Can I Recycle That: Shampoo Bottles

Answer: YES.

Recycle your shampoo and conditioner bottles, but NOT the lids. The City of Tulsa website that lists what can and cannot be recycled does not specify the lids to these bottles may be recycled. DON’T include the LIDS. As you can see in this picture, the lids may sometimes contain metals and other unknown materials that probably are not recyclable.

ZWT got a question on its Facebook page a couple weeks ago about where in Tulsa one can buy shampoo and conditioner by the ounce out of bulk bottles. Embarrassingly, I don’t know the answer to that question (because it’s likely “no where”–but let’s look further, shall we!?). Locating a place in town to buy bulk soaps, including castille, was something I originally set out to do through this blog. Of course, if you’re able to refill your shampoo bottles you won’t need to recycle them!! Let’s hope that will be the case very soon.

Here’s to avoiding that trash!


Can I Recycle That: Plastic utensils 

Answer: No!

In Tulsa, these little guys are not recycled. The only place they can go is in the garbage can.

Try to refuse plastic utensils when getting takeout. Why not carry your own set of utensils with you wherever you go?

Our restaurants go out of their way to please us. Places like Panera get napkin- and utensil-happy for our to-go orders. This causes us to waste, but also costs the restaurant money in supplies. This waste can easily be avoided.

When we are picking up a dozen bagels for the office, the restaurant assumes we need a dozen sets of utensils to accommodate everyone. My office has a set of silverware in the kitchen, so I always refuse the extra utensils when picking up food for my co-workers.

The trick is remembering to refuse. How do you remember to tell the cashier you don’t want the extra plastic?

Can I Recycle That: Plastic Tupperware

Answer: Yes!

Check for the recycle icon on your container. The lid and container are recyclable.

I have been using these plastic containers to store cloth baby wipes in transport to and from daycare. One of the lids warped from heat in my car and another has broken (depicted). They are damaged and have reached the end of their useful life and I may now recycle them.

As a side note: from a zero waste perspective, plastic Tupperware is not an ideal storage solution for food, wipes, or anything else. As can be seen here, they are not made to be used time after time.

Can I Recycle That: Multi-layer packaging

Answer: No!

Multi-layer packaging, such as the container shown below, is not recyclable in Tulsa. Here is a post all about the disadvantages of multi-layer packaging. For some reason, organic brands have begun to package foods like beans and soups in these multi-layer boxes, rather than the traditional can. I’ll conduct more research and try to follow up with a post about why this is. If you know, please comment below. My guess is that it has something to do with BPA content of cans vs. the multilayer box.

For beans, the zero waste option is to buy them in bulk (and use a fabric, reusable bag to contain and transport them rather than the plastic bags provided at the grocery store). If you must buy pre-cooked beans, the next best thing is to buy a can because cans are recyclable in Tulsa (the entire can, including its lid).