What can you do with your old MAC product containers when you're finished with them or after you've depotted the pans? You can return them back to MAC and get free items. That's right, they GIVE YOU FREE STUFF if you return your old packaging.
The rules are different depending where you go so read up and call ahead to find out specifically what the MAC near you will offer, sometimes it depends on the manager but the rules *should* be as follows:
At their website for 6 empty plastic containers (in primary packaging) you can get a lipstick - you give them your preference online and they give you what is available at the time. You do this at http://www.maccosmetics.com/giving_back/btm_return_packaging.tmpl
MAC makeup counters in department stores (like Nordstrom's or The Bay)
For 6 empty plastic containers (in primary packaging) you can get either a lipstick or a lipglass of your choice.
MAC Pro Stores (and some regular stores - you should call ahead and ask)
For 6 empty plastic containers (in primary packaging) you can get either a lipstick, lipgloss, or eyeshadow!!!
MAC has had this recycling incentive for years, possibly to encourage people to buy their products, but also to help the environment. Whatever their reason, this is a program that benefits both the company and the consumer, so I suggest taking advantage of it while it's here. I will be sorely disappointed if this program is ever cancelled. Recently, the items that you can recycle have a 'Back 2 MAC' label on them so you know exactly what you can return to them. You cannot return the box the item comes in that is made of cardboard, that's not worth anything, what you can return is the plastic packaging the product is in. I called my local MAC PRO Store (at Southcenter Mall in Tukwila, WA) and they said it's no problem if you don't have the metal pans in your containers because they don't require those for the program. I have read online that some people do come across this problem because some of the stores require the pans (again, it is at the discretion of the manager of that particular store).
Happy recycling everyone!