Those empty lipstick tubes and eyeshadow palettes are just collecting dust in your vanity cabinet. When you eventually decide to toss them, they’ll just be swimming in a sea of pollution. Beauty packaging amounts to 120 billion units of trash in landfills each year, and beauty product packaging accounts for 70 percent of the industry’s waste.

Instead of tossing those empty makeup containers, recycle them. Recycling your makeup can have significant environmental benefits. If recycling makeup containers seems like it is not worth the hassle, it’s actually not that hard. By choosing to recycle, you’re not just clearing out clutter at home — you’re also contributing to a cleaner planet! Of course, recycling the wrong items can disrupt the process. So here’s how to make recycling makeup easy and efficient.

Research At-Home Options

Most empty makeup containers can’t be recycled at home, so it requires you to do a little research. Some cities and neighborhoods accept plastic container recyclables, but size matters. It can be difficult to recycle smaller makeup and skincare packaging. Do your research about container size, material, and labels.

Drop Off Empty Containers

One of the easiest ways to recycle empty makeup containers is to take them to your local beauty store that partners with TerraCycle. Nordstrom, L’Occitane, Sephora, and Credo offer customers these in-store recycling programs. Just keep an eye out for the BEAUTYCYCLE station. You can also go online to find your closest drop off location. 

A bonus is that some beauty brands will reward you for recycling. When you recycle with Credo Beauty’s Pact Bin, you’ll earn 10 Credo Reward points per empty container. BareMinerals and Kiehl’s also offer customers rewards points for brand-specific containers.

Mail-In Recycling

If there aren’t any recycling programs in your area, print a free label through TerraCycle and mail empty containers to Saks or L’Occitane. TerraCycle offers various free and paid recycling programs that cater to a variety of products. You can also recycle through PACT Collective, a non-profit that works with beauty brands to ensure proper recycling. 

Pick Sustainable Brands

Another way to help the environment is to shop beauty brands that use metal and glass packaging that can be easily recycled. Try brands like Cocokind, Beautycounter, Pacifica, Osea, and Kiehl’s that use mostly glass for their packaging. There are also brands that sell refills on products like Glossier, Kjaer Weis, Milk Makeup, Youth to the People, and Glow Recipe. This helps cut down on packaging waste!