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Because You Asked

Can I Recycle Toothpaste Tubes?

By Recyclebank |

You’ve squeezed the last of the toothpaste out. Now what?

Dear Recyclebank,

Can I recycle empty toothpaste tubes?

-Warren C.

Many toothpaste tubes today are made of multiple materials laminated together, usually different types of plastic and aluminum. Like food pouches, the tubes are difficult to recycle because they’re made of a mix of materials, and the materials are almost impossible to separate. Curbside recycling programs don’t accept them for recycling.

TerraCycle’s mail-in recycling programs in collaboration with Colgate and Tom’s of Maine are just about the only recycling options available. You can collect your empty toothpaste tubes (as well as old toothbrushes and floss containers) and ship them for free to TerraCycle to be recycled into new products. Large enough shipments can raise money for your chosen school or charity. Alternatively, you could upcycle that old tube into a useful craft.

Until more companies use recyclable packaging for their toothpaste, the majority of toothpaste tubes will continue to end up in landfills. Consider contacting the manufacturer of your favorite toothpaste and let them know that you would like the packaging to be easily recyclable.

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How do you handle your empty tubes? Let us know in the comments.

Share with Your Friends & Family
  • Katja Z. 2 months ago
    I just use baking soda to brush my teeth.
  • Barbara W. 3 months ago
    Well here I am in toothpaste, must have had it while I was in the basement #2.
    I have one of those little slide presses to push out the toothpaste to try and get Every last squirt. Since it is a bit wide I put the tube in a glass upside down, with the press holding it in place.
    I call it a slide press for lack of a better name! It presses and slides up the tube as its used. ( slides- a clip and presses it out)
    • Laurel L. 2 months ago
      This is timely...I was actually looking at buy some more slide presses (as you call them) because mine seem to have all disappeared. I was actually wondering what they're called, as I just call them "toothpaste slidey things". I like the sound of slide press!
    • Barbara W. 2 months ago
      I just made-up that name, but people get the idea!
      I think, but am not sure, that I got mine at Dollar Tree.
      A 2-pack, red and blue.
  • Duane W. 4 months ago
    See my info on the Origins stores (post is further down) and their recycling of cosmetic items, including toothpaste tubes. They have now brought this recycling back.
  • Andrea S. 4 months ago
  • DIANE L. 4 months ago
    Good information
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