Moving Onwards and Upwards: How to Recycle Your Old Sex Toys

When I think of recycling sex toys, I somehow remember the scene in Sorority Boys where the popular guys sling shot dildos over to the less-than-popular female sorority. Sure, it wasn’t actually recycling, but one woman did eventually use one of them, which is kind of the same. 

Jokes aside, every day we’re getting more and more serious about protecting the environment, which means doing our part to recycle… and sex toys are no different. 

So maybe you have a toy that you once cherished, but you’ve discovered something brand new that gets your rocks off and suddenly have no use for your old muse. What do you do with it? Recycle! 

How to recycle old sex toys

How Can You Recycle Your Old Sex Toys?

According to Andrea Barlett who works in the sex toy industry:

“People can recycle their toys in their own electrical rubbish bin if they are not too embarrassed, they can find out from their local council what will be picked up but I guess as long as it is battery operated it is classed as electrical,” says Bartlett. “People can also take their sex toys to electrical recycling centers but many are too shy to do so.”

Which brings me to my next point… initiatives that have been designed specifically to recycle sex toys. 

Come As You Are, on the other hand, is a worker-owned cooperative in Toronto that opened in 1997. This co-op is all about recycling sex toys, and encourage those who are looking to get rid of their sex toy to clean it, then drop it off or send it to them in the mail.

Jack Lamon of Come As You Are says: 

“I think it depends on what your life priorities are. If you think recycling and waste management generally is important, and you consume a lot of sex toys, it absolutely should be important to you,” says Lamon. 

“If you think the apocalypse is near and nothing matters, well, then you should burn them in your backyard. We think it is important, and we couldn’t live without ourselves knowing we were contributing to the environment in a negative way.”

Sadly however, the recycling of sex toys isn’t quite an easy thing to do. It’s not as if you’ll find a waste bin labelled ‘sex toys’ like you do for your papers, tins, and glass. And there seems to be a big lack of services worldwide that can recycle your once-beloved sex toy. 

This is most likely because it is a some-what lengthy and tricky process that involves breaking down the toys, sorting them, then having them expedited for recycling.

What’s also contributing to the lack of sex toy recycling is the fact that many people feel shame or embarrassment regarding the topic. There’s still a big stigma today on sexuality, especially when it comes to women, and the topic of sex toys is sometimes seen as a taboo

For that reason, there are tons of people who really would like to recycle their old sex toys, yet feel too shy to find out how. If you do feel confident enough to do some research however, your best bet would be to contact your local e-waste disposal centre. 

Alternatively, if you’re planning on moving onwards and upwards by purchasing a new toy, you could always gift your old one to a friend in need after a deep clean. A personal choice, of course, but paying it forward if both people are keen can’t be a bad thing. 

LELO Sex Toys Are Environment-Friendly

Despite the fact that it’s still quite difficult to effectively recycle your old sex toys, it may be comforting to know that LELO does its part in helping the environment. LELO toys are made using materials that are non-toxic and phthalate-free, and they’re WEEE-compliant (meeting collection, recycling, and recovery targets for all types of electrical goods).

These toys are also made with longevity in mind, which means that you can have fun with your fave LELO product for a pretty decent amount of time, thus reducing the environmental footprint. This is just conscious buying, to be honest. 

So while the options for recycling your old sex toys are fairly limitied, it’s not entirely impossible. It’s all about pushing past the embarrassment to help remove the stigma. Face it, millions of people own sex toys, but many of them are just too shy to talk about.

Written by: Helena Lorimer

Helena Lorimer
Helena is a sex-positive freelance copywriter in her early 30’s from Cape Town, South Africa. She’s travelled and lived in various countries in Asia and Europe for almost a decade, and continues to live her dream — traveling the world independently as a copywriter. Having written for various companies and magazines within the industry, she has extensive knowledge in the field of sexual health, the escort industry, and sex toy marketing.

One comment

  1. Great article!

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