Can I Recycle It: Plastic deodorant sticks?

In a growing market of personal hygiene products, the plastic deodorant stick has remained a constant on grocery and drug store shelves. As we all become more conscious about our plastic use, we’ve received more questions about this item.

Admittedly, this can be a confusing item. While this packaging may seem easily recyclable, it comes with a high risk of causing recycling contamination.

Plastic deodorant or anti-perspirant packaging is often made from a combination of plastic types, which directly affects its recycling potential. By combining multiple plastic pieces made from different plastic resins into one product, the ability of the recycling facility to properly separate all packaging by different plastic resin type is compromised. There will be no correct plastics category into which it can be sorted, as there will always be incompatible plastic types present wherever it goes. This ultimately will affect the processors ability to create new, high quality plastic pellets from the recycled material. Additionally, the deodorant residue left inside a container can affect the recyclability of the container in a similar way, by affecting the quality of the final product produced by the processor. Each of these factors contributes to why we don’t accept plastic deodorant packaging. At this time, plastic deodorant sticks go in your garbage and should not be included with your recycling.

We recognize the combination of materials used to make packaging is an issue. Currently, in partnership More Recycling, Recycle BC is conducting studies on how to effectively collect and recycle plastic squeeze tubes (used for lotions, toothpaste, etc.). In addition, we recently started collecting a new category called Other Flexible Plastic Packaging at depots, which you can read about here.