Mecca has launched an in-store recycling program so you can finally get rid of all your empties

Image via Mecca

Words by Stephanie Chadwick

Got empties?

You know that draw in your bathroom where you hoard your empty beauty products like little trophies from skincare victories past? Yes, I’m talking about that stash of slick makeup containers and glass skincare bottles you can’t bear to part with.

Whether you intended on saving those empties to admire the luxe packaging just a little longer or because you realised there was no proper way to recycle them and didn’t want to toss them in the trash, you’re in luck. Mecca, Australia’s leading beauty retailer, has now launched an initiative that gives you the opportunity to recycle them. 

We’ve tried out the latest beauty hacks so you don’t have to. Head to our Beauty section for more. 

Mecca has teamed up with Terracycle to offer beauty junkies a free national in-store collection program. Terracycle is a global leader in recycling the unrecyclable to prevent products from ending up in landfill, instead allowing them to be sorted, processed and transformed into something new.


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Since the beginning of its 14-month trial in October 2019 Mecca and Terracycle together have collected approximately 10,240 beauty containers and have successfully diverted them from going to landfill. While this is an important move, there has been an ongoing discussion around product empties in the beauty community for some time now.

The hashtag #empties was the start of a beauty blogger phenomenon that placed emphasis on the completion of a product as opposed to the consumption of a new product. Whilst a thoughtful concept, the #empties conversation in the online beauty community was limited to bloggers YouTube hauls or editors’ recommendations – we heard very little about what to do with the actual empty itself.

But from April 27, empty hoarders will be able to drop off their beauty containers in-store at Mecca, either into a labelled bin or to the team behind the register. That means you will be able to bring in your pre-loved bottles, jars, tubes, pots and palettes from any brand to give them another life beyond getting ready with you.


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Even Jean Bailliard, the General Manager of Terracycle Australia and New Zealand, regards the program as a ground-breaking move for a retail brand.

“We’re excited to support Mecca in taking a remarkable step forward in reducing the environmental impact of beauty packaging by providing a free recycling solution for consumers across Australia and New Zealand. To make an impact, the problem of waste needs to be addressed by the beauty industry as a whole,” she says.

The waste problem in the beauty industry needs to be addressed at every level but as consumers, we can now play our part to ensure our impulse purchases or cult favourites don’t end up in landfill unnecessarily.

For the complete list of what empties can and can’t be recycled, head here.

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