TerraCycle’s Tom Szaky on beauty


TerraCycle CEO Tom Szaky was on the Personal Care Product Council’s event program more than once during the 2020 annual meeting, discussing circular waste streams, Gen Z’s concerns about the environment, and more.

In this video interview with CosmeticsDesign.com Editor Deanna Utroske, Szaky says that “the good news (and this is good news within the last two years) is, the industry is eye’s wide open, understanding they are in crisis mode. People are attacking single-use; they are attacking plastic. (We can debate whether those are the right things to attack.)….that wasn’t the case 3, 5, 10 years ago.” ​Just the fact that beauty makers are thinking about sustainability is promising, says Szaky.

Sustainable beauty packaging and the future of the industry

When asked what small brands and multinational beauty makers can or should do from here forward, Szaky says that “the important thing to do is think about your waste journey….How do you make your package recyclable, How do you make it from recycled content, and How do you go into the future on reusables.”

Reusables, or what Szaky describes as we-refill-for-you containers are shaping up to be the better business model, the better platform.

“Loop [TerraCycle’s latest venture] is more of a platform,” ​Szaky tells Cosmetics Design. “What we are not is a product or a brand because if we were, we could never scale at the rate that we need to show change right now.”

Reusables are updated iterations of the glass milk bottles of the 1950s and the Loop Platform that makes this refill option newly possible for skin care, hair care, and personal care products is successful to the extent that it is today, in large part, because it readily accommodates the Western world’s proclivity for disposables.

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