Plenty of your favorite beauty brands will happily take back empty cosmetic containers and recycle them for you. And the best part: you can earn rewards -- like free lipsticks and face masks -- just for recycling your empties.
With their “Back to M.A.C” recycling program, they will give you a free lipstick in exchange for six of your empties. Recycling is available in-store or online. For more perks, join their loyalty program, M.A.C Select, and you can bring back empty containers at your own pace (no need to save all six to trade in at once). Once it’s freebie time, choose from a lipglass or eyeshadow.
By teaming up with TerraCycle Garnier has been able to keep almost every kind of empty cosmetic packaging out of landfills. The free recycling program accepts everything from shampoo caps and hair gel tubes to empty eye shadow tubes (see the complete list here.) All you need to do is join online, collect your empty items, and mail them in via a pre-paid label. Items are then sorted, cleaned out, and recycled. For every item you mail in, you’ll earn points which can be redeemed towards charitable donations or upcycled merch on TerraCycle’s online shop.
Austin-based Everyday Minerals not only features vegan, hand-crafted, cruelty-free products, but will gift you a free blush for sending back 8 empties (empty jars for base, face, or cheek products qualify). If you’re not sure about your perfect shade, they also offer trial kits and free samples to help you find your best match.
With more than 85% of their product packaging made out of 100% post-consumer recycled materials, Aveda encourages all their customers to recycle when possible, but is also glad to help out with trickier disposables. Though there aren’t any freebies in exchange, their Full Circle Recycling Program does allow you to bring in any empty Aveda packaging or accessories -- from spray bottles and rollerballs to sponges and brushes -- to be recycled.