6 Beauty Brands that Reward Recycling

6 Beauty Brands That Reward You For Recycling

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.Β 

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:Β 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:Β 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.

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6 Beauty Brands that Reward You for Recycling


How do you recycle your beauty-related plastics? Would you try any of the above programs? Please let me know in the comments below.

28 thoughts on “6 Beauty Brands that Reward Recycling

    1. Ahh I’m so glad you found out about some new recycling programs! πŸ™‚ There are so many cool UK-based brands that are really changing the game in terms of offering plastic-free or more sustainably packaged products!

    1. Yes – I believe so!! I don’t think the extended program is available, so all six products need to be turned in at the same time, but I believe the basic program should be available! πŸ™‚

  1. I didn’t know these brands offered such a program. That’s really cool!! I will most likely be having Lush, InnisFree and Kiehl’s stuff in my possession so I will keep this in mind when/if I finish them πŸ™‚ Thank you for sharing this!!

  2. I love it when brands work with their customers to encourage recycling. We use so much in our daily lives that we need to be better at sorting out what can be recycled and etc. I knew about Lush’s recycling program but didn’t know about the others. Oooh, I should look into turning my loyalty to Origins or Kiehl’s. They’re really customer and environment-oriented.

    Nancy β™₯ exquisitely.me

  3. This is awesome to see that there are beauty products with recycling initiatives going on! It’s a pity I don’t think I use any of the brands (although I’m not sure if I might have a garnier micellar water lurking somewhere) to take advantage of these schemes πŸ™
    One thing I’m trying at the moment to save on using as many wet wipes is keeping cotton pads in a jar with some toner to quickly freshen up and get rid of the grime in the evening.

    1. That’s a great sustainable swap to make – I’m trying to reduce my wet wipe usage as well! I’ve been using micro-fiber clothes and cotton pads (cut in half)!! Eventually, I’d like to buy some reusable cotton pads. πŸ™‚

      1. I keep thinking about trying to crochet some…I’m sure I’ve seen patterns somewhere. I’m just nervous because I already struggle with remembering laundry that they would all go mouldy :-/

  4. Wow, I never knew any of this. Now there’s more reason to collect my trash other than just the Empties posts. πŸ™‚ Thanks so much for making me aware of these awesome programs!

  5. I only knew that Lush had a recycling program; I didn’t realize so many other brands did as well! That’s so awesome! I’ll have to look into these brands and recycle the products that I can.

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