Most lotion bottles are recyclable. Lotion bottles are usually made from two different materials: plastic and glass. Both of these materials are recyclable and should be recycled to help out the environment.

Plastics can take up to 500 or more years to fully decompose if not recycled. It is important to recycle these containers the right way or they could have a negative impact on ourselves.

Different Kinds Of Lotion Bottles:

Most of the time when you buy hand lotion it will come in a plastic container. However, sometimes if you buy it from a vendor it may come in a glass container.

The first kind of container that is most widely used for hand lotion and body lotion is plastic. Here is a more in-depth look at plastic, how it’s made, and the pros and cons.


What Is Plastic:

Plastic is made from synthetic compounds that are molded to form any shape that is wanted. This includes plastic bottles for hand lotion. Different types of plastic are made with different material. These different materials have different strength levels for different plastics. There are seven different types of plastic materials that can be recycled. We will get to the different types of plastics later. Plastic containers have some good and bad to them.


Plastic Is Cheap:

Plastic is a relatively cheap material that companies use for bottling. You can buy bulk plastic containers for as little as .25 cents per bottle. This makes plastic a very economical choice for companies to choose from.

Plastic Won’t Break:

If you drop a plastic bottle, most of the time it won’t break. Plastic is very sturdy and can hold up to a lot of abuse before it breaks.

Plastic Is Lightweight:

Compared to glass, plastic is a very lightweight material to use. This cuts down on an entire truckload shipment weight of plastic saving money in fuel costs.

Plastic Can Be Recycled:

The good news about plastic is that it can be recycled. However, still too much plastic ends up in our landfills and oceans and streams. The recycling process is simple and anyone can choose to recycle.


Chemicals In Plastic:

Plastic is made from synthetic compounds and ingredients. This isn’t always good for your health. Doctors have recently told patients to stay away from BPA. BPA is a chemical that certain plastics are made with. You can learn more about BPA right here.

Loss Of Quality:

After you recycle plastic, it loses a little quality after the process. This means that the plastic won’t be as strong as the first time it was made. Plastic that has not been recycled is called virgin plastic. This is usually more stronger and sturdier compared to recycled plastic.


Glass is not commonly used for hand lotion containers. However, some people who make homemade hand lotion still prefer to use glass containers and we shouldn’t overlook that.

Glass is another bottle that lotion can come in. The good news is that glass is recyclable. Glass is made from sand, other broken glass, and a few other ingredients. The sand is heated up really hot and it turns into a liquid. This liquid is then shaped or poured into a mold until it is completely cool.

The sand and ingredients will dry clear and leave you with glass.



Glass is more sturdy and will hold up better under certain circumstances. However, glass can break or shatter if dropped.


Glass can be reused around the house. An old glass container can be made into a flower vase or something else. I mean who puts flowers in a plastic container?

Can Be Recycled:

Glass can be recycled and recycled glass is just as strong as freshly made glass. If you bought your hand lotion from someone who makes it themselves, ask them what to do with the container. Sometimes the containers could be sterilized and used again for the same purpose.


More Expensive Than Plastic:

The cost of glass is considerably  more compared to plastic. Therefore it could raise the cost of the hand lotion because it will be more expensive than plastic.

Heavier Than Plastic:

Glass is a lot heavier than plastic. Therefore it will weigh more and cost more to ship compared to plastic. The cost of shipping won’t be outrageous but it could be a little more.

Slippery When Wet:

Glass is very slippery when wet. If you have wet hands or a wet surface the glass could slide very easily or fall out of your hands. This could cause the glass to shatter or break. This can be extremely dangerous if you apply lotions in the bathroom.

Dispose Of Extra Lotion:

Some recycling centers or programs may want you to empty hand lotion bottle before recycling them. Perhaps you might just have a old bottle of hand lotion and want to recycle it.

The first thing you should do is call your recycling company and see if the bottle of hand lotion needs to be emptied before recycling. It not, that is fine.  Ask them how to dispose of the extra hand lotion in the bottle. They will be glad to share with you how or they will tell you who to contact to find out.

Why Recycle:

Recycling is great for the environment. A single piece of plastic can live in a landfill for over 500 years until it is fully composed. The plastic can also get into our streams and the oceans where it can hurt wildlife.

Glass can easily break and hurt or cut someone or something if it isn’t recycled properly. Glass itself can take a very long time to decompose in a landfill.

Recycling is also great for the environment and reducing landfills. Landfills can produce gasses such as methane that are bad for the environment.

We may not think of that every time we throw away a lotion bottle instead of recycling it. Recycling is very easy to do and it also help everyone out in the long run.

Where To Recycle:

Many home side recycling services allow you to recycle plastic. However, number 7 plastic is classified as other plastic and may be harder to recycle.

You should make sure you get rid of all the extra lotion in the bottle or just rinse it out before recycling. Sometimes that isn’t needed, you should call your recycling center to confirm this.

If you don’t have a curbside recycling program in your community you could always save all the bottles and take them once to your recycling center. Please note that not all recycling centers will take all items that can be recycled.

It’s best to call or confirm that they accept that type of item before taking it to save time.

To find your nearest recycling center you can visit this website here. Enter what you want to recycle and your postal code and they will list you the recycling centers near you that accept that item.

How Are Lotion Containers Recycled:

Recycling glass and plastic are two different processes. First, they are dropped off at the recycling center and then sorted out. The plastic is sorted out by the kind of plastic and the glass is sorted by the color of it.


The plastic is sorted out at the recycling center by the type of plastic they are. They will then be cut into small pieces of plastic. The small pieces of plastic are then washed. After that, they are formed into pellets. These pellets are then used to make new plastic products.


The glass containers are recycled almost the same way as plastic ones. The glass sorted out by color at the recycling center. Then it is crushed and cleaned. After cleaning, the glass is heated up and melted to a liquid. This liquid is now able to be poured into molds and make brand new containers.

I Need More Information On Recycling Lotion Containers:

If you still need more information on how a recycling program works or where to recycle you should contact your local curbside pickup company or your city. They will have the information that you need.

You can also visit websites like this and this to get more information on where you can recycle if your jurisdiction doesn’t have a local pickup for recycling.

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