Can You Recycle Toothpaste Tubes, Boxes, And Toothbrushes? (Guide)

Photo of author
Jean Richardson

Jean Richardson is a lover of knowledge, in all forms. He has spent over 15 years as a high school teacher, instructing students in history, geography, mathematics, and more.

One thing that all humans do is brush their teeth. Furthermore, throughout the year, you invest money in oral care items to keep your teeth clean and white. 

However, when the time comes what do you do with the waste from these products? Can you recycle toothpaste tubes, boxes, and toothbrushes? Continue reading for this answer and more!

Can You Recycle Toothpaste Tubes, Boxes, And Toothbrushes?

For the most part, toothpaste boxes are recyclable. Unfortunately, most types of toothbrushes and tubes of toothpaste are not. This is because they have a lot of metal and plastic within them that prevents them from being recyclable. Of course, there are some exceptions as more companies try to become eco-friendly.

Read on to learn more about these items, from what they are made of to how they can be recycled. 

How To Recycle Toothpaste Tubes, Boxes, And Toothbrushes

In the rare instances where you can recycle each of these items, it is critical to know how to do so. 

Furthermore, always check your tube of toothpaste or toothbrush to see if it is recyclable. Most brands are not, however, the few exceptions should be clear to see on the shelf.

Here, you will learn about the basic process for recycling toothpaste tubes, boxes, and toothbrushes.

How To Recycle Toothpaste Tubes

Recycling a tube of toothpaste is very easy. Once you have determined if your container is recyclable, you can do the following:

  • Ensure that as much of the remaining toothpaste is as squeezed out as possible
  • Roll up the tube
  • Toss it in your recycling bin

It is as easy as that, however, most tubes contain metals and plastics that make them unable to be recycled.

Therefore, look for a brand in the store that makes low waste a priority.

How To Recycle Toothpaste Boxes

Toothpaste boxes are almost always able to be recycled. When you have finished using the box, you need to:

  • Flatten the box
  • Place it in a recycling bin
Read More:  Can You Recycle Styrofoam & Plastic Egg Cartons? (Guide)

As previously discussed, most boxes are recyclable. However, some are coated in plastics which may make this process more difficult although this is rare.

How To Recycle Toothbrushes

If you can recycle your toothbrush, the box will be clear about it. 

However, most toothbrushes are made of a mixture of plastics that make them impossible to break down, so this is rarely the case. 

If your toothbrush happens to be recyclable:

  • Clean it off as best as possible
  • Throw it in the recycling bin

Fortunately, brands are trying to improve on this front and with time, more and more toothbrushes will be biodegradable and better for the planet. 

How To Dispose Of Toothpaste Tubes, Boxes, And Toothbrushes

How To Dispose of Toothpaste Tubes, Boxes, And Toothbrushes

With the formats of toothbrushes and tubes of toothpaste that you cannot recycle, you must know how to dispose of them in the best way possible. 

These items pollute the environment, so the least you can do is get rid of the waste correctly.

Keep on reading to learn what you can do.

How To Dispose of Toothbrushes

There are a ton of toothbrushes that get thrown away each year and they all sit, clumped in a landfill.

Luckily, there is a unique form of recycling center where you can send your toothbrush instead. 

While it is not the traditional method, it will ensure that most of the materials in your brush are used or recycled.

Therefore, search online for a place near you that takes toothbrushes. 

Additionally, some of the most well-known brands that attempt to stop toothbrush waste include:

You can even mail your toothbrush to many of these places for proper disposal. 

Of course, the easy way out is to simply toss it in the trash can.

How To Dispose Of Toothpaste Tubes

Unfortunately, if you do not have a recyclable brand of toothpaste tube, it is impossible to recycle them. 

The combination of metals and plastics that make up the tube simply does not break apart well inside of a recycling location.

Read More:  Can You Recycle Business Cards? (All You Need To Know)

Therefore, the best you can do is squeeze the remaining paste out, roll it up as tight as you can, and put it in the trash can. 

Hopefully, the future will lead to the creation of more recyclable products for oral care.

What Are Toothpaste Tubes, Boxes, And Toothbrushes Made Of?

Knowing the materials that typically go into each of these products can help you better understand if your product is recyclable. 

This article will discuss the materials that often go into these products before they go onto the market.

Plastic plays a part in the creation of oral care items. Additionally, the material is what often makes them impossible to recycle properly without special care.

Furthermore, this will continue to damage the environment until something changes within the oral care universe.

What Are Toothbrushes Made Of?

Most toothbrushes are made of a combination of plastics. 

Even the bristles are made from plastic, though a different type than the brush handle itself. These plastics usually are:

  • Polypropylene
  • Nylon
  • Polyethylene

All of these items are melted and molded together to form a single toothbrush. 

However, the combination is what makes recycling tricky but allows the brush to be durable.

What Are Toothpaste Tubes Made Of?

Toothpaste tubes are even trickier as they are made from a combination of even more items than a toothbrush, making them more intense to dissect and break down. 

Often, this includes:

  • Layers of plastic laminate made from a combination of plastics
  • Layers of aluminum that line the inside
  • Polypropylene for the lid

These materials are often so condensed that it can be hard to break them apart. 

Furthermore, unless they have been created to be recycled, it can be impossible for recycling plants to take apart this item. Hopefully, this will change sometime soon.

What Are Toothpaste Boxes Made Of?

Toothpaste boxes are less complex than the previous two items. As most are made of cardboard, though some might incorporate a thin layer of plastic.

Read More:  Can You Recycle Envelopes With Plastic Windows? (Guide)

You should be able to tell what your toothpaste box is made of simply by touch. 

Furthermore, there will be a small indicator that tells you if the product comes from recyclable materials or not.

Are Oral Care Items Bad For The Environment?

With all of this confusion about recycling, you might wonder just how bad these items are for the environment. 

They are helping us, but are they killing the planet that we occupy? In short, the answer is yes, toothbrushes and toothpaste tubes are harming the environment.

Both of these items:

  • Contribute to a large chunk of plastic waste in the world
  • Use up fossil fuels in their creation
  • Harm wildlife that accidentally eats them
  • Clogs up waterways with mass pollution

Therefore, the more of these items that are thrown away, the more polluted the earth will become. 

However, there are recyclable measures out there that you can take to stop this and hopefully help the environment to recover.

To learn more, you can also read our posts on whether you can recycle Q-tips, whether you can recycle cotton pads, and whether you can recycle blister packs and pill boxes.


Though there are brands of toothpaste tubes and toothbrushes that can be recycled, it is hard to reuse them because of the plastics inside. However, toothpaste boxes are often some of the easiest items to recycle since they are made of cardboard.

There are more and more brands of recyclable toothbrushes and toothpaste tubes on the market. Hopefully, the future brings more of this so that people can begin to take care of the world and keep it in better condition for future generations.


  • Jean Richardson

    Jean Richardson is a lover of knowledge, in all forms. He has spent over 15 years as a high school teacher, instructing students in history, geography, mathematics, and more.

Leave a Comment