 2021 data.** To support customers with their sustainable journey, Boots offer ‘Be More’ shopping edits on to help customers make informed decisions on products that are right for them and the planet, and navigate what sustainability means to them.

This shift in shopping behaviour, based increasingly on personal ethical decisions, emerges as the ‘Recycle at Boots’ scheme hits a significant milestone. Customers have banked over one million products since its launch in September 2020, with toothpaste, mascara and face serum ranking as the top products most likely to be returned to store to be recycled.  

Available at over 700 stores across the UK, ‘Recycle at Boots’ is the most accessible scheme of its kind. Usually, when customers bring back their five empty products to a participating store, they receive 250 Boots Advantage Card points when they spend £10. However, Boots has doubled the number of points customers will receive for using the scheme until the end of March, meaning customers will receive 500 points worth £5.00.

Natalie Gourlay, interim Head of CSR said: “When we launched the “Recycle at Boots” scheme in 2020, there was nothing else like it on the high street and we wanted to incentivise customers and make it easier for them to recycle products that can’t traditionally be recycled at home. We are proud to have hit such a significant milestone.

“We are continually looking at how we manage our own ‘Bootprint’ as part of the way we operate our business, whilst actively seeking ways to make it easier for customers to be agents of change. We are delighted to see so many customers kicking off the new year with new sustainable habits and we are committed to helping them to continue to make ethical choices throughout 2022.”

*Daily average of items banked between 10/01/22- 16/01/22 was 3,258 compared to 1,613 the 7 days before Christmas day

** Searches for products including the words ‘refill’, ‘refillable’ and ‘reusable’, search term data 1st-15th January 2021 vs 2022.  


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Boots is the UK’s leading health and beauty retailer with over 52,000 team members and 2,100 stores, ranging from local community pharmacies to large destination health and beauty stores.*

Boots serves its customers and patients for life as the leading provider of healthcare on the high street and the UK’s number one beauty destination. It offers an unrivalled depth and breadth of products, which incorporates its extensive own brand range and innovative portfolio of brands, including No7, the UK’s No1 skincare brand, Soap & Glory, Liz Earle Beauty and Sleek MakeUP.

2024 marks Boots’ 175th anniversary year. Founder John Boot opened a herbalist store in Nottingham in 1849 to offer an affordable alternative to traditional medicines. His son Jesse expanded the business to become a modern retailer and the biggest chemist in Britain. Throughout its history, Boots has listened, learned and innovated, and it continues to challenge itself to improve its products and services every day.

Boots is part of Walgreens Boots Alliance, which is a global leader in pharmacy-led, health and wellbeing retail.  More company information is available on

*Figures accurate as of 30 November 2023