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Origins Tackles Your Old Makeup

By Heather O'Neill
May 26, 2010
File under: Personal Care, Waste Reduction


During a recent spring cleaning I decided to real be radical and get rid of every last personal care product in my home that wasn’t completely natural.

Most of what I own is free of common toxins but, like most women, I had a basket of old makeup that I just couldn’t bear to part with. A girl never knows when she is going to need shimmery green eyeshadow or a white lipstick, right?

Blessedly I didn’t need those particular items very often, save for Halloween. But I held onto them anyway because, frankly, I didn’t know what to do with them.All of my new makeup is clearly recyclable.  The old stuff, not so much.

So what’s a girl to do? The Return to Origins recycling program is in place to solve this problem. Just bring your old bottles, tubes and jars, regardless of brand, into your nearest Origins store or cosmetic counter (see restrictions here) and Origins will recycle it all for you.

In exchange for lugging your half-used makeup around town, Origins will give you a free sample of one of its skincare products.

Most communities only recycle #1 or #2 plastics, according to the Sustainable Packaging Coalition, and makeup containers are often made from other types.Since everyday packaging makes up more than 1/3 of landfill waste, having these items send to a recycling facility will make a big dent in your contribution to cleaning up the planet and will clear out space on your vanity for earth-friendly products down the road.

Heather O’Neill is the managing editor of the ecomii blog and the founder of Eco to the People, a green living blog. Email her with questions and comments at

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