How can I reuse or recycle plastic hand cream/moisturiser tubes?

plastic-tubeWe’ve had an email from Sally asking about squeezy hand cream tubes:

Do you know what number plastic hand cream tubes are? The ones with the flip lids. I don’t know whether or not to put them in my recycling bin.

Along with the inconsistency of facilities available, lack of information on packaging is one of my major pet hates when it comes to recycling. I’ve got three different types of face/hand moisturiser in our bathroom cupboard and only one has recycling information on it – it’s number 4 (LDPE). LDPE isn’t as widely recycled as PET/PETE (number 1) or HDPE (number 2) but it is recycled in some areas – my old council Leeds used to pick it up at the kerbside so it’ll be worth checking your local advice to see if you can do the same.

Aside from recycling, any ideas on how the tubes can be reused? I suspect there will be some overlap with squeezable plastic toothpaste tubes but any new suggestions?

Related Categories

bathroom, household, items, medical

Search for other related items



15 Responses to “How can I reuse or recycle plastic hand cream/moisturiser tubes?”


  1. Jessica says:

    Sometimes if the tubes are under 3 oz you can reuse them for traveling. When the larger sizes are too big but you need a container for your lotion or what not, these tubes can suffice. Just make sure to label them properly!

  2. Bobbie says:

    But….how do you refill them? USA manufactures are making tubes that you can’t remove the caps…arrgh. I’m going to try putting my next batch of homemade sun screen in one by squeeze/sucking the lotion into the tube.

    • louisa says:

      I’m a fan of the old squeezing/sucking routine but it can take ages. Maybe try using a needle-less syringe?

      • Bobbie says:

        Good idea. That way it won’t get so messy. I think I have a large syringe somewhere……..

    • carollyn says:

      buy a turkey basting syringe at wallmart. use it without the needle of course. thin the lotion JUST A LITTLE BIT to make it flow. thin with your favorite perfume, or a spray-on type sunscreen.

  3. Lauren says:

    You could make them into something.

    -Pencil Holder:Cut the top and bottom off and put a coster on the bottom

    -Mosaic photo frame:Cut the tubes into on and a half in pieces and hot glue them on a photo frame.You could make a really cool design with the pieces and stick a photo in the frame.

  4. Anonymous says:

    Door wedges.

  5. Margaret says:

    I just got off the phone with Colgate customer service and they said that their tubes are not recyclable because they are mixed material

  6. Ulechka says:

    Cut the bottom, clean inside and use for small flowers, as a vase.

  7. Olia says:

    Use the lid to stuff hall in a wall and plaster over.

  8. Uluska says:

    Cut away the top part and use to hold eyeglasses.

  9. Uluska says:

    Tut the tube like petals, without de touching from the top, add the stem and you will have a flower. Spray paint it.



Leave a Reply

Your name
Your email (it will not be published. If you want people to contact you, leave your email address in the message too.)
Your website (if you've got one)