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Back To MAC Recycling Program – Everything You Need To Know

Mac is one of the world’s most famous and successful cosmetic brands, with over 18 billion dollars worth of sales every year.

To help further develop its brand, MAC has initiated a recycling program for MAC customers who previously purchased unopened products.

Many of these products are used as part of various new cosmetic formulations released by MAC regularly, so old cosmetics can be beneficial to the environment rather than harmful.

What Is the MAC Recycling Program?

The MAC Recycling Program is a partnership between selected MAC Cosmetics–owned stores and local, non-profit recycling organizations throughout the United States.

The program was designed to encourage customers to recycle empty MAC Cosmetics containers through a variety of creative activities, including donating donated products to local funds, inviting customers to participate in fundraising activities for environmental non-profits, and purchasing recycled products from our stores on MAC’s behalf.

Providing recyclable products at no added cost; and introducing school-aged children (through their parents) to the importance of recycling through hands-on activities at their local MAC stores (and across the country).

How Does the Program Work?

The Back to MAC Recycling program is designed for faculty, staff, and students in all MAC units.

The program aims to ensure that all recyclable materials are processed through the appropriate recycling vendor and recycled responsibly.

The program is based on the following principles:

  1. Each department or unit should collect recyclable paper, plastic, glass, metal, and organic waste.
  2. Departments or units should recycle as much of their waste as possible.
  3. If necessary, departments or units should arrange for the collection of recyclable materials from other sources.

The recycling process must be safe, secure, and environmentally sound.

  1. You can check the status of your recycling bin by signing into your MAC account and selecting ‘My Account from the top menu.
  2. From there, select ‘Recycling’ from the drop-down menu. It will take you to a page where you can see what bins are available in your area and how full they have been recently (or not).
  3. There is an option to add a new bin if one isn’t already available in your area, but it’s optional for this program to work for you!

What Products Are Eligible for Recycling?

MAC products are eligible for recycling through MAC’s Recycling Program, which can be found here.

MAC has a comprehensive recycling program that helps reduce waste and protect our environment by diverting materials from landfills and utilizing them for remanufacturing into new products, which are then sold to consumers again as new products with a new life cycle.

MAC cosmetics recycles a variety of products, including:

  • Cosmetics – makeup, skincare, and hair care products
  • Hair care – shampoos, conditioners, styling tools, and more
  • Skincare – cleansers, toners, moisturizers, and more

What Happens to Recycled MA Products?

All the products that MAC makes are designed to be reused or recycled.

Recycling is reusing or restoring used materials, such as glass bottles, to make new items.

​When you recycle your MAC product, it goes through a process that helps eliminate any harmful chemicals or materials from the product.

The first step is to remove any remaining makeup on the packaging, which is then cleaned and washed in hot water.

The next step is to allow the packaging to dry completely before removing any remaining moisture with a hair dryer.

Once all the moisture has been removed, the packaging is placed in a box or container that can hold up to 30 pounds.

The final step for recycling your MAC product is to place the box or container into a commercial shredder machine and allow it to run for several minutes before collecting all the shredded material in a metal bucket or drum.

Legal Policies on How to Dispose of MAC Products

The MAC Recycling Program is designed to minimize the amount of waste generated from these products and support recycling efforts in our communities.

MAC products cannot be recycled through local, state or national commercial or private programs because they contain a chemical known as phthalates (also called DEHP and DBP) that are banned from most recycling programs.

After all, it leaches out of plastic bottles when exposed to heat or sunlight and can contaminate other materials in the recycling stream.

The US Environmental Protection Agency has established guidelines for how much of this chemical can be present in plastics before it becomes too dangerous for reuse; these levels are called “levels of concern.”

Frequently Asked Questions

What do I need to do to participate in the MAC Recycling Program?

You must register with the program and provide the required information on your application form, including your contact information and the type of product you want to recycle (for example, glass bottles, aluminum cans, or plastic bags).

How much does participating in the MAC Recycling Program cost?

There is no fee for participating in the MAC Recycling Program; all you need is a valid photo I.D.

and proof of residency, as proof of residency, is required for all recycling containers before pickup from your local retailer or drop-off location at any participating retailer location where items are accepted for curbside pickup.

  1. How can I ensure that my recycled makeup isn’t contaminated with bacteria or other substances?
  2. When you are recycling your makeup, you should make sure that you wash it off with soap and water before putting it in the container. Clean the container by washing it with soap and water


All of these values reflect the MAC Company’s commitment to minimizing the ecological footprint of both their product and brand, as well as giving back to their local communities.

This is a great example of a company that is thinking outside of the box when it comes to environmental sustainability––and with the implementation of the MAC Recycling Program, they are setting a precedent in an industry that regularly produces unrecyclable products that contribute to global waste in various ways.

This pioneering initiative makes us proud to work with such an environmentally conscious company.


  • Jen Wheeler

    Jen Wheeler, co-founder of Recycling-Revolution.com, holds degrees from UC Berkeley, Yale, and Stanford. A renowned environmentalist, she's championed sustainable practices at global events and leads EcoBright Solutions, focusing on recycling education and eco-friendly products.

    View all posts

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