Sex Toy Recycling: Everything You Need To Know
You might have seen some resourceful people walking around parks and gathering recyclable bits of waste so they can make a few bucks. The next time you run into them, it might be worth bringing your unused vibe for them to recycle as well.
You read that right — sex toys can be recycled!
Many recycling centers collect, sterilize, and recycle the remnants of your old sex toys. Whether you’ve simply grown tired of your dildo or the toy has run its course, the rubber and silicone parts of these devices can be processed and remolded into new sex toys.
Here, we’ll walk you through what this sex toy recycling company does, including why they do it, how you can drop off your used sex toys, and what benefits it has for Mother Earth.
Saving Mother Earth One Sex Toy at a Time
The vision of recycling sex toys was inspired by an open trash bin that was just full of discarded sex toys. Vibrators, dildos, butt plugs, you name it. It had been thrown away with all the other rubbish. Sex toy recycling is all about reducing waste and environmental toxins by providing a creative alternative for the disposal and recycling of used sex toys. Used sex toys are collected and go through a patented process to recycle the materials into new products.
Although most of the toys that are recycled come from individual consumers and members of the public, specialized recycling centers are currently working with major adult industry companies to increase the supply of recyclable materials. Partnering with these companies will give access to sex toys used as props in adult films, many of which are used only once. It can also provide irregular or reject merchandise from sex toy manufacturers.
Not all industries embrace environmental responsibility, so it’s pretty great to see some companies doing so.
While recycling glass bottles and plastic containers is commonplace in many parts of the world by now, electronic waste still remains a massive problem. Electronic waste, or e-waste, is any piece of trash that was previously powered by electricity. In fact, in 2019, approximately 53.6 million metric tons of electronic waste were produced.
If you can recycle your bottles, cans, and paper products, then why not sex toys?
Recycling Sex Toys
Having an environmentally friendly way to dispose of used or broken vibrators, dildos, butt plugs, and other sex toys can add plenty to recycling efforts around the world. It also gives you a way to get a return on your sex toy investment.
How is recycling sex toys done?
To recycle your sex toys, simply them off at a collection center. After doing so, the recycling company will reprocess the rubber and silicone into new sex toys and refurbish any salvageable vibrators. Any other materials left over will be responsibly recycled. If you forget to take out the batteries, then it’s no problem. Those can be recycled as well.
1. Seal the toy
To start, seal your used sex toy in the specialized pouch, which you can obtain by sending an email. You can also pick one up at your local sex toy retailer. While all toys are sterilized upon receipt, it also helps the recycling company if customers wash and thoroughly clean their used sex toys with soap and water before submitting them for collection.
2. Drop off your toy
Once you’ve sealed your toy, the next step is to drop the pouch into a secure receptacle, where it will be collected and transported to their processing center.
3. Sorting out the toys
After undergoing thorough sterilization, toys are inspected and sorted according to their material composition. Vibrators and other mechanical toys are sent to skilled technicians in the repair department for salvaging and refurbishing.
Any batteries left in the toys are removed and recycled appropriately. Silicone and rubber toys are sorted and the materials are processed for reuse. Any metals, plastics, or other materials left over after the reclamation process are recycled for non-sex-toy purposes.
4. Grinding up the used sex toys
A patent-pending process is employed, similar to that used to recycle athletic shoes into rubber surfaces for basketball courts. The rubber and silicone are ground up, mixed with a binding agent, and remolded into new toys. For sanitary and safety reasons, each toy is then coated with a layer of new silicone. The result is a sex toy made of at least 95% post-consumer materials.
5. Customers cash in
For each sex toy you submit for recycling, you may receive rewards, depending on the company where you submitted your toy.
Why Recycle Sex Toys?
When getting rid of your ex-girlfriend’s strap-on, a worn-out pocket pussy, or your broken magic wand, you’ll be contributing to the welfare of the environment.
You can rest easy knowing that you’ve done one more thing to cut out consumer waste, reducing landfills, and the leaching of toxic chemicals into our soils and groundwater.
Not only is recycling your sex toys made simple and convenient, but you also get rewards as an incentive. For every used toy you turn in, you can earn credits toward the purchase of any of an exclusive line of post-consumer sex toys. The more toys you recycle, the more you can buy.
Being green was never this much fun.
What’s So Great About Green Sex Toys?
It promotes a healthier planet
Recycled sex toys reuse non-biodegradable materials that would otherwise end up in landfills, adding to waste and possibly leaching toxins into the earth. In addition, the manufacture of PVC releases harmful chemicals. The recycling process is clean and energy efficient.
For healthier pleasure
You might be familiar with that new sex toy smell. It may seem like a guarantee that your sex toy is fresh and new, but it’s actually the scent of toxic chemicals. Jelly rubber toys contain phthalates, chemicals that are absorbed through vaginal or anal tissue and can affect your hormonal and reproductive system, damage the liver and kidneys, and possibly cause cancer.
Phthalates have been banned in children’s toys, but they are still used to make sex toys. While some companies do accept jelly rubber products for recycling, they are sorted out, reprocessed, and used to form the inner core of their toys. Their manufacturing process seals the outside of the toy with a layer of clean, nonporous silicone, guaranteeing that harmful chemicals never come into contact with your skin.
The next time you buy a dildo or a prostate massager, consider using recycled toys for healthier pleasure.
Ending petroleum use and dependency
Besides containing harmful chemicals, the PVC in jelly dildos and other toys is derived from petroleum, a limited resource. Although buying a green sex toy is a small step compared to switching to solar power or driving a hybrid car, every little bit counts.
Supporting American labor
Recycled sex toys are guaranteed sweatshop free! Most jelly dildos and other inexpensive sex toys are made in factories in China or other overseas countries and distributed by US companies. All of the processing and manufacturing here is performed by American laborers in facilities on U.S. soil. Employees benefit from competitive wages and excellent working conditions. When you buy recycled sex toys, you can know that you’re supporting American workers and the U.S. economy.
More Eco-Friendly Alternatives
Recycling sex toys is just one way you can combine your passion in the bedroom with your love for the environment. Here are some other ecologically responsible alternatives:
Glass or metal sex toys are eco-friendly, durable, and often beautifully designed. Their production process is relatively non-toxic and has little environmental impact, and they will outlast their rubber counterparts many times over.
Other accessories like paddles are available in recycled rubber and sustainably harvested, ecologically treated wood.
You can decrease the use of petroleum and its derivatives by using organic lubes and massage oils. Also, when buying lingerie or fetish wear, avoid petroleum-derived synthetic materials like polyester and nylon in favor of natural fibers such as cotton and silk. If you have a battery-powered wearable vibrator, buy a set of rechargeable batteries; standard batteries contain extremely toxic and corrosive chemicals.
Improvised pleasure devices
If you need a sex toy there may be one closer than you think, in your refrigerator or around the house. Fruits and vegetables like bananas and cucumbers make a simple and inexpensive substitute for a dildo. Many common items like electric toothbrushes or hairbrush handles can also be used for pleasure. And with a little imagination and ingenuity, you can create improvised sex toys and give a second life to materials like plastic bags, shampoo bottles, toilet paper tubes, and rubber gloves.
Selling Your Used Sex Toys
Before you recycle your used sex toys, you may also want to consider selling them first.
Now, this may seem like an offputting idea for some. Who would buy used sex toys? Isn’t it unhygienic and unsafe? But before you dismiss the idea of selling used sex toys, it’s important to understand why and how people do it.
Why Do People Sell Used Sex Toys?
The cost of a single sex toy can range from $20 or less to well over $100. The brand, material, and functionalities are only a few of the variables that affect the cost. While some people have no difficulty spending a sizeable sum of money on a high-quality toy that ticks all the appropriate boxes, others would rather stick to a spending limit. Resale sex toys have a sizable industry due to the vast spectrum of consumers.
On the seller’s side, there are individuals who spend their hard-earned money on an expensive sex toy that they can’t bring themselves to throw away once it has served its function. Why should they, either? Purchasers range from individuals on a tight budget who don’t mind a gently worn item to those who genuinely desire a used sex toy. Using or owning a sex device that has been previously “broken in” has an enticing quality similar to purchasing used underwear online or other personal items. Some people find the concept appealing, especially if they are attracted to the prior owner sexually.
All of these elements work together to support the expanding industry for buying and selling old sex toys. So, if you have a collection of toys that is just gathering dust, it might be time to think about cleaning them up and making a profit from them.
What is considered a “used” sex toy?
Most people image a filthy vibrator or dildo coated in bodily fluids when they hear the term “used sex toy.” Although there is a market for these used devices, the majority of resale sex toys sold online are cleaned, disinfected, and nearly identical to brand-new products. When discussing any sex device that comes into contact with the body, cleaning your sex toys before selling them is crucial (i.e. dildos, Rabbit vibrators, anal toys, etc.). Some people are hesitant to purchase a toy that had previously been in a person’s most private spaces. Because of this, accessories like bondage equipment, external vibrators, and restraints are some of the most widely used resale sex toys.
In other instances, the “used” sex toys may not even have been physically used; instead, they should be referred to as “unwanted”. Here are a few examples:
- You gave the toy a try, but you didn’t like it.
- The toy was either too much or not enough for you to manage.
- It didn’t “fit” your needs or physique in an ergonomic way.
- You don’t need a constant reminder that you previously used the item in a relationship.
The toy was bought for you by someone else, but it’s not really your thing.
- Although the item has been useful to you, you are ready for an upgrade or replacement.
- You accidentally bought the wrong toy, but you were unable to get a refund.
- It’s too late to get a refund because you opened the packing and realized it wasn’t what you expected
- You’re downsizing because your collection is overflowing with the same kinds of sex toys.
These are only a handful of the numerous circumstances in which a used or undesired sex toy might be cleaned, sanitized, and sold. Always be truthful regarding the toy’s past, the reason you’re selling it, and the cleaning method you used. Be honest about the toy’s past and what led you to sell it because customers already know they’re purchasing a used item. Included in this are any shortcomings or problems you encountered.
Why You Should Sell Your Used Sex Toy
The main reason for selling your used sex accessories online is to earn money. People decide to refurbish and resell their used sex gadgets, toys, and accessories for a variety of reasons, including the fact that they no longer use the items, have too many, need an update, or simply need a little additional money.
The Bottom Line
We owe a lot to the sex toys we are able to enjoy. They help us connect with our partners, express our sexuality, and experience pleasure in many ways.
While we remember the experience of purchasing and using them, very little thought goes into what happens after we are done with them. Becoming more aware of the environmental impact of our actions should extend to all aspects of life. Whether you’re recycling beverage cans, reusable plastics, and yes, even your sex toys, everything adds up to a greater contribution.
Acting sustainably is always a noble act, and recycling sex toys are no exception.