How To Recycle Toothpaste Tubes

Where To Recycle Toothpaste Tubes

Toothbrushes and toothpaste tubes might seem like items that are impossible to recycle, but the truth is these common household items can be converted by recycling facilities! Empty toothpaste tubes can be recycled without adding to landfill waste either through a recycling facility in your local community or a business with a recyclable plastic program such as Colgate Oral Care. So if you have an old, used tube of toothpaste, this article will guide you on the proper way to dispose of and recycle them! Let’s dive in!

Should You Recycle Toothpaste Tubes?

Yes, you can recycle toothbrushes and toothpaste tubes. But your local recycling programs or centers might not be the best option when it comes to recycling oral care products. Therefore, don’t simply toss toothpaste product and packaging in your recycling bin, but rather reach out to a mail-in recycling program from popular companies in the field such as Colgate Toothpaste.

How Are Oral Care Products Recycled?

It is important to note that the product and packaging of toothpaste, tubes, and caps can include everything from different types of plastics to aluminum, and nylon. This can complicate things because many of these components need to be separated and processed on their own, making it a challenge for recyclers. A spokesperson for TerraCycle, a company that focuses on hard-to-recycle materials, addressed this by stating some of the challenges and how they overcome them. For example, most bristles are made of nylon, but in order to process them and give them a natural look, they need to be separated. They also need a metal staple holding them in place, as well as a plastic handle. Therefore, all toothbrush components must be separated, with metals processed through recycling. The nylon and plastic components are recycled and made into picnic tables and bike racks, etc.

The TerraCycle Oral Care Recycling Program ensures that waste toothbrushes, toothpaste tube caps, toothbrush packaging, and floss containers are recycled. If a consumer fills a box with 5 pounds of recycling or more, they will cane be rewarded with TerraCycle points. These points can be donated to the school or any nonprofit organization of your choice.

Learn more about the TerraCycle Oral Care Recycling Program

Toothpaste Tube Recycling

Toothpaste tubes often leave residue, so it may seem like a waste. However, TerraCycle has found that these tubes are more easily recyclable than you’d expect! So how do oral care recyclers solve this? The answer is by shredding the material.

One of the best ways the recycling community removes residuals from containers is by shredding the material. Once the used toothpaste containers are shredded, the surface areas containing the unused, sticky, leftover toothpaste residuals are exposed. This makes the outer packing and floss easy to access. After the shredded toothpaste tubes are recycled, they enter a pelletizing step where remnants of the tube are converted into pellets to be used in new products. After this process, the pieces are cleaned with water or biocide to remove bio-based materials and shredded.

3 Easy Ways To Remove All The Leftover Toothpaste In A Tube

  1. Cut open and remove toothpaste from the tube with toilet paper
  2. Or rinse it out somehow with water from your sink or shower
  3. Remove all the leftover toothpaste by hand 

Related Content: How To Recycle Plastic Grocery Bags

Where Can I Recycle Toothpaste Tubes?

Always check with your local recycling provider before throwing any plastics into your curbside bin, as recycling rules vary by region.

Toothpaste Tubes: Where To Recycle Them

Toothpaste tubes are manufactured with a mix of plastics. This makes recycling them hard, and they may not be accepted for curbside pickup. Colgate is now transitioning to reuseable toothpaste tubes with more recyclable materials to help combat this situation and make their products more eco-friendly.

If you have toothpaste in a recyclable tube, try to check with your local recycling center if they will recycle the material because not all do.

How To Clean And Reuse Old Mouthwash Bottles

It’s possible to reuse other forms of oral care packaging such as mouthwash bottles at your local curbside recycling program. Once you’ve emptied and rinsed your containers, check the bottom for the plastic recycling code. Then, check with your local recycler or do an online recycling search to see recycling options near you.

Precycle Your Oral Care Products

The best way to recycle your oral care packaging is to buy products that are easy to recycle, including those that use recyclable material.

For toothbrushes, you can swap the brush head to get more use out of it before needing to buy another. This swap extends the life of your toothbrush handle for months, so you can spend about the same amount on a brush head as you would on a new one. What’s more, there are organic options like Eco-Dent and Radius handles which are made from recycled materials.

To dispose of toothbrushes, you can pick a service called Preserve. Which will enable you to get a new toothbrush in less than three months.

Learn How To Make Toothpaste In Minutes

We would all love a bright smile and the ultimate in cavity protection from our toothpaste, but did you know that instead of purchasing a product such as Colgate Total you can literally make your own cavity protection toothpaste!? In fact, you can design your own toothpaste at home from natural ingredients that you probably already have in your kitchen cupboard, eliminating packaging waste. Check out these homemade toothpaste recipes from Instructables, DIY Natural, and Crunchy Betty for a little inspiration. Since different mouths have different needs, talk to your dentist before making the switch to homemade toothpaste to make sure the recipe you chose is right for you!

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