Hilary Duff has had a whirlwind year, from getting engaged and having a new baby at home, to shooting the series Younger and the nostalgically-exciting news of a Lizzie McGuire revival for the new streaming service, Disney+. It’s safe to assume that the actress has lots on her plate, but that’s not stopping her from using her voice to speak on important topics like recycling.

She just partnered with beauty conglomerate Unilever and Walmart for a new initiative called Bring it to the Bin, which serves to educate consumers in-store and online on how they can recycle Unilever packaging. “It’s time for all of us to step up and do our part,” she tells Refinery29 in a phone interview. The companies hope to make that easier with recycling instructions on packaging and rolling out more bottles made from recycled plastic.

Being on board with this partnership has made Duff think more about her own eco-footprint as well. She admits that while she has always been into green practices, including small ones like reusable water bottles, there’s long been one aspect of her life that’s made her even more aware. “Having kids made me realize how much plastic we were using in the house,” she says, also sharing one fact that really triggered her: “I was sad to find out that 91% of plastic packaging isn’t recycled.”

Along with spreading the message with this new initiative, the actress is also doing her part at-home in making sure that her family is forming better habits, which includes recycling more. “I feel so guilty about this, but I always recycle in the kitchen, because that seems like the most natural place as I’m cooking there and that’s where our separate bins are, but I haven’t always done it in our bathrooms and other places in the house,” she says. As a response, she’s made the efforts to now recycle everywhere in her home and give her son Luca incentives for doing the same. “We have to do our part and teach our kids to do their part and the importance of recycling,” she adds.

These lifestyles changes also inspired Duff to channel Marie Kondo for her beauty products, which also conveniently served to make space in her New York City home. “The sizing of a New York bathroom compared to an L.A. bathroom is so different,” she tells us. “One day I got home, and I was like ‘I use five products on my hair,’ so why do I have this cabinet full of stuff?” That’s when she did a massive clean-out that involved lots of recycling. The added bonus is that it simplified her routine and decluttered her space. Good for the planet and the bathroom? Win-win.
Unilever’s Bring it to the Bin initiative strives to replace 50% of all virgin plastic with recycled plastic by the end of 2019 and will add ‘How2Recycle”‘labels on all packaging by 2021.

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