Recycling Mystery: Deodorant Tubes


Can I Recycle Deodorant Tubes Locally?

Through Terracycle's Tom's of Maine Natural Care Brigade, consumers can fill a box with any brand of deodorant tubes, soap containers and other bathroom leftovers and mail it back to Terracycle for recycling. For each item mailed back, you’ll receive two Terracycle points – which can be redeemed for cash donations to the school or charity of your choice.

Tom's of Maine also accepts its own branded deodorant tubes for recycling through Preserve's Gimme 5 program. Consumers can drop off their Tom's of Maine tubes at select Whole Foods locations and other natural foods stores, or mail them in to Preserve for recycling.

Some deodorant tubes may also be accepted through municipal curbside or drop-off programs in your area, but you may have to do a bit of research first. To determine the materials from which your tubes are made, start by checking the bottom of the tube for the numbered plastic. Then, use Earth911 to find a recycling solution near you.

Since deodorant tubes are often made from more than one type of plastic, you may want to call your local recycler first to confirm that they accept tubes for recycling. To avoid contaminating your local recycling stream, play it safe and remove the dial from the bottom of the tube before tossing it in your curbside bin unless your local recycler tells you otherwise.

The plastic insert that allows the deodorant stick to move up and down should also be removed before recycling. After removing the insert piece, rinse out your tubes with warm water and soap to remove any residual product, and it's ready to recycle.

Related: Top Recycling Questions Answered

Can't find a numbered plastic? Try checking out your favorite brand's Website. Many companies will tell consumers what their product packaging is made from to make recycling easier. If you still can't track down the correct material, continue reading for tips on finding an easy-to-recycle alternative that works for you.



NEXT: Precycle: Reduce waste before you buy

Mary Mazzoni

Based in the Phoenix metro area, Mary is a lifelong vegetarian and enjoys outdoor activities like hiking, biking and relaxing in the park. When she’s not outside, she’s probably watching baseball. She is a former assistant editor for Earth911.