Recycling Mystery: Deodorant Tubes

Where Can I Recycle Deodorant Tubes?

Here are a few options for recycling deodorant tubes.

TerraCycle’s Tom’s of Maine Program

Through TerraCycle’s Tom’s of Maine Natural Care Recycling Program, consumers can fill a box with any brand of deodorant tubes, soap packaging, floss containers, and other bathroom leftovers and mail it back to TerraCycle for recycling. For each box with over 4 pounds of allowed items mailed back, you’ll receive two TerraCycle points. These points can be redeemed for charitable gifts, product bundles, or cash donations to the school or nonprofit organization of your choice.

Preserve’s Gimme 5 Recycling Service

Another option if your tubes are labeled #5 (PP) plastics: Preserve’s Gimme 5 recycling service accepts any stamped, clean #5 plastics. You can drop off your tubes at some Whole Foods and other natural food store locations, or mail them to Preserve for recycling. Make sure that all parts of the deodorant tube are clean of product and stamped with the #5 recycling code. (Remove parts that aren’t stamped and discard them.).

Municipal Curbside or Drop-Off Recycling

Unfortunately, most local recyclers don’t have the ability to customize recycling processes by product, making it difficult to recycle packaging that is made from multiple materials. But some curbside or drop-off programs may accept deodorant tubes — you’ll just have to do a bit of research first.

First, determine the materials from which your tubes are made by checking the bottom of the tube for the numbered plastic. Can’t find the number code stamped on your plastic tubes? Try checking out your favorite brand’s website. Some companies tell consumers what their product packaging is made from to make recycling easier. If they don’t provide that information, ask them.

Then, call your local recycler to confirm that they accept empty deodorant tubes for recycling. Let them know the type of plastic that the tubes are made of.

Still Stumped?

If your local recycling company won’t accept the deodorant tubes but you’ve been able to determine what number plastic they’re made of, use Earth911 Recycling Search to find a recycling solution near you.

If you still can’t track down a recycling option, continue reading for tips reducing your waste from deodorant packaging.

Next: Precycle: Reduce Waste Before You Buy

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Mary Mazzoni
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