Rosamond Gifford Zoo

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What to Do with the Empty Toothpaste Tube

What can I do with this empty tube?

Our next Preservation Pointer continues to focus on empowering you to make small, but impactful changes to reduce waste in your own home.

Toothpaste is a crucial part of our oral hygiene.  On average, the United States throws away more than 400 MILLION empty toothpaste tubes, which can take over 500 years to decompose in landfills.  In short, these tubes are designed to last and cannot be recycled by your local municipality.

There are several "toothpaste alternatives" on the market, which have more natural ingredients and use sustainable packaging. This would seem like any easy fix. However, you should always consult with your dentist before using any products that have not been approved by the American Dental Association.

Are there options out there to help reduce waste of any oral hygiene products that you may already use? ... YES!!   A recycling company called TerraCycle specializes in "hard to recycle materials."  TerraCycle turns waste into other useable products, and they offer many free recycling programs. Simply collect and ship the materials to TerraCycle.  In turn, they will credit you with points that are redeemable for things like a donation to a school or non-profit of your choice, or toward the purchase of TerraCycle products.

Currently, both COLGATE and TOM's of MAINE have partnered with Terracycle. Check out the links below to browse other companies that have partnered with them. You may be surprised at the recycling revolution you can start in your very own home, school or office! 

Colgate® Oral Care Recycling Program · TerraCycle

Tom's of Maine Natural Care Recycling Program · TerraCycle

 

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