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Recycling in the Bathroom: How To Make It a Habit

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Make bathroom recycling easier on yourself. These tips will make it second nature.

It’s easy enough to recycle in the kitchen or the office, where recycling bins are prevalent and you’re already in the habit of blue-binning cans, bottles, papers and other well-known recyclables.

But if recycling in the bathroom is new to you, how can you get into the habit of making sure that the many bathroom recyclables make it into the recycling bin rather than the trash? These tips should get you well on the way to having a greener bathroom:

  • Place a recycling bin in the bathroom. Sometimes, the fact that the recycling bin is all the way in the kitchen or garage is enough of a deterrent for even the most conscientious person to recycle in the bathroom. After all, we’re often in a hurry to get ready for school or work, so it’s much easier to pitch that empty shampoo bottle in the waste-basket. Placing a designated container for recyclables in the bathroom removes the hurdle, making it so much easier to recycle. If you don’t have room for a second container, collecting recyclables in a plastic bag under the sink is a convenient way to avoid the temptation to toss.
  • Seek out recyclable options. Take a look at the packaging on the toiletries you purchase. Next time you head to your local drugstore, look for products in packaging that is either recyclable, or made from all or partly-recycled material (it will probably be noted on the packaging). Once you find products you like, with packaging that’s recyclable, keep restocking with those specific products so that you won’t have to keep checking if they’re recyclable.
  • Get other family members in the loop. Make sure everyone in the house is on board with your bathroom recycling initiative. Encourage your spouse, children, or roommates to get in the habit of throwing empty toilet paper tubes, bottles and other recyclable items in the recycling bin rather than the trash. If they’re not sure if something is recyclable, suggest they just leave the empty container on the bathroom counter so you can check on its recyclability later.
  • Create mental reminders. Put a subtle reminder — like a leaf or a green triangle — on the outside or lid of your bathroom waste-basket. When you see it, it’ll jog your memory to be mindful of whether a piece of trash is recyclable or not. Along the same lines, draw a big green triangle or letter “R” on bottles and other containers that are recyclable. This lets everyone know that when it’s time to dispose of them, they should go in the recycling bin rather than the trash. You might also post a note on or near your curbside recycling bin as a reminder to get the bathroom recyclables on curbside pick-up day.

How do you make sure you recycle in the bathroom regularly? Share your tips in the comments.


Learn more about Johnson & Johnson Consumer Inc.'s Care To Recycle campaign.

Sponsored by Johnson & Johnson Consumer Inc.

The Johnson & Johnson Family of Consumer Companies is committed to taking care of the natural resources they use. With 9 billion people in the world by 2050, and natural resources already being consumed faster than the planet can replenish, caring for the planet has never been more important. One way Johnson & Johnson takes care of the planet, is to use recyclable materials in their product packaging. But they need your help to complete the cycle of care by recycling the package when it is empty.


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About the Author
Jessica Harlan
Jessica Harlan

I love finding new ways to green my family's life as painlessly as possible, and sharing those ideas with folks who want to do the same.

  • Alice B. 4 months ago
    I rinse out all my recyclable plastics and take them to my plastic recycle bin in the kitchen.Keep doing it, it becomes habit.
  • Ellen G. 5 months ago
    remind my family members to place bathroom recyclables in kitchen recycle bin
  • Wendy K. 6 months ago
    I have family put recycleable items next to the trash basket so that I can put it out with the other house recyclables.
  • Dona E. 7 months ago
    We put the plastic bottles in the laundry basket with the clothes and the paper tissue box & paper roll just on the counter and we're so used to recycling we just do it automatically. But plastic in with the laundry may help people with all their plastic.!
  • Catherine J. 9 months ago
    Have a sign to put bottle, tissue and other items in the bin
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