You are here: Home Newsroom News Create new ‘Better Bathroom’ recycling habits with Boots this National Recycle Week

Create new ‘Better Bathroom’ recycling habits with Boots this National Recycle Week

17 October 2022
News CSR
  • Boots is committed to making it easier for its customers to be more sustainable by recycling more of their bathroom empties
  • Launching in National Recycle Week, it will be offering customers a free bathroom recycler bag when they buy three or more toiletries*
  • For items that can’t currently be recycled at home, Boots’ landmark ‘Recycle at Boots’ scheme recently celebrated one million hard-to-recycle health and beauty items dropped off

 This National Recycle Week, 17 – 23 October 2022, Boots is encouraging its customers to pick up simple new recycling habits in the bathroom.

Research shows that while we recycle around 90% of kitchen packaging, that drops to just 50% in the bathroom[1], so during National Recycle Week, Boots will offer customers who buy three or more toiletries on a free sustainable bathroom recycler bag which makes it easier and simpler to recycle in the bathroom. The bags can be hung on the back of the bathroom door to collect empty health and beauty lines ready to be recycled*.

Boots also provides its industry leading ‘Recycle at Boots’ scheme, offering over 700 handy drop off points in stores across the UK, through which it has helped its customers recycle over one million hard to-recycle products into useful composite construction board materials which otherwise would have ended up in landfill.

Top items regularly dropped off include toothpaste, handwash, face serums and mascara. The scheme welcomes drop offs from any brand and customers are also rewarded for their recycling with 500 Boots Advantage Card points for every five products that are recycled when they spend £10 in store.

John Sweeney, Head of Product Sustainability at Boots, said: Our customers care about their impact on the environment, and are actively looking to businesses to help them become more sustainable in their everyday lives. The bathroom is an area where we can make real improvements to our habits to be more sustainable. For example, many bathrooms just have the one bin, and everything in it goes into your general waste bin outside. A simple tip is to pop a bag into your bathroom that can be used to collect your empty toiletries and health and beauty products – these can then be emptied into your kerbside recycling collection, or any smaller hard-to-recycle items can be dropped at one of the Recycle at Boots drop off points.”

Boots has also redesigned hundreds of its own brand products to make them easier to recycle, including removing unnecessary and hard to recycle plastics, metallised boards and adding clear labelling on how to dispose with consistent recycling and do not flush messaging.

Craig Stephens, Recycle Now Campaign Manager at WRAP “It’s great to see Boots making these changes and encouraging its customers to be even better recyclers. We know from our research that the bathroom is the one room that people forget contains many items that can easily be recycled. Boots have taken some big steps in recycling, including re-designing hundreds of its own brand products to make them easier to recycle, and adding clear labelling on how to consistently recycle. With Boots now offering specially designed reusable bags, and collection points in store for the more awkward items, it’s a real step in the right direction to helping the nation become even better recyclers”.

To help support consumers and open up the conversation about sustainable bathroom habits, John Sweeney, Head of Product Sustainability at Boots has busted some common bathroom recycling myths:

1)     You can recycle all travel minis (e.g. shampoos, conditioner, bodywash) – FALSE

“Some small packs such as travel minis are hard to recycle because of their small size and they often fall through the gaps at recycling centres. These can be recycled easily through our Recycle at Boots scheme.”

2)     You can recycle toothpaste tubes – FALSE

“Most toothpaste tubes can’t be recycled at home but you can recycle them by dropping them off at any of the 700 Recycle at Boots points in stores across the UK.

3)     You should always rinse your bottles before putting them in recycling – TRUE

“Dilute the last bit of your shampoo and conditioner with a little water to make sure you’re using every last drop, also making it easier for the bottle to be recycled.”

4)     Most packaging in the bathroom can be recycled at home – TRUE

“You should recycle shampoo, shower gel bottles, cardboard outers, toilet roll inner tubes, aerosol deodorants, hairsprays and mouthwash containers. Look for the ‘RECYCLE’ logo on packaging and follow any instructions for handling the product or packaging.”

5)     Not all types of deodorant are recyclable – TRUE

“Aerosol deodorants can be recycled at home, however roll on deodorant (plastic or glass) can’t because of the mixed materials. Check for info from your Local Authority on what can and can’t be recycled in your area, otherwise you can recycle these items at Boots.” 

6)      You can flush tampons – FALSE

“On the theme of waste in the bathroom, this is a really important message. Only pee, poo and paper should ever be flushed down the toilet. Used tampons, sanitary towels, nappies and wet wipes should all be placed in the bin as these items block sewers, reducing their capacity and contributing to sewage overflows into our rivers and seas.  Many of them also contain plastic causing further pollution. Always look for the Do Not Flush logo on products which are not designed to be flushed.”

7)     You cannot recycle contact lenses – FALSE

“You can find an ACUVUE® and TerraCycle®Zero Waste Box™ in all Boots Opticians stores where you can dispose of your used contact lenses, blister packs, and foil covers, making it easy for you to play your part.  Never flush contact lenses down the toilet.”


From sustainable skincare to plastic-free packaging, Boots is committed to continue launching products that value the earth’s resources. To support customers looking to ‘Be More’ sustainable, Boots introduced a shopping edit on that helps customers make informed decisions on products that are right for them and the planet and navigate what sustainability means to them. The edit, which features more than 400 products, can be found at as a permanent feature on , with more products added on an ongoing basis.


[1] Recycle Now:


What’s new at Boots? Find out the latest updates from the UK’s largest pharmacy-led health and beauty chain – from new products and services to important business developments.



Take a closer look at our team members and the work they do, learn more about our corporate social responsibility initiatives and see how we work behind the scenes.


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