How to Reuse, Compost + Recycle Makeup Packaging

Have you ever wondered what to do with your makeup once it's empty? No worries: This guide will teach you how to reuse, compost, or recycle your makeup packaging (depending on what it's packaged in). Plant Makeup utilizes zero waste friendly packaging: Everything is easy to reuse, recycle, or compost. Most of our products are packaged in glass, metal tins, or compostable tubes. Here's how to reuse, compost and recycle our products (or any makeup products in general).


Almost all our products can be reused once they're empty, specifically if they're packaged in plastic, metal, or glass. We encourage you to get creative and think of ways to reuse the containers. Here are some suggestions we can think of:

  • DIY makeup – fill the containers with DIY beauty products of your own creation.
  • Accessory holder – If the container is big enough, use it to store earrings, necklaces, bracelets, hair ties, and all sorts of accessories inside.
  • DIY projects – Use an empty jar or tin to hold an assortment of DIY projects ranging from natural deodorant to natural laundry detergent.
  • Food storage – If the jar/tin is big enough, use them to store loose leaf tea or spices.
  • Tiny items – Use an empty container to store tiny items like nuts and bolts, batteries, pins, nails and paperclips.


If you'd rather not reuse a container, try recycling it. Glass and metal are easily recycled and can be recycled infinitely without losing quality. Plastic is a little more complicated than that. Depending on the type of plastic a product is made out of, it may or may not get recycled. Certain plastics are easier to recycle than others, and every state has different laws regarding this. Look into your own state's laws before recycling an item. Before you recycle anything, make sure it's thoroughly cleaned out.

There are also some take-back programs offered by beauty brands worth looking into. Origins will accept and recycle any empty products, regardless of brand. Find an Origins store near you: You might want to call and ask about the program before going there with a bunch of empty beauty products. 


Compostable packaging is pretty straight forward: It's made up of paper/cardboard. Compost is made up of browns (dead leaves, branches and/or twigs), greens (grass, clippings, vegetable waste, fruit scraps and/or coffee grounds), and water. If you live in an apartment, invest in a compost pail. You can put all your food scraps in there and then take it to a compost drop off site, like the farmers market. 

You might be wondering where compostable packaging fits into all this: Technically, anything made from paper or cardboard can be composted. That's because it would contribute to the browns aspect of composting. If you have a compostable package, put it in your compost pail and take it with you to your local drop off center. Or, simply add it to your at-home compost bin like you would browns. It will naturally decompose on its own with everything else.

Written by our amazing guest contributor Ariana Palmieri

Ariana Palmieri is a green beauty blogger who strives to live as eco-friendly as possible. In July 2015 she started her blog, Greenify-Me, to document her own journey with eco-friendly products, makeup, and the environment. The site features beauty product reviews, natural DIYs, healthy recipes, and more. 


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