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.
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.
Bareminerals has just launched a Give Back Get Back Recycling Program. They do accept makeup and skin care 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.
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 at their website.
Another brand that has teamed up with Terra Cycle is Innisfree. A Korean based skin care 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 above mentioned brands, L’Occitane is another company that works with Terra Cycle and offer rewards when you turn your empty containers in stores! All you have to do is to bring your full-size emptie of L’Occitane prroduct 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.
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.
Is there any program that needs to be added on the list? Let me know in the comments down below!