The Rise of Circular Beauty: Brands That Offer In-Store Recycling Programs

As we become more environmentally conscious, so too do the brands we shop with. The concept of circular beauty — brands attempting to close the loop on packaging — is rising, with many offering in-house recycling or refilling services.

Most of the beauty packaging currently used is not recyclable and won’t be accepted by your local council’s recycling service. So, a lot of packaging (including lipstick bullets and nail polish bottles) simply have to be thrown in the landfill waste bin. Until manufacturers work to change this, we’ll be shopping the brands and stores with reuse and recycle initiatives in place.

Below, we’ve curated a list of brands who encourage customers to return their clean and empty products in exchange for a reward. Recycling has never felt so good.

Schwarzkopf Australia

Schwarzkopf Australia has partnered with TerraCycle to help customers recycle their Schwarzkopf hair care, hair colour and hair styling products nationwide. The partnership also allows you to recycle hair care products from other brands with the Schwarzkopf Cares Recycling Program.

The program accepts a number of different hair care product packaging including trigger heads, pumps, tubes, caps and tubs, hair product aerosols (including hair spray, mousse and dry shampoo) as well as hair colour products like bottles, sachets, gloves, plastic stirrers and tubes.

To be apart of the Schwarzkopf Cares Recycling Program, head online to TerraCycle to register for free. You can then pack all of your used hair care packaging into a box, download a free shipping label from TerraCycle, pop it on the box and send it to TerraCycle for recycling.

This service can be used by individuals, households, schools, offices and community groups and once your used packaging reaches TerraCycle, it will be recycled into new consumer products including park benches, bike racks, pet food bowls and recycling bins.


Eco retailer Biome helps you divert waste from landfill thanks to its recycling partnership with TerraCycle. This means you can recycle items like cosmetic, skincare and makeup packaging as well as pens, pencils, markers, highlighters and wine corks. Biome also accepts CDs, cassettes, memory sticks, toothbrushes and toothpaste packing to be recycled.

You can recycle these items at any one of Biome’s six stores, or alternatively post your containers to Biome’s head office in Milton, Queensland if you don’t live close to a physical store. All containers must be completely cleaned out before you take them to the store or send them away to be recycled. Head to the Biome website to find out how to do this.



TerraCycle — an organisation that engages the community to collect ‘unrecyclable’ and difficult-to recycle-packaging and products, and turns them into innovative eco products — has teamed up with L’OCCITANE to help you recycle your empties.

Simply take your empty products from L’OCCITANE (or any other beauty brand) and recycle them at any L’OCCITANE boutique. When you do this, you’ll also receive 10% off your next purchase at L’OCCITANE. How good!



Jurlique has also partnered with TerraCycle to offer in-store recycling. Gather together all of your empty Jurlique products and take them to your nearest Jurlique store and you’ll receive 10% off your next purchase.

Jurlique has a few guidelines when it comes to recycling, which is detailed on its website, but the Aussie brand will accept skincare plastic bottles, glass bottles, cream glass jars and foil packaging from masks.

You can also recycle your Jurlique products for free via Australia Post, so you don’t even have to leave your house but you won’t receive your 10% discount this way.



TerraCycle and innisfree also have a partnership here in Australia and all of the plastic collected is transformed into items like store merchandising, new packaging or other products.

Simply take your empty innisfree products into your nearest innisfree store and you’ll be rewarded via the My innisfree loyalty program. For each container you return, you’ll earn 50 points. There’s a limit of five containers per person, per month.



If you’ve got quite a few empty M.A.C lipstick bullets laying around, then Back to M.A.C is the program for you. Simply hold onto your glass or plastic M.A.C packaging and take it back to any M.A.C free-standing store or makeup counter and you’ll be given a rewards card that will be stamped each time you return an empty product. Then, after you’ve returned six items, you’ll receive a free M.A.C lipstick of your choosing.

When your packaging is returned, it is sent to M.A.C’s recycling partner Close The Loop. From here, the packaging is recycled into asphalt, cement, or shredded and combined with other plastics to be used in the manufacture of new products.



Handmade cosmetics brand Lush is constantly trying to better its practices when it comes to the use of plastic. A few of Lush’s initiatives include a range of naked products (sans packaging) as well as the use of paper bags over plastic. Lush also offers a recycling program — simply bring back five empty, clean black Lush pots to your local store and you’ll be gifted with a free Fresh Face Mask.



Kiehl’s have a partnership with recycling company TerraCycle called Recycle & Be Rewarded. Simply donate your empty bottles to any Kiehl’s store and they’ll be sent on to TerraCycle. These bottles are then repurposed into other things, including children’s playgrounds.

And, when you return your bottles to Kiehl’s, you’ll also be rewarded with a little present. If you return three empty bottles, you’ll receive a deluxe sample, a bag of calendula seeds and a Kiehl’s pouch. For five empty bottles, the gift is two deluxe samples, one sachet sample and a Kiehl’s pouch. For 10 bottles returned, the gift is a Kiehl’s sustainable tote.


Le Labo

Fragrance brand Le Labo is known for producing chic fragrances and personal care products, but the company also offers a refill program for its renowned scents. Simply bring your empty Le Labo bottle back to the store to have it refilled with your signature fragrance. You’ll also receive 20% off for your efforts, which is pretty damn good. The refilling service isn’t currently available at all stores, so check with your local Le Labo shop to see if they offer it.


The Body Shop

Just like Kiehl’s, The Body Shop has also partnered with TerraCycle to offer a recycling program for their products. Simply bring your empty plastic bottles, tubs, tubes and pots back to your local store and ask a team member about how to recycle the products. Love Your Body Club members will receive a $5 reward when they return five products from The Body Shop — so it’s worth flagging it with a staff member so they can add the reward to your customer account.


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