Inflatable pool toys are a bit odd. On one hand, they are not recyclable (we will discuss why in a short while), on the other hand, you won’t want to put them into your normal garbage bin. Although, for the latter, you aren’t going to be left with much of a choice.
Inflatable pool toys cannot be recycled. They’re made of a type of PVC that is not easily reused, so they just end up in the landfill. Your best option is to try to seal any leaks in your existing pool toys and minimize purchasing new ones in the future.
On this page, we want to walk you through why you can’t recycle pool toys, and what you can potentially do with them.
Can You Recycle Inflatable Pool Toys?
You cannot. This is because while inflatable pool toys are constructed from plastic, they are made from pretty much the only plastic that cannot be recycled; PVC.
Now, technically, PVC can be recycled. However, we do not do it all that often. This is because of the way that PVC has been made.
It’s packed to the brim with all sorts of additives. In order to recycle PVC, all of these additives would need to be separated out.
This requires a lot of equipment and a lot of manpower. In fact, it is so expensive to recycle PVC that it is just cheaper to produce new PVC in order to keep up with the demand for it.
There are some places where you can take your PVC inflatable pool toys to be recycled. This is because there is one method that can be used to recycle PVC…to an extent. This is known as mechanical recycling. The idea is that the additives in the inflatable pool toys will not be filtered out.
Instead, more additives are put into the plastic. This can help to eliminate how toxic the PVC is once it has been ground down.
Now, the plastic that is made from this process is not the same as normal recycled plastic. It cannot be used for the same purposes as other recycled plastic. However, it can be reused, and that is something, right?
You may need to go to your normal waste disposal place to find out whether they recycle PVC or not. If you have a plastic recycling bin near your home, then you may be able to add PVC into it.
However, there is no guarantee that it will be recycled like this. In many cases, it will just be removed from the recycling and put into a landfill anyway. You can’t really tell.
Need a new inflatable pool toy? These are the top 5 bestsellers on Amazon!
How Can You Dispose of Inflatable Pool Toys?
Now, here is the tricky part.
In most cases, you will have no choice but to put the inflatable pool toys into your normal garbage can. The problem? This is likely going to be ending up in a landfill.
Obviously, we want to reduce the amount of garbage that goes into landfills. We want to recycle as much as we can.
This is especially true when it comes to PVC. As we have said, PVC is going to be packed to the brim with all sorts of chemicals. These are harmful chemicals.
Once the PVC is in a landfill, these chemicals will be released into the environment. It will kill the land. It can get into the water supplies. Honestly, it is never going to be a good thing.
Now, some places are going to burn their garbage to help prevent it from going into landfills. While this isn’t the best idea because it can pollute the environment, it is the main option that many places are turning to now.
However, burning PVC is awful. It releases highly toxic chemicals It really isn’t good for the planet.
The problem is that you really do have to dispose of the PVC inflatable pool toys in this way. There are very few other methods that you can use to get rid of it. It is incredibly annoying.
Pretty much the only thing that you can do is to avoid buying PVC products in the future. However, even this is going to be difficult since nearly every single inflatable pool toy that you can buy uses PVC in its construction.
This is one of only a few types of PVC products that you can’t really make using alternative methods. Try to cut back on PVC in other areas of your life, though. This will at least reduce the demand for the material, which can benefit the planet.
What Can You Do With Old Pool Toys?
To be honest, we recommend that you keep your inflatable pool toys, at least for a short while. This applies even if the pool toys are broken.
Chances are that the reason you are throwing out the inflatable pool toy is that it is broken. This means that it is no longer holding any air in it i.e. it will no longer inflate.
If you regularly buy pool toys, then you will often run into this problem. This means that you will forever be sending PVC inflatable pool toys to the landfill.
We suggest that you put the broken pool toys to use. In the future, whenever one of your other inflatable pool toys breaks, you can cut a small piece off of another broken toy and apply it to the hole. You will need to use a bit of waterproof sealant for this.
This is something that works surprisingly well. It also means that you do not have yet another inflatable pool toy that you will be sending off to the local landfill.
Sadly, beyond this, there isn’t really much that you can do to reuse these pool toys. Therefore, you should try to avoid buying them wherever possible. It will be for the benefit of the environment. Instead, look for toys that can be recycled.
While inflatable pool toys can be recycled to an extent, it is difficult and costly. As a result, the only viable way to get rid of them is to put them in the standard garbage bin. This will send them off to the local dump.
However, try to avoid doing this if you can. It is damaging to the environment.
If you’re looking to minimize the impact that you have on the planet, then I’d highly suggest not buying things like pool toys or at least searching for a more environmentally friendly option.