What to do with
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!
- 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.
- Toothpaste tubes – these tubes are often made of different types of plastics, as well as containing a metal layer (in order to keep it minty fresh!). In general they are not recyclable, although there have been breakthroughs including by Colgate and Terracyle offer a recycling scheme for oral care products. 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.
- Plastic items that are less than 40 x 40mm are unlikely to be recycled because they will fall out of the recycling process in a step that is designed to remove small items of dirt and contamination.
Find out what you can recycle at home