How to Recycle Bathroom Products: 7 Things You Didn't Know Can Be Recycled in Your Bathroom

By Sher Warkentin in Thinking Sustainably

You likely recycle a lot of kitchen and household items, but what about the bathroom? According to NC State University, nearly half of all Americans neglect to recycle bathroom items. The good news is there are plenty of ways to make your bathroom more sustainable. Keep reading to learn how to recycle bathroom products.

How to Recycle Bathroom Products

These are some common bathroom items that you may not realize can be recycled:

  1. Personal Care Bottles. From shampoo to mouthwash, many personal care products in your bathroom come packaged in plastic bottles. You can recycle most of them depending on the recycling number you find on the bottom. The only parts that can't be recycled are pump tops and caps, so be sure to remove those before tossing your bottles in the recycling bin.
  2. Loofahs. Did you know your colorful shower poof is made of #4 plastic, which is in fact recyclable? Just be sure to double-check that your local recycling center accepts #4 plastics. If you use a natural loofah, simply toss it in your compost pile.
  3. Cardboard. You can recycle toilet paper tubes, tissue boxes, and other cardboard packaging.
  4. Cosmetics. Many cosmetic products come in recyclable plastic containers and packaging. Check the containers for recycling numbers and confirm whether they're accepted in your curbside recycling program. Many companies also offer mail-in recycling programs for their product packaging.
  5. Toothbrushes. While you can't recycle your toothbrush curbside, Terracycle's Free Recycling program accepts several bathroom items, including toothbrushes, deodorant containers, floss containers, and more.
  6. Pill Bottles. When you empty the medicine cabinet, don't toss those pill bottles in the trash. Most can be recycled. Just make sure there's no medication inside.
  7. Toothpaste Tubes. You can't recycle most toothpaste tubes in traditional curbside programs because they are typically made with mixed materials. However, Tom's of Maine toothpaste is now available in a first-of-its-kind recyclable tube.

Most bathroom cardboard can be recycled.

Can I Recycle a Bathroom Scale?

Now that you're thinking about all the items in your bathroom, you might be wondering what else is recyclable. Unfortunately, things like broken bathroom scales or old shower curtain liners are a little trickier to dispose of sustainably. However, there are still some steps you can take to ensure you minimize waste.

While they aren't eligible for traditional curbside recycling plans, you can dispose of bathroom scales and similar items in other ways. A digital scale, for example, might qualify for drop-off through a city electronics recycling program. Another option might be to drop it off at a scrap metal collection. This also applies to items such as electric toothbrushes and razors. Find out which programs are available in your area and explore your options.

While shower curtain liners can't be recycled, you can repurpose them for other uses. You can use a liner as a makeshift tarp, for example. I also like to lay out a floor cover when my kids are doing an especially messy craft project at home, and an old shower curtain liner is perfect for this since it can be hosed down and used again.

Bath towels are another item that can find a new purpose. Animal shelters often accept donations of used towels. Check with a local rescue group to see if they're in need.

Reuse old shower curtains.

How to Create a Greener Bathroom

Another essential step in learning how to recycle bathroom products is making recycling easier. Placing a recycling bin in your bathroom can significantly impact how many bathroom items actually get recycled.

Looking for recyclable products when you shop also makes it easier to dispose of bathroom items when you're finished with them. With a bit of research and creativity, there are many ways you can recycle or upcycle your bathroom items.

Want more ideas on what to do with non-recyclables? Check out these fun ways to upcycle toothpaste tubes.

Image sources: Unsplash | Pexels | Unsplash

The views and opinions expressed in any guest post featured on our site are those of the guest author and do not necessarily reflect the opinions and views of Tom's of Maine.

Why It's Good

Making your bathroom more sustainable doesn't have to be complicated. Your bathroom is full of items that can be recycled if you know what to look for.