14 Beauty Brands That Will Recycle Your Empty Containers

By 4 min read

If you have just hit a pan of your favorite beauty product don’t rush to throw it away! Not all plastic containers are created equal. Because of that, some types of plastic, particularly used in the beauty industry, are harder to recycle as they require special facilities and your local one may not have them. Because of that, most of the hard-to-recycle plastic end up in landfill even though you may have placed it in a recycling bin.

Luckily, there are companies who got your back and will be happy to recycle your empty containers and even reward you for your contribution to saving the planet.


Origins was the first brand in the beauty industry to create a recycling program back in 2009. Today, they accept empties from any brand and will recycle them for free.

MAC Cosmetics

Another brand that is famous for its recycling program is M.A.C. Cosmetics. Their Back-to-MAC-Program offers a free M.A.C. lipstick of your choice in return for six M.A.C. primary packaging containers.

“Primary packaging is packaging used to contain the product itself [e.g. an eyeshadow pot, lipstick shell, lash case]. Secondary packaging is used to protect/contain the primary item [e.g. the cardboard box that contains eye shadow].” – Back-to-Mac-Program

The program is available online and in stores. If you are a member of their loyalty program, M.A.C Select, you can return the empties one by one at your own pace and once you have six of empties on file, you can choose between lipstick, lipgloss, and a single eyeshadow.  Restrictions apply. For more details, please check their website.


Kiehl’s has a Recycle and Be rewarder Program where they accept both deluxe and full-size products from their brand. For each full-size empties, you’ll get a stamp. By collecting ten stamps you are qualified for a free travel-size product. Check their policy for more details.


Another environment-friendly brand, LUSH, offers a 5-Pot Program. By returning five clean black pots to one of their shops you’ll get a free fresh face mask! Details are here.


Bareminerals has just launched a Give Back Get Back Recycling Program. They do accept makeup and skincare products from any brand and offer Friends and Benefit (FAB) points towards your future purchases. Before you are ready to go, check if your nearest boutique has this program available. For now, the closest shop maybe quite away from you, but they do accept 5 empties at a time which is worth driving for.

Summer Fridays

Summer Fridays have recently started the recycling program: by collecting and sending 5 a Summer Friday empties to the brand, you get a free mini Jet Lag Mask in return. The program is currently available for customers in the the USA, Canada, Australia, New Zealand, Germany, France, and the UK.


Another company that is happy to take the burden of recycling is TerraCycle. They have partnered with a number of beauty brands, including Garnier, Burts Bee’s, EOS and many more and offer a recycling program that deals with all the tricky recycling waste. This program is free to join, and as a reward, you will get points that can be redeemed towards charity donations or for the TerraCycle Products. Check the list of accepted plastic as well as details on each program on their website.


Another brand that has teamed up with Terra Cycle is Innisfree. A Korean based skincare company offers their US customers a recycling service in exchange for loyalty program points that can be redeemed towards new purchases. The program is available in stores and soon will be available online. Details here.


Besides the above-mentioned brands, L’Occitane is another company that works with Terra Cycle and offers rewards when you turn your empty containers in stores! All you have to do is to bring your full-size emptie of L’Occitane product or ANY other beauty brand and you’ll get 10% off your next full-size product! Simple as that.


Even though Aveda doesn’t offer any reward for recycling, their Full Circle recycling program accepts any kind of Aveda empties and accessories. They do have facilities to recycle even the trickiest plastic, including caps and tubes.

Aether Beauty, the new clean beauty company, known for its crystal-powered makeup products along with 100% recycled packaging, has also joined its forces with TerraCycle. While you can always recycle your Aether Beauty empties at home, not everyone is having reliable recycling facilities close to their houses. If you are one of those lacking a recycling facility nearby, you can request a free Terracycle recycling envelope for your Āether Beauty packaging with a pre-paid USPS label. The program accepts outer packaging, inner packaging, and even keepsake Tarot Card that come with the palettes.


While disposing of the toxic nail polish leftovers at home is a really bad idea to do, Zoya offers a recycling program for nail polishes available only once a year during the Earth Day. Just trade in your unwanted bottles of old nail polishes from any brand for Zoya’s new nail polishes – details on their website.

Sometimes you don’t really have to do much to do good. Save this pin for your future reference!

Is there any program that needs to be added on the list? Let me know in the comments down below!

Leave a Reply

  • alwayscleia
    November 9, 2018

    I had NO Idea that any of these companies accepted empties except for Lush! That’s really great to know, especially that many will accept products from other brands too. Great post!

    • Farah Gasimzade
      November 12, 2018

      I’m so glad you found this post helpful!

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14 Beauty Brands That Will Recycle Your Empty Containers

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