Sun, Aug 12, 2012 - Page 3 News List

Taipei expands recycling of skin care containers

GOING GREEN:Bins are now available at department stores for used containers of cosmetics, which are often made of glass, which is very difficult to incinerate

By Lin Hsiang-mei and Stacy Hsu  /  Staff reporter, with Staff writer

A woman puts an empty cosmetics bottle in a recycling bin in a shop in Taipei on Friday.

Photo: Lin Hsiang-mei, Taipei Times

The Taipei City Government’s Department of Environmental Protection on Friday expanded its recycling scheme to include used containers of cosmetics and skin care products by installing recycling bins at major department stores across the capital.

Fifteen department stores in the city are equipped with recycling bins for cosmetics containers, Department of Environmental Protection Commissioner Wu Sheng-chung (吳盛忠) said.

Wu said these department stores will join the more than 2,000 convenience stores, drug stores and hypermarkets mandated by the city government to set up waste container receptacles to boost the city’s recycling efforts.

The department stores include the Dayeh Takashimaya, Pacific Sogo department store, Taipei 101, Q Square, Living Mall, Ming Yao department store, Shin Shin department store, The Mall, Miramar, Hankyu, Momo department stores, Eslite, Breeze Center, Shin Kong Mitsukoshi and Far Eastern department stores.

A salesperson for the skin care brand Origins at Hankyu in Taipei said the number of customers disposing of recyclable containers at department store counters was increasing, with an average of 10 used containers collected each week.

To help raise public awareness of recycling, some makeup companies also offer giveaways as an incentive to bring in used cosmetics containers.

“At present, three cosmetics companies have launched giveaways to encourage waste recycling, including M.A.C Cosmetics, which gives away a NT$630 (US$22) lipstick to those who recycle six of its used containers, US cosmetics brand Kiehl’s, which offers three free samples for each container collected, and Origins, which provides one free sample for each recycled container,” department section chief Tsui Hao-chih (崔浩志) said.

A large proportion of cosmetics containers are made of glass, a material that is difficult to incinerate and costs the government an average of NT$1,700 to handle every tonne of its bottom ash, Wu said.

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