Quick Recycling Tip: How to Recycle Glass Finger Nail Polish Jars

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This post is part of an attempt to do something like 100 recycling tips for damn near anything in something close to, anyway, 100 days. We’ll see how that goes. When the 100 Recycling Tips are all published here on Easy Ways to Go Green, we’ll do a master list so that every link exists on one single page for everyone to be able to link over to, or to use as a reference guide when questions on how to recycle different things in your life inevitably come up.

How to Recycle 100 Common Things: #12 Empty Glass Finger Nail Polish Jars

How to Recycle Glass Finger Nail Polish Jars

How to Recycle Glass Finger Nail Polish Jars

Here’s another item that seems to last forever in the house, and then one day, it’s just used up and super easy to toss into the trash can without a second thought. But the cap is plastic, more often than not, and the jar is glass. So shouldn’t I be able to recycle it? What about the enamel-based paint inside? It never comes all the way out — there’s always some paint residue inside, or the glitter, etc. So does that mean fingernail polish glass jars can be recycled, or not?

Most advice around the web will speak to clever and crafty uses for nail polish that is nearly done — so rather than simply throwing the old jars out, you get a few extra uses out of the material. But this is more about when you’re bored of the color, not when you’re deciding how to best dispose of the “empty” bottle.

  • Rust-proofing the bottom of metal cans like shaving cream before you put them in the shower was a great one.
  • Use the nail polish to distinguish poison chemicals under the sink, etc., by painting a red X on the label
  • Paint a thin stripe of polish where you prefer your thermostat to be set for an ideal in-home temperature. Another great idea. But can we recycle the jars?!

Truth is that the EPA considers nail polish to be Household Hazardous Waste. As such, there are specific instructions as to how to best dispose of the used container: “The used or left-over contents of such consumer products are known as ‘household hazardous waste.’ Because of the ingredients it typically contains, unused nail polish should be recycled with other paint as it can be toxic in landfills.”

Helpful Links on Recycling Empty Nail Polish Glass Jars:

Search by “Paint” and “Your City Name or Zip Code” at Earth 911 and find the closest recycling center near you.

Check out eHOW for simple nail polish jar recycling instructions.

Time to Recycle features an article for recyclers of glass and household hazardous waste in the North Texas area.

An article on Recycle This UK talks about some clever ways to get a second use out of glass jars, and another post on specifically nail polish jars.

More tidbits of re-use wisdom here on Recycle-eh!

Chemwise Chemical Recycling and Disposal goes through the entire breakdown for you here.

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