5 Easy Ways You Can Recycle Your Empty Or Unused Beauty Products

Don't just chuck 'em in the bin.

Image: UmmBaby Beauty

We love getting through our beauty products, but we must acknowledge that we’re not entirely sure what to do with the empty containers. Can they go in the regular recycling bin? How should we separate them if not?

Luckily, there are lots of ways you can recycle your #empties properly – and pick up some new products, too.

Bring your empties to your local L’Occitane store

L’Occitane accept empty beauty products from any brand to be recycled through the platform TerraCycle, including perfume bottles, deodorant sticks, and lip balm tubes. They also take the pumps and caps from shampoo bottles if you want to save those – and as a thank you, they offer 10% off a new full-sized product from their range. Nice!

Or drop them off at one of nine recycling points around Ireland

Garnier have also partnered with TerraCycle to set up nine drop off points around Ireland (in locations like Mayo, Wexford and Donegal) where you can hand in empty products from any beauty brand. These centres accept packaging from makeup wipes and sheet masks, which is very good to hear. Find your nearest one on this handy map.

Take your used-up MAC products BackToMAC

It’s a well-known beauty secret by now, but when you return six empty MAC containers to a MAC counter, you get a free lipstick of your choice. The BackToMAC scheme unfortunately doesn’t include travel sizes or limited edition packaging, so you’ll have to find an alternative way of recycling those.

Give back your Lush pots

If you’re a Lush fiend, save up your black pots – when you bring back five, you get a free fresh face mask, and the pots are melted down to be remoulded into a new pot. If you’re not sure if your product can be brought back or not, check the label.

Kiehl’s offer a similar service, but when you bring back ten empty containers you get a travel-sized product. Worth it if you’re into your Kiehl’s!

Donate your lightly used or unopened products

If you have products that are unused (or very lightly used) you may be able to donate them to homeless charities, women’s shelters, and organisations helping people in direct provision – make sure to email or call ahead first to see what kind of items they accept.


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