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Plastic tubes

Recycle at home

Plastic tubes, e.g. for hand cream and lotions, are increasingly being made from plastics which can be recycled. Therefore if your local authority collects pots, tubs and trays, you can generally include tubes. However, there are some exceptions - see below!

Which plastic tubes can't be recycled?

  • Toothpaste tubes – these are often made of different types of plastics, as well as containing a metal layer. In general they are not recyclable, although there are some recycling options offered by Colgate and Terracyle

  • Small plastic tubes that are less than 40 x 40mm are unlikely to be recycled because they will fall out of the recycling process

  • Tubes that have contained DIY products like mastic – the residue product can be damaging and contaminate the recycling, so these should be placed in the waste bin

Find out more about Terracycle recycling programmes

Good to know

Pump action toothpaste tubes are easier to recycle and can be placed in the recycling if your local authority also collects plastic pots, tubs and trays.

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