RECYCLING is good for the environment but it can also be good for your wallet too.

More and more high street shops are offering incentives to shoppers who bring back old clothes and plastic packaging for recycling.

These savings come in the form of money off your shopping, vouchers, loyalty points and even freebies too.

With Earth Day on April 22 we've taken a look at the these recycling schemes and worked out they could save you £92 in total, and more if you use them regularly.

Here's what you can return, where – and how much you stand to save, simply by returning something to be recycled.

1. Boots – Save £5

Return old make up and empty toiletries to Boots and you'll get 500 free Advantage card points,which are worth £5.

Normally, you would have to spend at least £125 to earn 500 Advantage card points as the loyalty scheme offers four points for every £1 spent.

Launched last year at 50 Boots stores, the empties you give back don't have to be from Boots, they will accept packaging from any brand or store.

The goal is getting people to return plastic packaging that is hard to recycle, like mascara wands, vitamin bottles and toothbrushes.

You just need to use your smartphone camera to take a picture of each of the items on the Boots Scan 2Recycle website – you'll need to create a free account and add your Advantage card number.

What items can’t you recycle at Boots?

A huge range of items can be recycled through Boots’ Scan 2Recycle scheme, but here’s what you CAN’T return:

  • aerosol cans
  • perfume bottles
  • nail polish bottles
  • hair dyes
  • brow and eyelash tints
  • safety razors and razor blades
  • disposable razors and razor heads
  • used PPE (disposable masks, gloves and visors)
  • medicine
  • vitamins and supplements blister packs and foils
  • any electrical items such as hairdryers and straighteners and any medical devices, electrical or not
  • food packaging of any type, including crisp packets

 

Drop off the empties in store and scan the QR code at the recycling points near No7 beauty counters.

You'll then be sent a barcode to redeem the points at a No7 till point and you need to do this on the same day.

You can return as many empties as you want, though no more than five each day, so you could save even more.

You can see the locations where you can recycle and the items that can be returned here and sign up here.

2. Lush – Free face mask worth £9

Lush gives you a free face mask for returning plastic packaging for recycling and it's worth a sweet £9.

Take five empty Lush containers back to its stores and you can get this freebie.

You can now also return any Lush plastic packaging, like bottles and makeup packaging. Previously it was limited to Lushes black plastic or clear pots.

There is also a new scheme in place where you can get 50p off your next purchase for each item of Lush plastic packaging you return.

This might be better if you not a face mask fan and want money off something else, or if you don't have room to keep hold of five empties at a time.

You will have to chose one scheme or the other, you can't use both together.

Lush has more about both the schemes here, including the full terms, such as it only applying to full sizes (not trial size packaging).

Again, you're not limited to how often you can use this, so if you get throughLush products regularly it could be worth more.

3. John Lewis – £19 off

At John Lewis, you can recycle clothes and empty beauty products in two different schemes, adding up to £19.

The John Lewis BeautyCycle scheme is offering £10 off your next beauty purchase when you return five empties. Usually it's £5, but between April 19 and May 3 for Earth Day it's double.

You'll need to be a John Lewis card member, which you can join for free.

You can return most empty make-up or skincare products including beauty jars, tubes, bottles and make-up products from any brand and they must be full-sized, not samples.

Simply return your five empties at the counter when paying for a beauty item, show your John Lewis card and you'll get £10 off until May 3 (and £5 after that).

Full details of the John Lewis BeautyCycle can be found here, scheme including the items that can and can't be returned.

You can also get £9 off by recycling clothes through the John Lewis BuyBack scheme.

Return up to three items of John Lewis clothes, or brands sold there, and you'll get £3 per item in credit to spend in store that same day.

Seven stores are taking part in the scheme and it's womenswear and menswear only – no children's or baby clothes, lingerie, nightwear underwear socks or tights are accepted, and neither are bedding or towels.

Participating John Lewis BuyBack scheme stores

You can recycle clothes at the following John Lewis stores as part of its BuyBack scheme:

  • Cheadle 
  • Birmingham
  • Cambridge
  • Bluewater
  • Oxford
  • Southampton
  • Cheadle Hulme (Waitrose & Partners)

You'll need to have a John Lewis card for this or Waitrose card and both these loyalty schemes are free to join (and come with other rewards too).

Simply return your three items at a till point where a member of staff will process it for you and issue you with the credit.

You can find the full details of the John Lewis BuyBack scheme here.

There's no limit on how much you can use this scheme over time, so your savings could add up to more if you have more empties or clothes to recycle.

4. M&S – £5 off

Oxfam has teamed up with Marks and Spencer to give shoppers a £5 M&S voucher when they hand in old clothes.

This must include at least one M&S garment and the voucher can only be used on clothing, homeware and beauty products worth £35 or more.

M&S also gives customers who dump their unwanted clothes into its “shwop bins” 50 Sparks points as part of the shop's loyalty scheme.

Again, your savings could me more. If you donated one bag of clothes every three months and received a £5 voucher each time, that would save you £20 a year.

You can find out more about the scheme from Oxfam.

5. H&M – £5 off

At H&M stores, return clothes you no longer use and you'll get 20 points and a digital Bonus Voucher giving you £5 off when spending £25 or more.

You need to be a member of H&M's loyalty scheme to get the points but it's free and you get other discounts too.

For every 100 points you collect, you unlock a £3 Bonus Voucher, so for every five items returned (earning 20 points for each), you get £3 vouchers in addition to the £5 one.

You can also build up points for money off through bringing in your own bag when shopping and when buying certain items labelled as "conscious".

The more items you return for recyling, the more you'll save.

You can take a look at H&Ms reward scheme here, including the points you can earn and how to join.

Join The Sun’s ‘Green Team’ & save the planet

MAKING simple everyday changes can add up to a BIG difference to the planet.

And we want you and your family to join The Sun's Green Team – our eco revolution. 

It can feel overwhelming to know how to play a part in reducing greenhouse gasses, but we will be showing you the practical steps we can take to curb climate change – with the help of the global ‘Count Us In’ initiative.

And our easy measures will even help you SAVE money so your household budget goes further.

We'll help you to reduce food waste, insulate your home, create tasty planet-friendly meals and take simple steps to trim your carbon footprint.

We want you to go online to sign-up to as many of our special Green Team pledges as you can manage and a special calculator will show you how much carbon you will personally save.

It won’t cost you a penny but the total you and your family will save will be added to the global ‘Count Us In’ total and the platform will support you every step of the way. 

So tap here to pledge.

6. The Perfume Shop – 10% off

At The Perfume Shop you can get 10% off you next purchase when returning an empty bottle of fragrance.

So if you returned a bottle for recycling and bought a 50ml bottle of Marc Jacobs perfume which cost £60, you would save £6.

You can do this at any store and you'll need to make your purchase on the same day.

7. Schuh – £5 off

Schuh offers a Sell Your Soles scheme that will give you a £5 saving.

Shoppers just need to bring a pair of unwanted shoes of any brand (they don't need to have been purchased at Schuh) into a store where they'll be given a £5 off Schuh voucher. 

Just bear in mind you can't hand in faulty shoes, and vouchers can only be redeemed against full price items over £25 and cannot be combined or used in conjunction with any other offer or discount.

8. Uniqlo – £10 off

Uniqlo is well know for its winter down coats which are warm but lightweight.

Return an old one to stores and you'll get £10 off when buying your next one as part of its RE.Uniqlo recycling scheme.

You'll get a money off voucher which can be used in-store or online. Any down product from Uniqlo except for kids items.

9. Mac – Free lipstick worth £17.50

MAC will give you a lipstick worth £17.50 in return for six used MAC containers at one of its counters or online.

Simply return any empty MAC packaging to its stores or counters and you can chose any lippie (apart from limited edition ones and Viva Glam range.

10. Monsoon – £10 off

If you have any old Monsoon clothes that you no longer want you can use Monsoon's clothes for life scheme.

Just take back items and you can get £10 off your next purchase when you spend £50.

You can do this at any Monsoon store, just hand them over at the till point, and you'll get a voucher for the money off in return.

You'll have to use this at the same time though, it can't be redeemed at a later date.

Meanwhile shoppers can now return crisp packets, bread bags and cling film to Tesco stores to be recycled, instead of ending up in landfill.

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