The first toothbrush you ever used would still be in the landfill. Plastic takes thousands of years to naturally breakdown. Each year, over 30 million plastic toothbrushes are thrown away in Australia. That is a lot of plastic piling up.
Most people automatically think of recycling but not its process. Always check with your local council what plastic is allowed into their recycling bin. If they do not have the facilities to process the plastic handle and bristle, it will not be recycled, leading to more waste. There are programs like TerraCycle that can collect and process used plastic toothbrushes.
The more creative among us think of other more eco-friendly materials to replace their plastic toothbrush. Bamboo is one - a super plant! Yes, Bamboo is a plant that grows at a rate of 3 feet in 24 hours. It needs little water to survive and produces 35% more oxygen than other trees, making it a good alternative resource to plastic. Others use corn starch for the handle.
The trickiest part is the bristles, an all natural bristle uses animal (hog) hair, which may not be ideal for individuals with a vegan approach to life. In the grand view, an eco-friendly toothbrush handle made of Bamboo or Corn starch with a nylon bristle still uses less plastic than a traditional plastic toothbrush.
Extend the life of a toothbrush?
Did you know that dentists recommend changing your toothbrush every 3 months? As the bristle fray with use, it is less effective in keeping your teeth clean and maintain good oral hygiene. So after 3 months when you are no longer using the toothbrush for cleaning your teeth.
Consider using it to clean other things, like shoes or even hard to reach corners in the bathroom. Some Bamboo toothbrush handles have unique shapes to give you more creativity. Like using it to mark veggie patches or arts and craft.
Are toothbrushes recyclable?
- There are programs available to collect and process your plastic toothbrush for recycling.
- Check with your local council before tossing it into the recycling bin. Not all parts can be processed in the facility.
- Look at using alternate materials like Bamboo or Corn Starch handles.