Recycle With Biome

Since we opened our first store in Paddington in 2005, we have helped our customers divert tonnes and tonnes of waste from landfill. One of the ways we do this is dealing with 'hard to recycle' items that can't be placed in kerbside recycling bins. Manufacturers ought to take end of life responsibility for their own products, but in their absence we step up!  Read more on why we do this below >

Here's what we accept for recycling, and scroll to find out how you can either drop into store or post to us.

Beauty packaging
Oral care
Pens
Straws
Silicone
Contact lenses
Blister packs
Bottle caps
Bread tags
Bras
Stockings
Corks

Reward Your Recycling

How do you like to recycle?

Drop off in store

We know that our customers use the in store facility in different ways and tend to bring in recycling in smaller batches more often, whereas our customers who live remote from our stores save up and pay postage to send to us less often.

So, in store, we have a "Waste Free Replacement Discount", that offers 10% off your same day purchase of waste free alternatives that help you transition from packaged products.

Replacement products include:

Drop off your recycling into one of our physical stores and take 10% off your same day purchase of ‘replacement’ products.

Please email recycling@biome.com.au for any questions.

Post to us

Post your shoe box full of recycling to us and receive 10% off your next order online!

Include:
Name, email address and enough recycling to fill an old shoe box

Ship to:
ATTN: RECYCLING
Biome Eco Stores
Shop 1, 51 Douglas st
MILTON, QLD
4064

When we receive your shoe box or bag we will send you a confirmation email and issue you your discount code.

Please email recycling@biome.com.au for any questions.

How to start

  1. CHECK WHAT TO SEND - read details under each item above and only send what we accept
  2. CLEAN - make sure your containers are empty and wiped out
  3. DRY - please dry items before dropping off or posting
  4. SORT - separate items into categories to help us correctly distribute
  5. WATCH - stay updated on what happens to your recycling by following us on our socials
waste on beach
waste on beach

Waste is not waste until you throw it away. All waste contains precious resources that can be extracted and used again, it's just not always that easy or affordable to do.

Waste to resources story

By Biome founder, Tracey Bailey

Brands that release their products in to the world ought to have designed into their systems what will be done with the product and packaging at the end of its life. However, the vast majority never have, leaving it to local councils and volunteers to clean up and process their waste. Via council rates, we all in fact pay the cost to deal with the 'waste' that companies profit from creating.

Most recently, I have experienced this with trying to get a straight answer from local councils and milk and drink brands on whether their plastic bottle tops can be put in kerbside recycling or not. Remarkably, most brands make zero public mention of what to do with their packaging, particularly the troublesome little piece of plastic that is their lids! The solution is a network of volunteers who are collecting, granulating, then trying to find a manufacturer who will make something with this poor quality plastic*.

*Please be aware that any brand claiming to make their bottles from ocean or other discarded plastics, is not using 100% waste plastic. At least 50% of the bottle must be virgin plastic (and in some cases it is up to 95% virgin plastic) to make the bottle strong enough. Recycled plastic is also considered contaminated and is not meant to be used for products used on or consumed by humans.

Thankfully, there is growing awareness of corporate responsibility for a product from 'the cradle to the grave', but it is taking change-leaders like us and you to inspire brands to act. Back in 2005 at Biome's first store in Paddington, we accepted printer toners, mobile phones and batteries! At the time there were limited options, but we personally paid to send them off. Now, the stationery stores and retailers of these products, provide drop off services, so we no longer have to.

We were among the very first to embrace TerraCycle's service in Australia by offering our customers the chance to drop off beauty packaging and toothpaste products. We commend the brands that have sponsored TerraCycle to make it free, such as Colgate and L'Oreal (no longer). However, it appears to become too costly for them because they are paying for the packaging waste of all their competitors also! A similar situation has just happened with contact lenses. The brand that was paying for this has dropped their sponsorship as they were inundated, and we are now paying to recycle hundreds of these items for our customers.

To save them going to landfill, we also accept huge amounts of medication blister packs that we pay for TerraCycle to process. We all know that most pharmaceutical companies make massive profits. I can't believe they are leaving it to a small family business like Biome to pay for their waste to be handled. It's time for the Pharmacy Guild and Big Pharma brands to step up.

Consumer product brands have the financial might and human resources to work something out together to deal with their problem—we can all help them with the will!

The True Cost

Brands whose packaging can not be placed in kerbside recycling are relying on their single use packaging being sent to landfill. And that has a cost—a direct monetary cost to council ratepayers, and environmental damage that is rarely factored in to the cost of a product. Landfill produces greenhouse gases that cause global warming, which is costing humans and all of nature dearly. Plus, these items are often put into the recycling bin, which messes up the whole recycling process, costing money to remove from the legitimate recycling, or costing the waste of spoiling a whole batch of recyclables.

Reduce & Reuse

The number one step must be to reduce the need for packaging in the first place. That is where Biome offers our customers solutions such as: refillable products, making your own, reusables, and products that don't need plastic packaging such as shampoo bars.

The problem with any recycling service is that it does make it easier for us all to choose single-use items because we have peace of mind that the packaging will be recycled. But, it's now widely known that much of the material isn't recycled, or made into future products. There is not the capacity, nor the financial incentive to make it viable. It costs a lot for the labour and machinery to break down and extract the resources (imagine what is involved in separating the materials in a marker pen) and that is why there is a charge for a TerraCycle Zero Waste Box.

Why We Do This

We accept responsibility for the end of life of the packaging and products that we sell. Firstly, we are transparent with our customers from the start about the materials and what can and can't be done with them when finished! Not everything we sell can be recycled, reused or composted, but we don't greenwash the truth.

We offer recycling for beauty, cosmetics and oral care packaging (for all brands, not just those we sell), but we aim to help you transition to reusable, refillable alternatives. We offer recycling for the silicone items that we sell only. Silicone recycling is expensive, so we can't offer this for the huge amounts of silicone products on the market.

In addition, we offer recycling of items that we don't sell such as milk bottle caps, corks, and plastic straws, simply because we want to be part of the solution—the mission Biome was founded on.