Did you know that plastic packaging alone accounts for 40% of the world’s total plastic usage? Although plastic packaging is used for far more than cosmetics, a high volume of cosmetic-related waste is being generated every year.
the World Wild Life Fund estimated that the UK used 10.8 billion wet wipes and 13.2 billion cotton buds in 2018 alone. According to National Geographic, 91% of all global plastics have not been properly recycled.
Unfortunately for beauty lovers, plastic-packaged products are often difficult to recycle. Thankfully, some beauty brands are actively trying to reduce waste and encourage consumers to recycle.
The below list is a compilation of beauty brands that reward recycling through official recycling programs.
6 Beauty Brands That Reward Recycling
The list of brands that reward recycling is growing. The below programs are some of the most well known recycling programs for US beauty consumers.
GARNIER | Beauty Brigade with TerraCycle
Did you know that Garnier will actually donate to charity when you recycle? Garinier teamed up with recycling company, TerraCycle, to recycle CPG packaging. The brand will donate 2 points (or $0.01 USD) per unit recycled in shipments larger than 10 pounds.
Here’s how it works: create a free account, collect your old packaging, ship them to TerraCycle, and these items will be recycled!
- Items that can be returned via this program: shampoo caps, conditioner caps, hair gel tubes, and caps, hair spray triggers, and hair paste caps
- Skin care packaging: lip balm tubes and caps, soap dispensers and tubes, body wash caps, lotion dispensers and caps
- Cosmetics packaging: lipstick cases, lip gloss tubes, mascara tubes, eye shadow cases, bronzer cases, foundation packaging, powder cases, eyeliner cases, eyeliner pencils, eye shadow tubes, concealer tubes, concealer sticks, and lip liner pencils
Click here to read more about this program and to sign up.
INNISFREE | Eco-Recycling Program
Innisfree allows consumers to drop off their empty Innisfree packaging to any retail location in the US. The goal is to transform or upcycle the returned packaging into other products.
Innisfree does this program in partnership with TerraCycle. In exchange for returning these items, consumers receive points via the Innisfree loyalty program.
Click here to read more about the Innisfree Recycling Program.
KIEHL’S | Recycle & Be Rewarded
Kiehl’s customers receive a “stamp” for every full-size product they recycle in-store. Once a customer accumulates 10 stamps, he or she can redeem a trial-sized product (value of up to $11.00 USD). For every 10 empty, full-size products a customer returns to store, he or she can receive one trial-sized product.
Deluxe samples and other complementary products can be returned and recycled, but these items do not go towards a customer’s stamps. Additionally, a customer may only redeem their stamps for one free product during a given month.
To read more about the program click here.
LUSH | 5 Pot Program
As devoted LUSH fans already know, the black pots at LUSH are made entirely from recycled material. Consumers are eligible to receive a free Fresh Face Mask if they return 5 empty, clean black pots in-store.
Click here to read more about the 5 Pot Program.
MAC Cosmetics| Back to MAC
The most well-known beauty recycling program, MAC’s Back to MAC program enables customers to return used product packaging.
Once a customer returns 6 products (either online or in-store), he or she is eligible to receive a complimentary lipstick. Unlike the aforementioned programs, customers need to bring back all 6 old products at the same time.
The brand offers additional incentives to customers who are enrolled in the brand’s MAC Lover Loyalty Program. Customers enrolled in MAC Lover can redeem their 6 returned products for one lipstick, lip glass, or single shadow. MAC Lovers can return products in-store at their own pace and MA.C will keep track of the number of products they’ve returned.
Click here to read more about the Back to M.A.C program.
ORIGINS | Return to Origins
Did you know that Origins was the first brand in the beauty industry to offer a recycling program specifically for cosmetic packaging?
The Return to Origins program launched in 2009. Origin’s program enables customers to recycle empty primary packaging to any of its retail stores or department store locations.
Although the brand will take back most primary packaging, the following items CANNOT be returned to Origins: paper boxes or plastic wrapping, sample or trial size packaging, and applicators like sponges or tools like tweezers.
Click here to read more about Origins commitment to recycling.
Final Thoughts on Brands that Reward Recycling
Hopefully, more beauty brands will become brands that reward recycling. Global plastic waste is a huge problem. Programs like the ones mentioned above can help consumers and brands reduce their impact on the environment.
If you want to go beyond recycling, please check out these tips for making your beauty routine more sustainable.
How do you recycle your beauty-related plastics? Would you try any of the above programs? Please let me know in the comments below.