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Natural Awakenings Fairfield & Southern Litchfield Counties

Rewards for Recycling: The Beauty Industry Steps Up

Nov 04, 2019 12:20PM ● By Nanaz And Jeff

A growing number of beauty companies have recognized that residential and commercial curbside recycling programs often reject empty or near-empty containers of skin, hair and cosmetic products. Now, Kiehl’s, L’Occitane and other beauty brands have created quick and easy recycling programs to help alleviate the problem.

At the L’Occitane stores in Westfarms Mall in West Hartford and The Promenade Shops at Evergreen Walk in South Windsor, consumers who bring in empty, full-sized beauty product containers—regardless of the brand—receive 10% off their highest-priced purchase of a new L’Occitane product. Simply dropping off the empties is fine, however; no subsequent purchase is required.

Customers who recycle 10 empty, full-sized containers of Kiehl’s products at the stores in Westfarms Mall or Mohegan Sun in Uncasville receive a new 2.5-ounce product. Each container is valued at one point, and 10 points must be accumulated to receive the freebie offer. (Sample-sized containers will be recycled but do not count towards points.)

When you return six primary packaging containers online at the MAC website, you can claim a free MAC lipstick, lip gloss or eye shadow. For a free MAC lipstick, drop off your empties at the MAC counter at Macy’s in Buckland Hills Mall in Manchester or Westfield Mall at Meriden and at Nordstrom at Westfarms Mall.

At the Lush stores at Westfarms Mall, Westfield Mall in Trumbull or Mohegan Sun, customers receive a complimentary Fresh Face mask for recycling five black, plastic, empty Lush brand pots. The empty pots are broken down and molded into new pots.

At the Origins store in Westfarms Mall, toss empties, regardless of brand, in a recycling drop-off bin in the store. No purchase is necessary to do so.

The Aveda store at Westfarms Mall
recycles Aveda empties only. No purchase is necessary to do so.

Mail-Back Options

Email and postal mail are options for folks who want to recycle but prefer staying closer to home and avoiding crowds, parking or salespeople.

Earn loyalty points toward free gifts, discounts or free shipping on future purchases when you recycle with Pacifica, a vegan and cruelty-free beauty line. Create an online account, email Pacifica for a pre-paid shipping label, then pack up and ship them your empty products in a mailing envelope. The empties give life to new shaving razors or toothbrushes.

Everyday Minerals
Mail in eight large, empty jars for base, face, or cheek products to Everyday Minerals, Attention: Recycle My Empties, P.O. Box 42349, Austin, TX 78704. For your efforts you’ll receive a free Everyday Minerals blush of your choice. Everyday Minerals create new products using recycled jars.

TerraCycle and Garnier
TerraCycle and Garnier provide a free recycling program where you earn points toward fundraising for charities, schools or purchase of new products. TerraCycle accepts skincare packaging such as lip balm tubes, hair gel tubes or conditioner caps and cosmetic packaging such as eye shadow cases, eyeliner pencils and concealer sticks. Herbal Essences, Josie Maran, Limelife, Paula’s Choice, Tom’s of Maine, Weleda, Burt’s Bees and Eos are a handful of the cosmetic and skincare companies that work directly with TerraCycle.

lilah b.
At lilah b., request a prepaid shipping label by emailing [email protected], then send in unwanted beauty products, whether they are lilah b. brand or an alternative brand.

Additionally, Project Beauty Share is an organization that accepts gently used beauty products for distribution to homeless women and domestic abuse victims who are unable to afford these products. The drop-off locations are mainly in Washington and Idaho but are expanding, so keep an eye out for local spots to pop up.

If any of the places listed are a bit of a drive, and you are questioning the effort you’ll output to recycle one dried-up tube of mascara, make a day of it. Take in a show, try a new restaurant or go shopping. Or for even bigger impact, collect empty toiletries from family or friends or set up a collection bin and run a collection drive at work to maximize your drop-off journey. 

Remember, softening your hair and skin with conditioner or moisturizer does not mean you have to go soft on helping the environment.

Nanaz Khosrowshahi is an eco-friendly pharmacist and mom of three children who resides in Avon. She tries to make the world a greener place by sharing information and engaging in community service.   

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