Thursday, September 03, 2020

Beauty Recycling Programmes in India

beauty recycling programmes in India

I haven't worn or have bought makeup since March 2020; it has been six months—not once—although I had planned to experiment during the lockdown. However, I've been actively exploring ways to recycle waste. I've been trying to do my bit, sometimes even going out of my way, and I believe all of us do. I only knew MAC's recycling programme, but I am delighted to state that there are many brands introducing recycling programs.

This—recycling criterion—is worth considering before purchasing any product, for me personally. This doesn't leave me with many choices, rather...I like to think...its only fair! You get some, you lose some...

I am listing down all the brands, both cruelty free and non-cruelty free, available in India that offer recycling programmes. I am not categorising them as green, clean, ethically sourced or anything else, but I am solely looking at them as brands that encourage recycling by offering rewards in exchange.

Back to MAC**

You get a free full-size lipstick from MAC's permanent collection in exchange of six primary packaging (except wooden pencils). This also includes empty pack of face wipes and empty pigment tubes. Primary packaging here refers to the component without the product, i.e., MAC eyeshadow/blush component with its pan intact; components with missing pan are not acceptable under this programme. You can avail the offered product, depending on your location, at any MAC counters. This programme is available online in Canada.

You can check the detailed terms and conditions for MAC's Back to MAC programme in India here.


Kiehl's has a recycling programmed named as "Recycle and Be Rewarded". Under this programme, consumers are rewarded with a "stamp" in exchange of one empty container. With certain number of stamps, one can avail deluxe samples, #1 lip balm and a full-size product (up to INR1200).

You can check the detailed terms and conditions for Kiehl's Recycle and Be Rewarded programme in India here.

The Body Shop*

The Body Shop has two different programmes for rewards and recycling. For recycling, The Body Shop accepts empty containers under "In Store Recycling Scheme". Basically, The Body Shop accepts empty containers and passes them onto (a third party) their recycling partner. No reward system or point system is followed under this scheme. This scheme is limited only in select stores (all stand-alone stores) across India. You can draw "X" on the containers with a permanent marker and return them at select stores. I have returned two empty containers so far. Honestly, it feels nice to know that my empty containers won't end up being marine debris.

You can check the detailed terms and conditions and select stores for The Body Shop's In Store Recycling Scheme in India here.


Innisfree offers points as rewards on valid product purchases under "My Innisfree Rewards" programme and points in exchange of empty containers under their "Empty Bottle Recycling campaign". They offer membership "Welcome" on their first purchase which can be upgraded to "Premium" and "VIP" with purchase of Innisfree products worth INR 5000 and 10000, respectively. One can give back up to five empty containers per month in exchange of 1250 points per container.

You can check the detailed terms and conditions for Innisfrees's "My Innisfree Rewards" programme in India here.


Plum accepts empty containers under their "Empties4Good" programme. Their packaging is made using recyclable materials. One can either send empties (only Plum containers) on their address or request a pick up by filling a form given on their website. For every empty container, Plum credits INR 50 in the sender's account.

You can check the detailed terms and conditions for Plum's "Empties4Good" programme in India here.

The Nature's Co.*

The Nature's Co. accepts empty containers under their "#PlasticFreeWorld" programme. Empty bottles and containers, completely rinsed and packed in a cardboard box, are to be sent to their Plastic Collection Centre. An e-coupon card will be sent to the sender for their next purchase.

You can check the detailed terms and conditions for The Nature's Co.'s"#PlasticFreeWorld" programme in India here.

Needless to say but its really important to rinse your empty containers to avoid contamination during the recycling process. Rejected containers end up at landfill sites. Apart from these brands, various brands such as L'Occitane, Garnier and Love Beauty and Planet have begun contributing to reduce their carbon footprint by using containers made from post-consumer recycled waste. This post is limited to the availability of brands in India. There are many brands across globe contributing in various ways; some brands may take inspiration. *wink*

*cruelty-free brand

**non-cruelty-free brand