But, there’s something else that often gets left out of that conversation: Disposing of sex toys.
Of course, you could just throw them in the trash to go in a landfill, but it’s 2022!
Shouldn’t we try and do better where possible?
Unfortunately, information on how to actually dispose of your sex toys in a safe and eco-friendly way is pretty thin on the ground. That’s why we’ve done our best here to gather up all the ways we can find to try and recycle, reuse or safely get rid of sex toys.
We know that not everyone has easy access to recycling facilities, but hopefully you can find a solution that works for you!
There is one thing to keep in mind, however you plan to dispose of your sex toys: they need to be cleaned first! We have guides available on how to clean dildos and vibrator cleaning on our blog. If you can, you should try to sterilize your sex toy, too.
Once they’re sparkling clean and you’re ready to say goodbye, here are some more environmentally-conscious ways to dispose of sex toys…
This is the kind of recycling that probably comes to mind for most people when they think about recycling. You sort your trash into a couple of different categories and stick it outside to be taken away.
Many sex toys do contain at least some materials that are recyclable at the curb-side. These can include silicone, ABS plastic and steel. Glass is a little different. Borosilicate glass (what better quality glass dildos are made from), for example, isn’t recyclable like normal glass.
The biggest issue, however, is that every area’s recycling program is different. Check what your local authority is willing to take before you throw your sex toy in the recycling. Do it wrong and automation systems may well divert it to the trash anyway, or even cause a whole bin of recycling to be rejected!
Some authorities will be willing to take whole sex toys and break them down. Others, however, will require you to do it yourself. Sometimes this may be possible, but other times it can be too dangerous. Don’t attempt to disassemble electrical toys like vibrators on your own!
You can however, recycle batteries in many places. If your sex toy is battery-powered, chances are that you have a lot of used batteries lying around. They might be recyclable curb-side or need to be taken to a center. Either way, it’s discreet! You could also consider using rechargeable batteries in the future — they create tons less waste.
If you can’t recycle your sex toys curb-side, you may be able to take them to a dedicated recycling center. This is especially true for electronic sex toys. A lot of the time, you need to take electronics to a specialized electronics recycling center.
Like with curb-side recycling, you may still have to check if your local center will accept sex toys. Take a look at this website to find an electronics recycling center near you, or a place that you can send your toys to for them to be recycled.
Some people may feel too embarrassed to dispose of their sex toys somewhere where other might be watching, but you really don’t have to. First off, there’s nothing wrong or shameful about owning sex toys! But also, it’s unlikely that anyone’s actually watching you at all. If you feel self-conscious, just place your sex toys under something else in the pile and no one will be any the wiser.
Specialized Sex Toy Recycling Programs
A widespread sex toy recycling program may still not be a thing, but there are some smaller-scale initiatives out there for you to check out.
Online sex toy retailer EdenFantasys runs a sex toy recycling program called Project Re-Vibe. Simply buy a $5 voucher and you’ll be provided with a packing slip so you can ship your old sex toys to them. Then, they use the parts of your toys to build new ones. Plus, you get a 15% off coupon on your next EdenFantasys purchase!
There’s a similar program for Canadians run by sex toy co-operative Come As You Are. If you have sex toy made from silicone or ABS plastic, buy a shipping label from them and send it over to be recycled.
Finally, if you’ve done some Googling into this already, you’ve probably seen quite a few references to a sex toy recycling program by Scarlet Girl. This was one of the first of its kind, but it’s unclear whether it’s still running. Their website hasn’t been updated in some time, and there no longer seems to be anywhere to buy a shipping label.
Did you know that one of the most environmentally conscious things you can do with your waste is to actually not throw it away at all? Reusing and repairing things instead of putting them through the recycling system uses less energy and creates fewer emissions. It’s no different when it comes to disposing of sex toys.
Repairing sex toys isn’t always possible, and we don’t recommend using broken sex toys, but there are some programs that can help.
Love Not War is a sex toy brand dedicated to creating sustainably-manufactured and long-lasting sex toys. However, they also have a repair and recycle program that will endeavor to fix your sex toy if it breaks and send it back to you! If they’re not able to repair it, they’ll also recycle it for you.
Second Hand Sex Toys
Now we come to perhaps the most controversial sex toy disposal solution on this list. Giving your old sex toys to someone else may well give you the ‘yuck’ factor, but don’t write it off just yet.
Sex toys made from non-porous materials, like a silicone dildo, are body-safe. That means that, if cleaned properly, they won’t hold onto dirt, germs or any other bodily fluids that it comes into contact with. You can also boil non-electrical sex toys (or stick them in the dishwasher) to sanitize them and kill off any bacteria that might remain.
At this point, your sex toy will be pretty much as good as new. So, why not give it a new life? Gift it to a trusted friend (as long as it’s not a surprise!), or use an online used sex toy marketplace like Squeaky Clean Toys or r/usedsextoys on Reddit and earn some money at the same time. These only take working, undamaged and 100% body-safe sex toys.
Why It’s Important to Dispose of Sex Toys Properly
Buying sex toys is not the most straightforward thing in the world, and we often encounter sex toys that just don’t work for us. A dildo could be too big, too small, or just not right for our body. Maybe we’ve outgrown it and want to upgrade to a new model. Maybe an ex bought it and we can’t face using it again.
Many sex toy novices fall into the trap of buying a cheaper sex toy to start with. It could be a cheap Fleshlight, a cheap pocket pussy, a cheap sex doll, or any other cheap male masturbator. It could also be a cheap vibrator, a cheap fuck machine, cheap anal toys, or a cheap strap-on.
These are often battery-powered and quick to break, which increases the amount of waste created by the sex toy industry.
Just like other electronic waste, vibrators and other electronic sex toys are especially dangerous to throw out with regular trash. Chemicals inside batteries can leak and can destroy whole ecosystems, and burning them can be similarly dangerous.
As the stigma of using sex toys decreases and sex toy companies continue to innovate, sex toy waste is only going to grow. That’s why it’s important that we, as a society, find a better, more effective way to dispose of them. In the meantime, however, we can try and do our part on a smaller scale to recycle our old companions.