Wednesday, November 25, 2009

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MAC Recycling Program (Also Known As Back To MAC / B2M)

When it comes to large corporations, I always appreciate those who try to give back to our communities. It is why I love MAC for its packaging recycling program, which is also known to some people as Back To MAC. Unfortunately, just as the same with MAC product packaging, the recycling program also runs on different policies, depending on how and where you choose to participate in the program. There are always a lot of questions concerning this, so I want to share with you some of my thoughts and tips. 

More about the program : Because we share your commitment to the environment, M·A·C accepts returns of its primary packaging through the Back to M·A·C Program. By returning six [6] M·A·C primary packaging containers to a M·A·C counter or M·A·C Cosmetics online, you’ll receive a free M·A·C lipstick of your choice as our thanks to you.

You can participate in the recycling program either through the MAC website, a MAC counter, or a free standing MAC store. I have tried the latter two but have never done this online, which will involve some mailing and packaging. The official policy of the program is that if you return/recycle 6 primary packaging products either empty or still with products inside, you will receive a free lipstick of your choice. Please remember that the recycling program does not apply to lipsticks in the Viva Glam Campaign. Information in this post also only applies to the program in the U.S. because I don't know if MAC has different policies or programs in other countries.

To determine if a product has primary packaging or not, the easiest way is to look for these two symbols on your MAC product or on the package boxes. 

With some exceptions, most MAC products are eligible for this recycling program. Some products may not seem eligible but they are. For example, when you finish a pro pan eyeshadow, the left over metal pan can also be used for this program. If you ever have questions on the various products and their eligibility, contact your local MAC counter or store. 

Regarding pot eyeshadow without the metal pan, both of my Nordstrom MAC counter and the store accepts them. This means that if you depot your pot shadows, you can still use them for this recycling program. Unfortunately, some MAC have started to tighten up their policies a bit and now no longer accept pot shadows without the metal pan. Again, each store and sales associate has their own standards so please contact your local MAC to determine what their stand is on this issue.

If you particulate in the program through the MAC website, you can only exchange 6 products for a free lipstick. However, if you choose to go to a counter or store, the story may be different. Most counters work on the same way as how the website works, meaning that you can only exchange for lipsticks. Occasionally, I've had very nice and lenient sales associate who allows me to also exchange for either eyeshadow (pot or pan) or lipgloss (regular or dazzleglass). At MAC stores, you can almost always exchange for the above 3 types of products. The lesson I learned is that it goes case by case and really just depends on who is helping you. This is why I always recommend others to turn in their containers during rush hours. When the sales associates are overwhlemed with many customers, they tend to be less strick on what you can do. 

This also applies to limited edition packaging products. Some counters and stores will let you exchange for even limited edition or special packaged products, but others won't. Again, it is based on the sales associate who rings you up for the transaction.

It has always been a rule or fact that the most products you can recycle at once is 18, meaning you will get 3 free products. However, recently, my MAC store had been allowing me to push that limit up to 24, but my MAC counter maintaines the limit at 18. Again, this is just to show you that how MAC enforces the program really depends on the place and people.

Hopefully this post is helpful to some of you. I think the big lesson we learned is again, it varies. I always recommend people to call your local MAC counter or store, whichever one you are returning the products to, and inquire about their recycling policies. This will save you a lot of time from running around.

19 Responses to “MAC Recycling Program (Also Known As Back To MAC / B2M)”

Nik said...
November 25, 2009 at 12:45 PM

Great items! Let's see some swatches!

eternalmi said...
November 25, 2009 at 1:03 PM

WOW I didn't know you can B2M and get a MES! Lucky! Good call on Yong Punk too!

tris1978ton said...
November 25, 2009 at 1:09 PM

Oh must you tease me! MAC lipglass is so on my crave list!

Shifa said...
November 25, 2009 at 1:24 PM

great post hun very helpful!

Georgie-Dreams That Glitter said...
November 25, 2009 at 1:32 PM

Oh wow, how lucky are you to get those B2M! Here in the UK it's just lipsticks, and only eyeshadows at the only Pro store!

Beautygirl24 said...
November 25, 2009 at 2:12 PM

Wow, you are so lucky that you got the young punk shadows! And local colour dazzleglass has always looked beautiful to me. I passed it up when it was first released, but I wonder if I can still find one. I am planning on doing my very first back to MAC soon, and I will definitely go to a MAC store, not a counter. Thank you for this, it was very informative =)

Golden said...
November 25, 2009 at 5:53 PM

Now I know what Back to MAC is. I've been reading this on some blogs. Thanks for the info!

Alexa Hayden said...
November 25, 2009 at 6:04 PM

i believe some countries have Back to MAC too, coz I remember the one in Hong Kong told me about the program too.
but anyways, WOW, i didn't know Back to MAC also applies to the larger mineralized eyeshadows!! i thought i could only get the typical small ones!

coffretgorge said...
November 25, 2009 at 7:33 PM

thanks for sharing this :) i have 3 empty lipstick cases from MAC and u got me excited to have them exchanged at the MAC boutique. i wonder what i'll get :)

Shop N' Chomp said...
November 25, 2009 at 8:47 PM

Wow, thanks for the Back to MAC tips!

*aly said...
November 25, 2009 at 9:50 PM

Hey, thanks for sharing. Although none of my MAC products are even close to finishing, i'm still excited for that day!

FriendzCentury said...
November 26, 2009 at 2:34 AM

Very informative post, I hope MAC in HK offers the Back to MAC too.

DANA said...
November 26, 2009 at 4:21 AM

OMG! I never knew this! Do you mean just the empty box or the empty container as well? Now I know what the Back 2 MAC label on the box means... I just hope Australia does it, which I doubt =(

Thanks for sharing this, though, and amazing find!! Young Punk is not even available here anymore!!


Nikki said...
November 26, 2009 at 11:03 AM

I nominated you for a blog award!


lindah said...
November 26, 2009 at 1:03 PM

omg, sell me one eyeshadow! ahahha xD I love everything you got :D I don't think my mac will restock on this though :( I'm kinda bummed but oh well, it's my own fault :P

Anonymous said...
November 27, 2009 at 4:03 PM

It's great that they let you get dazzleglass and MES for the Back2MAC! I thought they only gave you lippies, regular eyeshadows and lipglasses. Thanks for the info, and have a lovely weekend, too!

Miss K. You said...
November 27, 2009 at 8:40 PM

Hey Angela, thanks for joining my giveaway! Thanks for the advice on Back to MAC.. I really want that Young Punk eyeshadow!~ ahh haha

Angela said...
December 7, 2009 at 6:04 PM

@eternalmi: I didn't know that we can B2M MES before too, but I think I just got lucky because the MA was really nice.

@Georgie-Dreams That Glitter: o wow. I guess then we are luckier than other countries.

@Beautygirl24: I'm glad my post is helpful. Ya, I definitely recommend doing B2M at a store instead of a counter because you have more choices.

@*aly: just note that B2M products don't have to be empty. If there is anything you don't like or want anymore, you can also B2M that.

Angela said...
December 7, 2009 at 6:07 PM

@DANA: I meant the container. I don't think just the paper box counts as an item for B2M.

@Nikki: thanks girl

@lindah: call your MAC store to see if they have restocks coming in. What I have noticed is that my MAC store tends to get restocks a lot (almost every month for the Style Black Collection) but my MAC counter doesn't.