We are thoughtful about recycling throughout the house, but for some reason the bathroom recycling just piles up, like it’s too much effort to collect and put in the bin in the garage.
We’re not alone in this problem, as a survey conducted in partnership with Johnson & Johnson Consumer Inc. found that 34 percent of consumers never think to recycle items from the bathroom, and only one in five people have a container for recycling in the bathroom.
What We Can Recycle from the Bathroom
Another potential problem is that people just don’t know what can be recycled from the bathroom. Of course all the paperboard boxes and toilet paper rolls can be recycled, but many containers such as shampoo bottles, lotion bottles and other items can be recycled or creatively reused as well.
Johnson & Johnson Family of Consumer Companies developed the Care To Recycle® program to raise awareness of bathroom items that can be recycled and to inspire recycling and reuse of bathroom packaging.
Paperboard and cardboard items are recyclable everywhere, and plastics with the numbers 1 and 2 are widely recyclable, too. When it comes to bathroom recycling, those items include:
- shampoo, conditioner and body wash bottles
- lotion (face and body) bottles
- baby powder bottles
- cleanser and body oil bottles
Some cities may accept plastics with numbers 4 and 5, so check your local rules. Plastic lids are generally number 5 plastics, so you can leave them on if your city takes that kind of plastic.
Things that aren’t recyclable include:
- empty tubes, whether from toothpaste or other items
- pumps from lotion bottles
- dental floss containers
Make Recycling Easier with an Upcycled Recycling Box
I decided to take care of one of our recycling collection problem areas by making an upcycled recycling box out of paperboard boxes from the bathroom and a piece of cardboard that was the backing for a notebook.
This little bin could be left on the counter in the bathroom or placed under the sink to catch the boxes, bottles and tubes that can be recycled, making them easier to collect, contain and move to the bigger bin when needed.
This would also be a great recycling bin to use on a desk for paper. I need to make another one for my daughter’s room! She loves to recycle and produces a lot of paper, so it would be great for her to have any easy way to collect it in her room.
Note: paperboard is an item that is already recyclable. Please recycle all the pieces trimmed from the boxes. I used tape to reinforce my box; should it become worn out it would be better to remove the tape before recycling the cardboard and paperboard underneath. You could also make this project without the tape, but it does make the sides sturdier. You could also just put a piece of cardstock in the bottom to make it prettier.
- paperboard boxes: I gathered boxes from the bathroom and ended up using six of them to make a box to surround a piece of cardboard measuring 8.5 by 12 inches.
- a piece of cardboard
- long paperclips or small binder clips
- duct tape (optional)
What You’ll Do
Allow the box to dry. Trim the tops of the boxes so the sides are the same height, remembering to recycle the scraps.
Place in the bathroom and load up with recyclables.
Do you recycle in the bathroom? Have any helpful tips for getting your family to recycle more? I’d love to hear them!
I was selected for this opportunity as a member of Clever Girls and the content and opinions expressed here are all my own.