Sex toy recyling
how to re-sell, re-use, re-cycle or dispose of your sex toys properly
We will keep updating this page with information as we discover it. So keep checking in.
Please email us if you have any information to add.
Contents – click to jump to each section
1. Your solution depends on these 3 things.
2. When it’s time to get rid of your sex toy?
3. 6 ways to get rid of a sex toy
4. Eco-friendly sex toys
5. Which sex toy materials can be recycled?
6. Which sex toy materials need to be safely disposed?
7. Sex toys trade-ins
8. Whatever you do, don’t do this!
9. It’s not easy to re-cycle or return sex toys.
10. What to do next?
Your solution simply depends on 3 things
1. Does it still work?
2. Does it vibrate?
3. What material is it made from?
Don’t overthink it!
If the toy still works, you could still get rid of it in a way that earns you cash, or help someone else out, or help the planet – if the material is body-safe then your options are to re-cycle or re-sell.
If it’s broken. Depending on what type of toy it is, and the material, your options are to recycle or dispose of it.
If it vibrates, it’s probably classed as e-waste (read on!)
If the material is toxic (check what makes a sex toy body-safe here), you should get rid of it immediately – even if it does work! Your options are to dispose of it properly and safely.
When is it a good time to get rid of your sex toy?
When it’s just doesn’t do anything for you.
When it’s broken! It’s no use to you, or not safe to use.
When you run out of space to keep them.
When it starts to smell or become disfigured !!!
Yes, if it contains phthalates, that smell can be right from the point of buying your toy. Sadly, it’s only then that some people discover that you shouldn’t be putting that toy inside you in the first place! The best advice here is to dispose of it and start again. Better saved ( you, not the toy !) late than never.
We researched this subject in order to be able to advise people how to dispose of sex toys that we don’t accept. Squeaky Clean Toys doesn’t accept broken toys, or toys made of toxic materials like jelly or soft PVC, toys containing phthalates, toys generally not on our approved list of brands, or used toy parts that are made of porous materials that cannot be fully sterilized.
But there are more reasons for people getting rid of a sex toy.
Just looking at the variety of toys, and the ‘reasons for selling’ that are listed on the marketplace. The reasons for people getting rid of their toys are never-ending!
” Upgrading to a new model “
” Size was wrong “
6 ways to get rid of a sex toy
Simply | Kindly | Discreetly
1. Always do this first.
2. Give it another chance.
3. Pass it on.
4. Sell it second-hand, or trade it.
5. Send it back to the retailer to recycle.
6. Dispose of it yourself
1. First step always
Clean & sterilize it first – no matter what you do next.
See our guide about how to clean and sterilize your toys. It’s only hygienic to clean new toys before you use them for the first time, clean them before and after every use, every now and again, and very importantly – sterilize them before you pass them on. The risks of getting an STI from any sex toy are surprisingly low, but you can read a lot more about it in our guide.
( For more details see the how to clean your sex toy blog post. )
2. On second thoughts
Maybe give it a another chance to please you.
Every sex toy is not the same – did you even realize that some toys are beginner toys and some are more advanced. We’re all on a sexual journey, some of us still at the starting blocks whilst others have raced ahead and even getting professional about it! We’re also all discovering how our body works, and how we use a sex toy can change as we develop in our minds and our bodies. It might be worth persevering and finding a way for that toy to work for you. Sometimes what doesn’t work now, might be useful further down the line. It might begin to grow on you!
3. Pass it on
Gift it to a friend
What you do with them depends on the material – is it toxic, is it still body safe? If it’s safe, and you have a close friend that trusts you, then why not share it, after it’s been cleaned and sterilized! Spread the love, and save the planet at the same time! A great eco solution.
4. Sell it for cash, or trade it.
Using a marketplace, a forum, or social media
Admittedly there aren´t many places to do this and most are through social media chat forums where you have to deal directly with the buyer and sort the payments out. Trading is a good option for these forums as you don’t have to exchange any cash. But, using a social media platform ( e.g. Facebook) can mean your family and friends can see it too – so this option depends on how private you want to be.
The press have focussed a lot on the recycling aspect of the Squeaky marketplace – it is clearly a topic of great interest to their readers. Links to the press coverage are given on our press page.
Beware of the grey area.
We’ve also noticed that although there are body-safe rules on some chats or forum-type marketplaces, sellers can also sell stuff that is not body-safe – they only have to make sure the buyer is aware.
So this is a very grey area and we just prefer to keep things simple and heavily monitored. We’re all learning here. We don’t allow soft PVC toys, so I’m afraid that also currently means no Doc Johnson labeled “body-safe PVC” , or loosely labeled phthalate-free PVC toys. We don’t accept sil-a-gel as a definition of silicone etc. We’d rather stick to the safest toys, for your benefit, until we know all can be confident that these aren’t going to harm you. We value the opinions of blogger/testers like Dangerous Lilly on this – she has made this a mission to keep us informed.
I know we’re biased, after all this is why we set this site up. But by far, the safest, most secure, and discreet way, is to do it through a dedicated marketplace like Squeaky Clean Toys. You can get a good feel about how a dedicated marketplace really works on our How it Works blog post.
5. Send it to a company to recycle it for you
Return it – recycle it – get a credit voucher!
It could be as simple as bagging it up and sending it back to the retailer you bought it from. They might do the recycling for you, or even make it into new toys. Sadly, only a few places offer this ( read on!) but you may also get a discount voucher toward new purchases.
Or, you might have a local recycling company that will take it apart for you, and recycle the different materials.
6. Dispose of it yourself
Do it Yourself – responsibly – using local facilities.
What can you put into your rubbish bin? Not much more than the packaging the toy came with.
What materials can be recycled? The options will be different, depending on where you live. You many have to dismantle the toy yourself, which isn’t often easy, but you’ll feel great when you’ve made the effort.
Sell your toy on the live marketplace now
Eco-friendly sex toys
Some toys probably should probably be thrown out even if they’re new! We’ve had such a great learning curve about body-safe materials since we started the marketplace and did just that with a jelly cock.
So what do we do about the materials that are toxic for our bodies (like soft PVC and Jelly toys). If they aren’t good for us, how can they be good for our beloved mother earth?
Which sex toys are eco-friendly, bio-degradable, recyclable – or not!
Body-safe , Earth-safe
Eco friendly is a good term to look out for and you’ll probably find that they are often the most body-safe toys, made of silicone. U.S. sex toy store Good Vibrations, have a program called Ecorotic for what they call “green sex toys”. They use this “Ecorotic” label to let you know which toys, in their opinion, are body-safe, animal product-free, re-chargeable, have re-cyclable packaging or materials, have been manufactured in the USA, or contain natural ingredients.
Apparently, bio-degradable materials should degrade easily and not release potentially harmful chemicals into the environment. As for bio-degradable sex toys, it begs the question that if it’s going to degrade naturally and easily then will it start doing that in your body when you’re using it? We’re not yet used to that concept and I haven’t seen a real following yet. But we’ll be keeping a close eye on these for you.
Which sex toy materials can be recycled?
Valuable metals and electronic parts will be recycled for reuse. You can probably find a metals bin at your local recyling depot. Same goes for electronics, or see the links below.
Cardboard packaging and some plastics can be recycled, and the fabric storage bags can even be sold, or recycled.
Silicone is not bio-degradable but also it’s not that harmful to the environment. It’s best to recycle it, and it can be recycled multiple times! In fact, Plastic, silicone, and rubber can all be ground up and re-used.
PVC however, is a type of plastic that is not recyclable. We imagine that the same applies to Jelly toys but we’re still trying to find out. If anyone knows – please get it touch at firstname.lastname@example.org
Sometimes, even batteries will be recycled. Most have to be handled carefully and need to go to a special battery recycling plant. However, single use alkaline batteries are better, and can usually be thrown in with the general waste. Rechargeable batteries are also better for the environment as they use less unrenewable materials. These are usually regarded as e-waste so ask your local e-waste depot if they will take them.
Glass can be recycled too, but only the cheaper kind so if you have a cheap glass dildo that’s fine! The best kind of glass is called borosilicate. The best glass sex toys are still made from annealed borosilicate glass. But borosilicate glass has to be melted at a higher temperature than normal consumer glass, so it needs to go to a special furnace for that.
So is it okay to even have a cheap glass dildo? I believe the main thing here is to make sure that the glass is annealed glass as this strengthens it. We’re not the experts, but you may need a polariscope to find out. Again – head over to the famous blogger/ tester DangerousLilly to see the results of her tests. One of the best brands she tested is Crystal Delights and we have a cute item of theirs on the marketplace right now. ( Apologies if it’s sold by the time you see this. )
E-waste is a massive problem
In the UK and Australia, and we think also Canada – anything that vibrates, or comes with a battery or a charger is treated as electrical waste a.k.a. e-waste. Think toaster, cameras, electric toothbrushes etc. So however you can recycle those, you have to do the same with your sex toys. For the USA and Europe, follow the links below for WEEE compliant recycling or disposal.
Look out in your local area for disposal centres for electrical items (and sex toys). Contact them to see if you need to bag things up and send, or if you can leave them bagged up, at a local drop off point.
Some useful links for electronic waste recycling
EUROPE: WEEE ( Electrical & Electronic Equipment Waste directive)
Wilipedia information: WEEE explained
Some useful links for battery recycling
USA: batterysolutions.com and Call2recycle.com are mentioned a lot online but their websites are not coming up at the moment. We’ll keep looking for you and update here when we can.
EUROPE: ERP (European Recycling Platform)
General information: Wikipedia
Which sex toy materials need to be safely disposed of?
There seem to be a lot of types of PVC and vinyl so please don’t just throw it in the trash or the general recycling or even send it to the local incinerator. Lots of PVCs will give off corrosive and toxic fumes when burned. So consult your nearest plastics recycling center or see if your local general recycling plant has the correct facilities to dispose of your PVC.
A battery works is by converting chemical energy into electrical energy. They can contain toxic chemicals and heavy metals which have a really negative effect on our environment. Some batteries are easier to recycle than others.
If you just throw it in the trash it will end up in landfills where it will start to decay and leak hazardous, toxic metals and elements into the ground. The chemicals soak into the soil and contaminate our ground and surface water putting animals and humans at risk of ingesting them through our tap water.
Lithium batteries are also very unstable and cause landfill fires, smoldering for a long time ad releasing toxic chemicals into our air. This gets trapped in the atmosphere which contributes to bad air for us to breathe in, and global warming. It then comes back down as rain and pollutes our lakes and streams.
Sex toy trade-ins
Can you send your toy back to where you bought it?
If you can’t sell your toy on, or don’t want to do the gritty job of re-cycling or disposing of it yourself, then it’s worth checking if you can send it back to the store you bought it from. Some stores will do the recycling for you !
It’s worth checking first, if they just accept the return of the toy on its own, or whether it is part of a trade-in program. It’s not always entirely clear from marketing information so just double check first! The inability to return toys (and we do understand why shops prefer to simply say no to all returns) is one of the main reasons that sex toys are just left hanging around in the back of your wardrobe – we talk about this a lot in the Buying & Selling Used Toys blog post.
EdenFantasys still seem to be doing their recycle & rebuy with a discount and recycling voucher scheme. They break the toys down and re-use the materials to make new toys. Looks like you get $5 for recycling and if you want to buy something new again you also get a 15% vibrator discount. Check it out!
It also has a blog area called the Green project talking all about green lifestyle and sex and its industries how they affect each us all, and the planet.
“Sexis asks: How do our sex lives, and the industries that support them, affect the earth? Starting with the basics, we present an open-ended dialogue on how our sexual choices impact our relationship with the planet and its ever-dwindling resources.”
It seems Eco-sex toys are becoming a wonderful new thing too – but that’s a top for another post!
2. Scarlet girl (aka REIN)
Scarlet Girl will dispose of your toy for you if you are a client of Scarlet girl or a private civilian (not a company). You get to go on the emailing list and get a credit toward a new sex toy. Now that’s friendly!
The toys are – “broken down and properly recycled at facilities regulated by OSHA and the EPA.”
Just make sure it’s cleaned first or you’ll rightly get it returned to sender. Oh, and you need to check the toys and parts that are not accepted (including batteries, or incomplete toys) – just click through to check this great green solution out.
Sex Toy Recycling is a company that apparently does the same thing but the link doesn’t seem to be working at the moment, so we’re just checking them out right now to see if they’re still around.
1. Come as you are
A cooperative sex store in Toronto ( “Come as you are” ) will recycle your silicone toys and give you a 15% voucher toward any new purchase.
1. Lovehoney UK
They launched their ‘rabbit amnesty scheme’ for electrical/vibrating toys in 2007 but that seems to have disappeared since about 2014. The page is no longer available on their website. They’re still doing loads for the environment so you can read about that here so you might get redirected to this page instead.
2. Forbidden Obsession
Another company whose program seems to have fallen by the wayside. Lots of online info says offer recycling services for old sex toys, and a voucher. But sadly their web address is unreachable and there hasn’t been anything on the Twitter page since 2015!
We’ve heard that Rosewell will accept any toy under 300g, and will also cover the cost of any carbon-neutral, standard shipping costs to boot!
Yet another lovely company that had a recycling program – but they don’t seem to be available any more. Since we wrote thus article they’ve even taken down their web page.
Don’t do this !
Don't just throw it in the trash
Don’t just wrap them in disguise and throw your toys in the trash bin, they will end up in the landfill. What you’re effectively doing is wasting good materials that could be recycled.
And all recyclable materials are not necessarily biodegradable so the landfill just sits there getting bigger. Also, when toxic materials are sent to landfill, there is potential for the toxic chemicals to leach out into YOUR soil and YOUR water!
Don’t throw them in the water either !
In the sea off Norway, a fisherman caught this poor cod. Wondering why he was so fat, he cut it open to discover that he’s eaten a vibrator thinking it was a little octopus!
Don’t even think of using them if they aren’t safe.
You might be able to put a condom over it to make them extra safe, but not in all cases. Way back, we threw out our jelly toy when we discovered it was a toxic material. Now we’re trying to find out how to do that responsibly cos surely if it’s not good for our bodies, it’s not good for landfill either. Chances are though it will have melted a long time ago when put in any contact with other materials.
Don’t throw your borosilicate glass in the normal glass recycling bin
The borosilicate glass will not melt and would contaminate the ordinary glass, making it unusable.
Don’t just burn PVC in your garden!
They will give off very unsafe gases for you! Consult your local plastics recycling about it first.
It´s not easy to recycle or return sex toys!
You might have to call your local council / authority about it and not everyone is comfortable with that. You might also need transport to dispose of your toys.
Not everyone wants to tell their retailer if your toy is being recycled because it didn’t work for them but the shop needs to know, if they insist on helpfully finding a replacement for you. Seems unfair because they really are just trying to help, but discussing which toy might meet your sexual preferences or needs isn’t afternoon cup of tea chat is it!
What to do next?
If we didn’t hit a 5 / 5, please tell us what was missing for you and we’ll try to do better.
We will keep updating this article when we find more information. Please let us know if you have any information we could add.
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