Marcus Lawrence | 

Don't Throw Away Your Empty Beauty Products — Sephora Wants Them

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Sephora wants your old, empty lipstick tubes — and whatever other beauty products packaging you’d otherwise throw away — so they can recycle them. They just unveiled a new initiative aimed at reducing the beauty product industry’s packaging waste.

The beauty industry is notorious for producing vast quantities of packaging waste — 120 billion packages per year — that often end up in landfills or oceans. More than 600 Sephora stores will participate in the new “Beauty (Re)purposed” program when it launches in May 2023. Here’s what they’re doing and what you can give them:


Put your clean, empty makeup packaging in dedicated collection bins at Sephora.

a person recycling an empty makeup bottle

Visit any U.S. or Canadian Sephora retail store and drop off your empty beauty packaging at the dedicated collection bin. Make sure the packaging is clean, unbagged, and free of any liquid or product. It can be glass, plastic, or metal; you just have to make sure they’re clean.

Here are some items you can drop off at the Beauty (Re)purposed bins:

  • Mascara tubes
  • Lipstick cases
  • Lip gloss tubes
  • Eye shadow cases
  • Foundation bottles
  • Concealer tubes
  • Blush compacts
  • Bronzer compacts
  • Powder compacts
  • Fragrance bottles
  • Hair care packaging (shampoo bottles, conditioner bottles, etc.)
  • Skincare packaging (cleanser bottles, toner bottles, moisturizer jars, etc.)
  • Nail polish bottles
  • Empty sample containers

Note: Sephora at Kohl’s locations aren’t part of this program. For more information on participating locations and acceptable items, you can visit the website


Sephora will send your old makeup items away for recycling.

recycling bins with empty makeup bottles in them

Once you drop off your empty beauty packaging at a participating Sephora retail store, the packaging will be collected and sent to Pact Collective — a nonprofit organization dedicated to recycling otherwise hard-to-recycle items.

Pact will sort and collect the empty beauty packaging from Sephora stores and sell the collected materials to a partner, who’ll turn it into something else — like carpet, pallets, asphalt, new packaging, or energy.

Related: Places to Find Free Electronics Recycling Near You



No, there’s no coupon or financial incentive for participating in Sephora recycling.

If you were hoping that the Beauty (Re)purposed program was like the Madewell denim recycling program — where you get a free pair of jeans for every 20 pairs you recycle — sorry, they don’t offer incentives like that. The program is simply an opportunity for consumers to do something good for the environment.

And if you don’t have a Sephora store near you or if you’d rather skip the trip to the store, you can pay $8 to ship your items to Pact Collective.

That said, if you’re looking for stores that reward you for recycling, we got a whole list of ’em.


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