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Because You Asked

Can I Recycle Deodorant Containers?

By Recyclebank |

A lot of deodorant packaging stinks. 

Dear Recyclebank: I was just wondering if deodorant containers are recyclable? I use a gel deodorant that comes in a tall rectangular shaped tube with a screw on the bottom to push the product up. It appears to be made entirely of plastic. I always throw them in the trash when empty. –Earl B.

Dear Earl: Standard deodorant containers are generally made of plastics like polyethylene and polypropylene, which in and of themselves are recyclable in many areas. However, many containers contain more than one type of plastic — for example, the container itself might be a different plastic than the screw wheel — making them mixed-material items that can’t be recycled all in one piece. Complicating things even further, not all containers are labeled with a resin identification code (the classic “number in arrows” symbol you see on many plastics). Because of this, it can be hard to tell if the plastic in your container will be accepted by your local hauler.

The first step to figuring out your course of action is to contact the company that makes your preferred brand. They should be able to let you know which plastics are in which parts of your container. You may be able to disassemble the tube and salvage at least some parts for recycling. If you can’t break it down or your local facility can’t process that type of plastic, TerraCycle offers zero waste boxes for personal care packaging that you can fill and ship back to them for recycling. You may want to consider coordinating a collection effort with your friends, family, and colleagues to save time and money.

If you’re still worried about the environmental impact of your current deodorant, or if the TerraCycle box isn’t practical for you, you have other options. Try shopping around for a deodorant brand that uses plastics that are recyclable in your area. While aerosols come with their own set of concerns, their metal cans are also often recyclable when empty. Brands such as Lush make solid deodorants with little or no packaging. Many people are shopping around for smaller-batch deodorants or even making their own at home! With some planning, you’ll come off smelling like roses.

Earth 911
Mother Earth Living



Have you switched up your deodorant routine due to environmental concerns? We’d love to hear about it in the comments below!

Share with Your Friends & Family
  • Cindy W. 3 months ago
    All disposables should be required to have some ID to distinguish what they are and how they can be recycled.
  • Diane T. 3 months ago
    Hello everyone.
  • Steven S. 3 months ago
    Posted Friday, October 7, 2021
  • Javier M. 10 months ago
    I wonder if deodorant sales went down over the past 12 months? (Same with mouthwash)
  • Barbara W. 1 year ago
    Are the rest of you still getting your Presistant Pledgers points?
    Mine stopped on Sept17th....and none since,
    and no one is answering my Help ticket??
    • Laurel L. 1 year ago
      I just checked my account and my last Persistent Pledger was on Sept. 21, and I have logged in and pledged every day,'s part of my routine!! I have not contacted the Help desk, but it's not just you. Keep us posted if you hear anything back...
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