Waste Reduction & Recycling
Renewing Resources. Reducing Waste.
We're committed to working with our suppliers and vendors to find creative ways to further reduce the amount of paper, packaging materials and other natural resources used in our business operations. Since 2005, in partnership with L Brands, Bath & Body Works has been a partner in the U.S. EPA’s WasteWise program, which works with companies to increase waste management efforts and promote the use and reuse of materials more productively over their entire life cycles. Our recycling efforts have been centered on:
- Efficient packaging;
- Elimination of PVC containers;
- Store recycling efforts;
- Pallet recycling;
- Product re-use (donations/sample sales); and
- Other recycling.
All of the waste from our Columbus, Ohio, operations is sent to a materials recovery facility, which receives, separates and prepares recyclable materials for marketing to end-user manufacturers. In addition, below is a list of some of the items Bath & Body Works recycled in 2019 in partnership with L Brands:
- 6,750 pounds of aerosol products
- 7,437 tons of corrugate
- 67 tons of industrial batteries from power equipment
- 153 tons of ethyl alcohol from personal care products
- 115 tons of metal
- 299 tons of plastic
- 758 tons of mixed paper
- 17 tons of electronics
- 174 tons of glass
Additionally in 2020, in partnership with L Brands, Bath and Body Works was able to avoid disposal of the following items by collaborating with outside partners that could repurpose the materials:
- 737 tons of products and ingredients
- 2,546 tons of wood from pallets
- 99 tons of electronics
In total, during 2020, more than 9,032 tons of material were prevented from going to landfill through reuse and recycling.
Our merchandise is stored and shipped in specially designed cartons that Bath & Body Works helped to develop along with our suppliers and a packaging material expert. These unique cartons are manufactured using fewer raw materials than our previous cartons and are designed to hold more merchandise, stack more efficiently and require less space on transportation vehicles. The containers are manufactured with approximately 72 percent post-consumer waste recycled content.
Elimination of PVC Containers
In 2003, in partnership with L Brands, Bath & Body Works stopped using polyvinyl chloride (PVC) containers for our personal care products, which reduced our PVC usage by 4.3 million pounds per year. Those personal care products are now stored in polyethylene terephthalate (PET) containers, which is the most widely used plastic in consumer packaging. It's readily recycled in most communities and its manufacture is considered to be more environmentally friendly than PVC.
Store Recycling Containers
Recyclable personal care products from our stores are packaged and shipped in five-gallon plastic pails to a recycling and reclamation facility. The containers are emptied, cleaned and returned to the stores for reuse. In 2020, approximately 6,750 pounds of aerosol products and 153 tons of ethyl alcohol containing products.
Merchandise that is received from vendors is often shipped on wood pallets. We reuse the pallets to handle merchandise in our distribution centers. Pallets that are damaged are sent to a third party for repair and are redistributed for further use. Pallets unable to be reused are ground into fine wood shavings and are ultimately used for purposes such as mulch for landscaping. By sending pallets back to the vendors for recycling or reuse, more than 2,381 tons of wood were not sent to the landfill in 2019.
*As of Aug. 3, 2021, Bath & Body Works established itself as a stand-alone company. Prior to this date, the business was part of L Brands, Inc.