#StretchYourRinggit: 9 Brands With Rewarding Recycling Programs In Malaysia

Category: Money Tips

If you have old clothes, empty containers and skincare bottles from your used beauty products or cosmetics, you can now recycle them at these 9 popular stores in Malaysia. Brands like L’occitane, H&M, MAC Cosmetics, Kiehl’s, Innisfree and more provide their own recycling programs which will offer you sweet rewards, freebies and discounts. Read more to find out the details.

As we inch out of the Movement Control Order (MCO), any way to maximise each Ringgit is always a welcome thought. While we still want to enjoy the little pleasures in life, getting some added value to our purchases would be something each and every one of us would appreciate.

The great thing is that more and more brands are coming up with brand recycle programs to incentivise their customers. As part of our #StretchYourRinggit series, we’ll show you where you can get free stuff and discounts when you recycle skincare bottles and recycle old clothing in Malaysia. (Plus, what actually happens to old stuff when they get recycled!)

9 Brands That Reward You For Recycling

P/S: We got these info from each brand’s website and/or Facebook pages. Content is updated at time of writing, but may change at the discretion of the brand without prior notice.

1. L’OCCITANE recycling program

 
 
 
 
 
View this post on Instagram
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

A post shared by L’OCCITANE Malaysia (@loccitanemy) on

Currency exchange rate:

  • 10 empties – Cherry Blossom Shower Gel (15ml)
  • 20 empties – Almond Shower Oil (50ml)
  • 30 empties – Almond Milk Concentrate (20ml)
  • 40 empties – Almond Shampoo (50ml)
  • 50 empties – Immortelle Reset Oil-In-Serum (5ml)
  • 60 empties – Immortelle Youth Divine Oil (4ml)
  • 70 empties – Immortelle Divine Cream (4ml) + RM10 L’OCCITANE voucher


If you’re a member, you can also choose to redeem points instead of a free gift. (10 empties = 1 point)

Important to note:
First, they’ll create an account for you when you return your first empty container (a.k.a. “empty”) of ANY beauty brand. You’ll be able to log in to your account a day after that.

Once you’ve returned a minimum of 10 empties, you’ll be eligible to redeem a gift according to the items highlighted in green on your account. You’ll need to go to the store to collect it.

Members can also choose to redeem points instead of gifts too. Although they accept empties of any beauty brand, take note that they have a very specific list of what they consider “empties”. Read the full list here.

Also, you must clean each empty and ensure that they’re free from grease. More info here.

2. Kiehl’s recycling program

 
 
 
 
 
View this post on Instagram
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

A post shared by Kiehl’s Malaysia (@mykiehls) on

Currency exchange rate: Bring 1 empty bottle and get 1 stamp. You can redeem your gifts once your reach the following milestones:

  • 4th stamp – Ultra Light Defense SPF 50 PA++++ (5ml)
  • 8th stamp – Hydro Plumping Re-Texturizing Serum Concentrate (5ml)
  • 12th stamp – Amino Acid Shampoo (65ml)


Important to note:
All freebies are subject to availability. Khiel’s may change the deluxe offering without prior notice. More info here.

3. innisfree recycling program

 
 
 
 
 
View this post on Instagram
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

A post shared by innisfree Malaysia (@innisfree_malaysia) on

Currency exchange rate: Bring 1 empty innisfree bottle, get 100 membership points (equivalent to RM2 worth of redeemable rebates in innisfree stores).

Important to note: Only applicable to innisfree containers which include essences, hair, and body products made of glass or plastic. Does not include makeup and canned-type products. You can also only return a maximum of 3 empty bottles per month. More info here.

4. M.A.C recycling program

 
 
 
 
 
View this post on Instagram
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

A post shared by M·A·C Cosmetics (@maccosmetics) on

Currency exchange rate: Bring 6 M.A.C ‘primary packaging’ containers, get a free M.A.C Lipstick of your choice.

Important to note: Free lipstick excludes Viva Glam Lipsticks as 100% of the retail selling price of that particular range goes back to help HIV/AIDS organizations.

Following are NOT considered primary packaging and will be rejected:

  • Secondary packaging (e.g. paper box, plastic wrapper, shopping bags)
  • Samples (e.g. trial-size products, seasonal kits)
  • Cosmetic tools (e.g. puffs, sponges, scissors)
  • Accessories (e.g. lashes, bags)


More info here.

5. Melvita recycling program

 
 
 
 
 
View this post on Instagram
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

A post shared by Melvita (@melvitamy) on

Currency exchange rate: Bring 1 empty Melvita bottle, get 1 Melvita point.

Important to note: The Melvita bottles must be full-sized. To help you gauge what you can do with Melvita points, 15 points is equivalent to an RM15 e-voucher. More info here.

6. Origins recycling program

 
 
 
 
 
View this post on Instagram
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

A post shared by Origins Malaysia (@originsmalaysia) on

Currency exchange rate: Bring 5 full-sized Origins containers, get 3-piece trial kit on skin and/or body care

Important to note: More info here.

7. The Body Shop recycling program

 
 
 
 
 
View this post on Instagram
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

A post shared by The Body Shop Malaysia (@thebodyshopmalaysia) on

Currency exchange rate: Bring 1 empty The Body Shop plastic bottle/container, get an RM1 discount on your next purchase on the SAME day.

Important to note: The RM1 discount cannot be accumulated and can only be used for one product. This product must be the same type of product (as the returned bottle), but if the product has been discontinued, you can use the RM1 discount on a product of your choice.

Valid everywhere except in Sarawak, Johor Premium Outlet, and Mitsui Outlet Park. Not valid during sale periods. Only applicable on normal-priced items.

More info here.

8. H&M recycling program

 
 
 
 
 
View this post on Instagram
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

A post shared by H&M (@hm) on

Currency exchange rate: Bring in a bag of clothes (e.g. old socks, t-shirts, bedsheets), get a 15% discount voucher for your next purchase.

Important to note: Does not have to be H&M-branded items, it just has to be garments or textiles. No specific weight or number of items either, as long as they roughly fit one standard-sized paper bag.

The 15% discount voucher is only applicable for non-discounted items in your next purchase. More info here.

9. Monki recycling program

 
 
 
 
 
View this post on Instagram
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

A post shared by Monki (@monki) on

Currency exchange rate: Bring in a bag of clothes (e.g. old socks, t-shirts, bedsheets), get a 10% discount voucher for your next purchase.

Important to note: Does not have to be Monki-branded items, it just has to be garments or textiles. No specific weight or number of items either, as long as they roughly fit one standard-sized paper bag.

Voucher is valid for 6 months upon receipt. More info here.

Actually… what happens to old stuff when they get recycled?

In case you’re wondering, what ACTUALLY happens to the stuff you send for recycling? Do they actually get back on the shelf for someone else to buy?

For clothing recycling programs, some garments that are still in wearable condition do get sent to underprivileged communities to wear. And of course, depending on who you send your clothes to, it could also end up being resold as second-hand clothes in thrift shops.

Garments being sorted out for recycling. 

Unwearable ones on the other hand get new lives in various different forms. If they’re not suitable to be reworn, they get converted into recycled fibers and non-woven fabric. We also found out that unwanted denim can be used as materials for building insulation because of its good insulation property. How jean-ious is that!

There are companies that also turn unwanted fabrics into actual biofuel. There’s a new technology that creates bioethanol from unwanted clothes through a fermentation process. There are actually sugars contained in cotton which can be fermented into energy. This technology isn’t very popular at the moment, but we can’t wait for the day where our cars can run on our dirty socks.

Certain brands also recycle skincare bottles and other product containers as is, but there are others who partner up with third-party sustainability companies (e.g. TerraCycle, super famous, friend to lotsa big corporations) to break down the materials to be re-made into something else. They can be turned into many different products, like playground equipment, decking, and sometimes back into yet another plastic bottle to be sold on the shelf.

“Beauty packaging sent in to TerraCycle for recycling will be shredded, cleaned, and sorted by plastic type.

The plastic shreds will then be melted and formed into small plastic pellets that can then be molded into a wide range of plastic products.” – Gina Herrera, Director of North American Client Services for the recycling program TerraCycle to Refinery29.com


Of course, when it comes to recycling, nobody really has a definite list of what actually happens after you hand your used products over to someone else. However, at least it’s better than actually throwing it out without giving it a second chance in life. Plus, with these rewards, you’ll be able to Stretch Your Ringgit and save on your next purchase.

Read also: 12 Easy Ways To Protect The Environment While Saving Money

Speaking of which, there are actually a million different ways to get more value for your money. For starters, there are credit cards that give you cashback when you spend, or points which you can eventually redeem for shopping vouchers and cool gadgets.

With e-wallets having their own turf war, you can also ride on plenty of deals that appear one after the other. Plus, they also have their own rewards system which you can compare in our ultimate e-wallet guide.

Actually, there’s a much bigger reward in store…

While recycling for freebies and discounts may sound like a great incentive, do remember the bigger picture here. In an ideal world, we would reuse existing materials over and over and over again so that we can stop tearing our planet into pieces and extend its life. But this ideal world doesn’t exist yet, not until everyone gets serious about sustainability.

More social enterprises are being set up to provide recycling solutions. More brands are pledging to do their part to close the loop, working with these enterprises to reduce the use of virgin materials.

But none of these efforts can work without the help of end consumers like you and me, who have the power to decide what to buy, and whether to recycle that empty bottle of shampoo, or throw it out with everything else.

While these brands have their own incentives to encourage their customers, it wouldn’t be a bad idea to make recycling and reusing second nature to us. If everyone practiced this, the eventual reward would be so much greater than getting a freebie in a bag.

If everyone recycled, landfills would shrink tremendously. The growing debris littered across land and water would substantially reduce too. We’d greatly reduce our carbon footprint, and minimise the impact of pollution. We’d reduce the need to scavenge for virgin materials, and likely see less tension among countries. Together with the planet, we’ll get to live healthier, longer, and happier lives… and if that’s not the best reward, we don’t know what is.