SoCS — Recycle Me

This post is not a plug for Colgate toothpaste. I am not receiving any remuneration for mentioning Colgate or for showing a photo of this product. It’s just my response to Linda G. Hill’s Stream of Consciousness Saturday prompt. Linda has asked us, when we sit down to write our post, to find a picture, whether in a magazine, newspaper, or even product packaging, and to write about whatever thought or emotion the picture provokes.

When I went to bed last night, I had to open up a new tube of toothpaste. I use Colgate Total Whitening toothpaste. I’ve been using it for years. And in all the time I’ve been brushing my teeth with that brand of toothpaste, the look of the toothpaste tube hasn’t changed. It has always looked like the tube in the photo above.

But last night, when I took the tube of Colgate Total Whitening toothpaste out of the box, I was shocked to see this:

I have never put my empty toothpaste tubes in recycling. I’ve always just put them in my regular trash, which goes to a landfill. But this new tube of toothpaste is instructing me to recycle it.

Being the skeptic that I am, I visited the website of the company that picks up my recycling and checked to see if empty toothpaste tubes are acceptable for recycling. I was surprised to find out that the answer is “yes.” But I was also surprised that there is a four step process to follow in order to properly prepare empty toothpaste tubes for recycling:

  • Step 1: Remove the cap.
  • Step 2: Squeeze as much of the toothpaste out of the tube as possible.
  • Step 3: Carefully cut the neck of the tube and cut a slit along the side.
  • Step 4: Use warm water and soap to rinse out the rest of the toothpaste.

Okay, that seems like a lot of work. But as someone who tries to be environmentally conscientious, I suppose I need to put my money where my mouth is and follow those steps so I can do my part and recycle my spent toothpaste tubes.

One small step for man, one giant step for mankind, right? Well, technically four small steps, but who’s counting?

19 thoughts on “SoCS — Recycle Me

  1. bushboy June 11, 2022 / 3:26 am

    I do that and have been for ages. Same with other bathroom tubes I sue, shaving, body and face wash etc

    Liked by 1 person

  2. willowdot21 June 11, 2022 / 4:31 am

    I do all the recycling bits to but I do begrudge using water to clean them out ….I do but it seems so wastefull when so many do not have enough water…first world problems 💜

    Liked by 1 person

    • Fandango June 11, 2022 / 9:41 am

      We are in a drought, so that’s a consideration.


  3. Nope, Not Pam June 11, 2022 / 4:32 am

    I am 😦

    Liked by 1 person

  4. newepicauthor June 11, 2022 / 6:44 am

    I am a pretty avid recycler and I have been doing this for over 40 years now. Washing, separating and recycling as many items as I can, always makes me feel good, but sometimes I feel like I am wasting too much water. I make sure that my recyclables are clean before I throw then in the bin, because I don’t want them attracting any bugs, and this way they won’t stink up my garage. Each time I wash out a can, bottle, or plastic container, I feel like I am wasting over half a gallon of water. In California where water is more precious, 37 million people can easily waste 37 million gallons of water daily.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Fandango June 11, 2022 / 10:55 am

      I, too, am a dedicated recycler, but I never thought things like toothpaste tubes were recyclable. I always rinse out the items I put in the recycling bin, too. But you’re right that doing so uses a lot of water and, with our severe drought out here, I’m not sure if thoroughly washing those items to be recycled is more environmentally smart than just tossing items like used toothpaste tubes in the regular trash and saving all that water.

      Liked by 1 person

        • Fandango June 11, 2022 / 11:02 am

          Thanks for the suggestion. I think I’ll use it this coming week.

          Liked by 1 person

  5. Marleen June 11, 2022 / 10:06 am

    Colgate probably gets a tax credit for putting such instruction on the tube. I see reaping that money as the primary reason for it. Nevertheless, I tend to try and recycle. When you looked it up, and the website said to take off the lid, is the lid itself recyclable? I was thinking of putting a similar lid (not for toothpaste) in the recycle bin a couple days ago, but there isn’t one of those arrow triangles on it. I feel like it’s similar to the tab on a soda can, highly valuable comparatively

    Liked by 1 person

  6. jaquintinwriter June 11, 2022 / 11:46 am

    Interesting article – no idea if that’s suggested in the Northeast – would have to check. That’s quite a pictorial change on the tube.

    Liked by 1 person

  7. J-Dub June 11, 2022 / 9:13 pm

    Work but worth it. The more you know. I’m doing this going forward.

    Liked by 1 person

  8. Carol anne June 11, 2022 / 9:31 pm

    that does seem like an awful lot of work just to recycle an empty tube!

    Liked by 1 person

  9. The Autistic Composter June 11, 2022 / 11:15 pm

    I am a devout recycler and l didn’t know that proceedure, now l do. I wash out more or less everything that can be recycled [am shocked by so many who don’t. Walking early in the mornings now on recycle days you see what people do and don’t do], but now l can add T/paste tubes to the box. Cheers 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

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