Can you recycle deodorant?

This article discusses whether deodorant tubes and deodorant spray bottles and atomisers can be recycled in the usual way. We also discuss why it is important to recycle.

Can you recycle deodorants?

Yes, you can recycle some deodorant cans and tubes. The ones made from metal are the easiest to recycle. 

However, some deodorants are made from various forms of plastics, which can be difficult to recycle in a local recycling facility.

What are deodorants made up of?

Approximately 60% of deodorants in the UK market are made of tin plated steel, while approximately 40% are composed of aluminium.

Both of these metals are recyclable, as are plastic and rubber components including the lid, valve, and dip tube, which are commonly removed during the recycling process.

However, some deodorant tubes are made of plastic, so you can throw them in the recycling bin and be done with it, right? Unfortunately, this isn’t entirely accurate.

The majority of deodorant bottles are made of a variety of plastics, some of which are not recyclable. Furthermore, mixing unsuitable goods with your recyclables might contaminate the entire load, causing even more issues in the long run.

The majority of deodorant tubes are constructed of high-density polyethylene (HDPE or #2 plastic), low-density polyethylene (LDPE or #4 plastic), or polypropylene (PP or plastic #5), however brand-specific materials may be used.

To add to the confusion, several manufacturers feature a dial on the bottom of the tube made of a different plastic polymer than the remainder of the container. Different polymers can also be used for the cap and protective insert.

We discuss these plastics and their recycling.

#2 – high-density polyethylene (HDPE)

HDPE plastic is now regarded as a low-hazard, low-leaching material. However, Nonylphenol, a component of HDPE, has been discovered to be toxic to aquatic life. 

Nonylphenol is an endocrine disruptor as well, according to reliable sources. This implies it might have an impact on your endocrine system, which regulates hormones.

It’s crucial to remember that nonylphenol can seep from HDPE bottles, although this hasn’t been confirmed conclusively. 

High-density polyethylene is a strong material that is resistant to bacterial development. Heat and sunshine are supposed to have no effect on it.

Large bottles, such as milk jugs and gallon-sized water bottles, are made of HDPE. These bottles are only meant to be used once. They may be reused in a variety of ways.

How to recycle HDPEs


HDPE has grown fairly adept at avoiding landfills thanks to concerted efforts dating back to the 1990s, when plastics recycling began to take off. 

HDPE bottles are accepted in nearly all curbside recycling systems in the United States today, which enabled HDPE bottles to reach the billion-pound threshold for recycling in 2012.

Recycled HDPE has shown to be almost as adaptable and popular as its “virgin” cousin, and it’s utilised in a lot of the same places. The following are some of the most common applications:

  • Plastic storage containers that have been recycled
  • Plastic timber that has been recycled
  • Outdoor patio furniture made from recycled plastic
  • Playground equipment made from recycled plastic
  • Plastic vehicle components that have been recycled
  • Plastic garbage cans, compost bins, and recycling bins made from recycled plastic

#4 – low-density polyethylene (LDPE)


LDPE, or low-density polyethylene, was the first polyethylene to be manufactured in the 1930s. With a 4 inside chasing arrows, plastic number 4 LDPE is easy to recognise and recycle.

Squeezable bottles, caps, toys, and plastic bags are all examples of LDPE. LDPE comes in two varieties: rigid and soft, both of which may be recycled.

How to recycle LDPEs

LDPE (low-density polyethylene) is a recyclable plastic. LDPE bottles and containers are included in virtually all curbside recycling programmes, much as HDPE bottles and containers.

Curbside pickup programmes, on the other hand, will not accept flexible or soft plastics. These plastics should not be placed in your curbside recycling container.

Rigid LDPEs

  • Check with your local government to see what is acceptable.
  • Remove any leftover food or liquid from the container. Make sure you don’t pour it down the drain or into your yard if it’s a cleaning product or chemical.
  • Put the plastic in your curbside recycling bin or drop it off at a container deposit facility.


Soft LDPEs

  • Use the scrunch test to see whether you’re a good scruncher. The object falls into the soft plastic category if it can be squished up. It’s a stiff plastic if it bounces back into its original shape.
  • Gather your soft plastics and compress them up before putting them in a bag. However, be sure that any food leftovers have been removed and that the plastic is completely dry.
  • Take out any receipts or other valuables.
  • Take the plastic bag full of soft plastics to the nearest drop-off location.

#5 – Polypropylene

The thermoplastic polypropylene (PP) is denoted by the number 5 in the chasing arrows symbol. 

Phillips Petroleum Company’s J. Paul Hogan and Robert L. Banks found it in 1951. Along with polyethylene and polyvinyl chloride, it is one among the top three most prevalent polymers.

Polypropylene is identical to polyethylene, except instead of ethylene monomers, it has propylene monomers.

PET, HDPE, and LDPE all have features in common with PP. The key difference is that it melts at a significantly greater temperature.

This makes it suitable for hot materials such as reusable food containers or containers initially filled with hot food.

It is also good for use in yoghurt production, which is why you often find yoghurts sold in polypropylene containers.

Can polypropylene be recycled?

Yes, polypropylene is a recyclable plastic.

Most recycling programmes now specifically include hard plastics or the product itself, such as plastic bottles and tubs. This is due to the fact that it makes it easier for people to comprehend.

There are many different sorts of items that fall into the 1 to 7 plastic categories, and only a few of them are recyclable. The rigid form of PP is accepted by most curbside collection programmes, while the flexible form is not.

It’s crucial not to put plastic bags or other soft plastics in your curbside recycling container, including diapers (nappies in Australia).

Rigid Polypropylene Recycling

  • Look for the number 5 in the item’s pursuing arrows.
  • Remove any leftover food or fluids.
  • Place the item in your recycle container at the curb.

Soft Polypropylene Recycling

  • Use the scrunch test to see whether you’re a good scruncher. If the object can be scrunched up, it’s soft plastic; if it bounces back into its original shape, it’s stiff plastic.
  • Gather all of your plastic bags and soft plastics, crumple them up, and put them in a bag.
  • Ensure that any food leftovers have been removed and that the plastic is completely dry.
  • Take out any receipts or other valuables.
  • After that, carry the plastic bag full of soft plastics to your nearest drop-off location. Locate a recycling centre near you.

How to dispose of deodorant cans

The following steps should be taken when you want to get rid of your used deodorant can.

  • Ensure the can is empty
  • Do not alter the can in any manner
  • Check your town’s recycling program.
  • Get paid for your empty deodorant cans 

We shall discuss these in more detail

Ensure the can is empty

Take a moment to double-check that your deodorant can is indeed empty before tossing it. The can is empty enough to dispose of securely if no product comes out of the nozzle and it does not appear to be blocked. 

Try shaking the can if you’re not sure if it’s empty. There should be no movement of fluids within. Non-empty deodorant cans must be handled differently, since disposing of a partially filled deodorant can can be hazardous.

Do not alter the can in any manner

You don’t need to change or dispose of an deodorant can in any way. Whatever method you use to dispose of the can, leave it exactly as it is. 

Because deodorant cans are pressurised, they might explode if tampered with. Never puncture a deodorant can or expose it to high temperatures. 

Even though the spray nozzle is normally plastic, do not attempt to remove it from the container. Remove the plastic cover if the can has one for recycling. (It’s also possible that the lid can be recycled.)

Check your town’s recycling program.

Because each town has its own recycling rules, you may or may not be able to recycle a deodorant can in your neighbourhood. 

Look out your city or county’s recycling requirements online or give them a call to see if deodorant cans are allowed. If your community does not offer single-stream recycling, place your deodorant can with your other metal recyclables. 

You can dump a deodorant can in the ordinary garbage if you don’t have any recycling alternatives in your region (as long as it is empty and the can does not indicate that it needs to be treated as a hazardous material).

Get paid for your empty deodorant cans

Some scrap yards may be ready to accept deodorant cans since they are made of steel or aluminium. Call ahead of time if you want to be certain before going to the scrap yard. 

If you only have one or two cans, this may not be worth your effort. However, if you have a significant quantity of cans, it can quickly mount up.

You might be able to sell additional metal pieces, such as aluminium soda cans, while you’re at the scrap yard. This is especially useful in states where there are no can deposits. 

Conclusion

You can recycle some deodorant cans and tubes. The ones made from metal are the easiest to recycle. 

However, some deodorants are made from various forms of plastics, which can be difficult to recycle in a local recycling facility.

If you want to dispose of your empty deodorant cans, ensure the can is empty, do not alter the can in any manner, and check your town’s recycling program.

In case your town does not have a recycling program, other organisations such as Earth911 and TerraCycle can help to recycle the deodorant cans and tubes for you.

FAQs

Does deodorant go in the garbage or recycling?


Throw all brands of deodorant in your trash can. Deodorants in the form of roll-ons, liquids, and solids are included. Deodorant bottles are a “multi-material” made up of many sorts of non-recyclable plastic pieces. 

As a result, some municipal recycling facilities may refuse to take deodorant cans and tubes.

Are roll on deodorants better for the environment?

Yes, roll on deodorants are better than aerosol-based spray deodorants. Scientists advise using roll-on deodorants and cleaning sprays since they are the most polluting sources of pollution. 

According to experts, cleaning and deodorant sprays have surpassed automobiles as the leading producer of toxic smog compounds, and they advise consumers to use roll-ons instead.

References

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