Have you addressed toothpaste tubes? I used to buy Tom’s of Maine because I could recycle their aluminum tube. But due to customer demand they switched to plastic tubes (I’m not sure why!). Two questions: 1) Are plastic toothpaste tubes recyclable? and 2) Is there a tasty homemade concoction I could make myself (I don’t necessarily need fluoride) and forgo tubes altogether? If so, what would be a convenient container to store it in?
The thought behind your question gave me a big toothy smile. Unfortunately, the fact that most toothpaste tubes are made of an unrecyclable material gives me a toothache.
Most toothpaste tubes are made with laminate and are not recyclable in mainstream recycling programs. Your friends at Tom’s offer a lengthy explanation of why they moved to laminate tubes. But Tom’s hasn’t totally brushed off the idea of recycling tubes. They have identified an organization that will recycle the tubes into pallet corner protectors. You can return your laminate tubes to Tom’s of Maine, 302 Lafayette Center, Atn: Consumer Department, Kennebunk, ME 04043.
In one of my attempts to rid my bathroom of single-use packaging, I used Dr. Bronner’s peppermint liquid castile soap to brush my teeth. It doesn’t quite taste as minty fresh as regular toothpaste, but it sure leaves my teeth squeaky clean. You can find it in bulk at places like Georgetown Market and Pogue’s Run Grocer. That means no more wasteful containers – just refill your own bottle!
From my frugal, froth-mouthed, fresh-breath mom: I use as much toothpaste from the tube as I can. It started when I wasn’t working and needed to make it stretch just a far as I could. Later, it had become a habit and it seemed silly to waste any of it. I discovered that once I had squeezed just as much as I possibly could out of the tube, I could cut it open and get two more weeks of tooth brushing out of the tube — a real savings and I knew Renee would be proud that I’m conserving. It works for body lotion, hair gel and moisturizer too.
Renee and Renee’s mom