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: #19 Recycling Used Toothpaste Tubes
Sure, tubes of toothpaste, most of them anyway, appear to be your standard recyclable plastic. But does that mean that they are necessarily recyclable? Can we just toss them into the curbside recycling bin, or are there special concerns when dealing with recycling toothpaste tubes?
Tubes of toothpaste are indeed recyclable, and in truth, all you have to do is follow the same process to recycle toothpaste tubes as you would any other recyclable household stuff:
Start by looking for a standard recycling center. Make sure they recycle aluminum and plastic; consider starting with your local curb-side program, giving them a call to locate a nearby facility or to make sure they will accept the toothpaste tubes at the curb. If they do, then you need go no further than your curbside recycling bin, and the job is done. You can also look for recycling facilities near you by looking into the National Recycling Coalition’s State Recycling Resources database.
Make sure to correctly prepare all recyclable materials in advance, including toothpaste tubes: There are always general guidelines that go along with recycling programs. Here are a couple:
For toothpaste that comes in Aluminum tubes, always squeeze out as much of the leftover toothpaste as possible; then cut off the lid and the plastic threading on the neck of the tube. For those more upright plastic tubes that tend to be newer, they are typically made of 100 percent recyclable plastic. Toss any sticky labels, rinse, and dry before adding to your recycling bin. For the packaging like the exterior cardboard box: first break it down, then add it to the bin for cardboard and paper. And remember that companies like Tom’s of Maine offer programs where they accept toothpaste tubes at the company for recycling.
Helpful Links on Recycling Plastic Toothpaste Tubes:
Search by “Toothpaste Tubes” and “Your City Name or Zip Code” at Earth 911 and find the closest recycling center near you.
Check out the article about Brazil’s program to recycle toothpaste tubes, for use in recycled furniture.
Quick ideas on Recycle Eh! for recycling toothpaste tubes.
Recycle This UK offers some tips for those looking to re-use and recycle plastic toothpaste tubes.