Underlining its commitment to the sustainability objectives and initiatives of L’OCCITANE Group, L’OCCITANE Travel Retail is the first beauty brand to partner with TerraCycle China in implementing a bottle return programme in five downtown duty-free stores in Hainan. This initiative follows the successful partnership that has existed between L’OCCITANE China and TerraCycle in the country’s domestic markets since 2019 and world-wide since 2014.

L’OCCITANE Travel Retail strongly believes that travellers can play their part in building a better future by reducing and recycling waste whilst upholding circular economy principles. Travel retail customers will be encouraged to deposit their used bottles at recycling bins in-store for TerraCycle to process, and to continue to do so with any subsequent purchases. The aim of this initiative is to encourage all customers, including travellers, to routinely recycle their purchases. It is hoped that consequently recycling will become a good habit for customers even when travelling. As an incentive, customers can participate in L’OCCITANE Travel Retail’s stamp collection WeChat programme which encourages them to collect stamps in return for a gift.

Innovative waste management company, TerraCycle, has been in partnership with L’OCCITANE for seven years, providing in-store recycling facilities for empty cosmetics containers. In fact, L’OCCITANE en Provence was the first beauty brand to join forces with TerraCycle in Europe. It has also partnered with ICycle, a company providing a similar service in Asian markets where TerraCycle doesn’t operate such as Malaysia and Singapore. In 2020 alone, more than one million pieces of empty packaging, amounting to a total weight of 67 tons, was sent by L’OCCITANE for recycling, ready to begin a new life in the form of reusable material for use in the manufacture of new products.

Currently, L’OCCITANE offers in-store recycling across the majority of its own stores in 27 affiliated countries. Its first Travel Retail TerraCycle initiative in Europe was at La Samaritaine in Paris this year. This represents 65 per cent of L’OCCITANE-owned stores worldwide. However, the Group has committed to provide recycling collection points at all of its own stores – approximately 1,500 globally – by 2025, and to use 100 per cent recycled bottles. It will also ensure that retail products will not have any cellophane wrapping by the end of 2022.

‘Our primary purpose in offering a Travel Retail in-store recycling service at five downtown duty-free stores in Hainan, is to raise consumer awareness of recycling and to encourage customers to act in an environmentally responsible way. This is a particularly important gesture in countries that lack extensive public recycling services,’ said Estelle de Bure, General Manager, Travel Retail Asia Pacific. ‘This service underlines the Group’s three abiding principles: to reduce waste, to recycle, and to react – which, in effect, means working with innovative businesses to fight against plastic pollution.’

In the 2021 progress report on The New Plastics Economy Global Commitment, published by The Ellen MacArthur Foundation, L’OCCITANE en Provence was recognised as one of the most committed brands in the fight against plastics and was seen to play a leading role among companies in the cosmetic sector.