How to Recycle Lip Balm Tubes

how to recycle lip balm tubes

Yes, your plastic lip balm tubes, such as the ones we use at Aroamas, are recyclable.

But maybe not in the way you think.

Before you go tossing your lip balm tubes into the normal recycling bin, we have some information to share that will ensure your tubes get to where they need to be.

We’re also going to share some fun ways you can reuse and repurpose your tubes at home. Give your tubes extra life before sending them off to be recycled.

Recycling Lip Balm Tubes

“Can I recycle plastic lip balm tubes?”

I had read several responses on various websites saying there are issues with small items getting recycled, and my response from the City of Sydney confirmed this information. While the plastic of lip balm tubes is generally recyclable, the actual size of these plastic items means there is greater chance for them falling out of the equipment and being swept up to landfill.

“Much of today’s recycling is processed using a variety of equipment which shakes, sorts and moves the material from one part of the plant to the other. Things like caps that are not attached to bottles, small pieces of paper and other smaller containers, tend to ‘shake out’ when they go over the conveyor belts and wind up in the residue pile which goes to the landfill.”

City of Sydney Correspondence

As distressing as that reality is, there is a way you can ensure your lip balm tubes – along with other beauty products packaging – can avoid the dreaded landfill.

TerraCycle focuses on recycling the unrecyclable. Available in many countries across the globe, TerraCycle has a special program for making use of beauty products packaging. Think about things like lipstick and lip balm tubes, makeup containers, shampoo bottle pumps, and more. When you sign up for TerraCycle, you can create free shipments for your beauty products so they can make it to the right place for recycling as opposed to a landfill.

If this sounds too difficult, we are more than happy to take back your lip balm tubes right here at Aroamas to make sure they are sent off to TerraCycle. Contact us to discuss.

Or… have a look at these fun ways to give new life to an old lip balm tube.

6 Things to Do with Empty Lip Balm Tubes

Cleaning Out Old Lip Balm Tubes

First thing’s first, if you want to reuse a lip balm tube, you need to get rid of the extra waxy bits at the bottom followed by a good clean. For this process, we recommend first grabbing as much of the waxy leftovers with a cotton bud or similar. After that, boiling the tubes will help remove the remnants so the tube is reusable.

Crunchy Betty has a great tutorial about her process for cleaning lip balm tubes and pots, as well as other containers that hold waxy substances.

Note:  If you are reusing a tube that had previously held solid perfumes, deodorants, or sunscreens, it is probably best to not reuse for cosmetic products used on lips.

Once the tubes are clean, you are good to go for these fun lip balm tubes uses.

1. Make Your Own Lip Balm

Homemade lip balms. Source: Wellness Mama

Easy peasy. You can invest in lip balm ingredients and make dozens of your own concoctions at a fraction of the cost. Get crafty and design and print your own labels (Amazon link), or decorate with washi tape. We love adding a dash of peppermint oil for that fresh and soothing vibe.

Here are some recipes to check out:

2. Carry Jewelry

store jewelry in old lip balm tubes
Store jewelry in old lip balm tubes. Source: Her Packing List

Looking for easy ways to tote necklaces or bracelets in your purse without them getting all tangled? An old Aroamas perfume stick tube is the perfect size for a few stud earrings or trinkets.

3. Hide Money!

Store cash discreetly in old lip balm tubes. Source: ManMade

It’s a trick that’ll keep your spare cash safer from pickpockets. A large bill rolled up will fit perfectly in an old lip balm tube, and who would think to check there for cash?

4. Create a Seasoning Shaker

Salt and Pepper shaker in a lip balm tube. Source: Pioneering the Simple Life

Always need extra salt? Or maybe you’re a chilli flakes kind of gal? Make a DIY seasoning shaker for your next camping trip, or even just your purse.

5. Make a Mini Sewing Kit

Create a sewing kit in an old lip balm tube. Source: Instructables

Don’t get caught out with a loose button or a hole in your top. Throw a few safety pins, a spare button, a needle and some thread into a lip balm tube in preparation for your next fashion emergency.

6. Use in Arts & Crafts Projects

Make an LED flashlight in old chapstick tube. Source: Instructables

Get creative! The possibilities are endless. Insert a string of lights into several tubes and tie together to create a unique chandelier. Store sequins or glitter in various colors. Add googly eyes to create fun characters with kids.

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