are toothbrush heads recyclable

toothbrush heads

Toothbrushes are made of different types of plastic fused together, which means most UK council recycling schemes won’t accept them. However, there are specialist recyclers such as TerraCycle that specialise in upcycling and can recycle toothbrush heads.

The company collects the heads from people around the country and sends them to a factory to be shredded, cleaned and then melted into new plastic to make things such as toothbrush handles and razors. Its goal is to help create a circular economy, whereby the materials are reused again and again to create useful consumer goods instead of ending up as landfill waste.

If you have an electric toothbrush heads, check with the manufacturer to see if they offer a return scheme. These are designed to take the hassle out of recycling your brushes and can be very simple to use. Some offer free postage, while others include the cost of the return in the initial purchase price.

are toothbrush heads recyclable

It’s also worth checking with local recycling providers to see if they can recycle your toothbrushes. They can also help you find the best way to recycle other oral care items such as toothpaste tubes, floss containers and mouthwash bottles. Some recyclers even pay you to drop off items for them.

For instance, a few years ago Colgate switched to using a type of plastic that is recycled with the rest of its packaging. As such, the company now offers a recycling program that includes toothbrushes as well as toothpaste tubes and caps, mouthwash bottles and floss containers. These are all collected by local grocery stores and other retailers that host a Gimme 5 collection bin for these items. They are then sorted by material and recycled along with other collected items such as cotton balls, toothpaste cans and floss packaging.

Beyond their mechanical cleaning action, toothbrush heads contribute significantly to maintaining overall oral health. Regularly replacing toothbrush heads is crucial to prevent the accumulation of bacteria and ensure optimal cleaning efficacy. Over time, bristles wear down, lose their shape, and become less effective at removing plaque, making them less hygienic and potentially harmful to oral health. Dental professionals typically recommend replacing toothbrush heads every three to four months, although individual habits and usage patterns may vary.

The plastic used to make the toothbrushes is then melted down and turned into hard, durable plastic for new products. The bristles, which are typically nylon, are cleaned and sterilised to prepare them for a new life. Some manufacturers such as booheads and Truthbrush also use nylon-free bristles in their brushes.

Similarly, the Swedish company Agood Company makes eco-friendly toothbrushes with a bamboo head and bioplastic body. The heads are compostable and can be disposed of in the garden waste bin. They’re compatible with Oral-b and Philips Sonicare electric toothbrushes.

Similarly, UK-based booheads and Truthbrush both have toothbrushes that work with Philips Sonicare electric toothbrushes. They’re compatible with the brand’s Eco-Brush and come with a pre-paid postage envelope for you to send the brushes back in once you’ve finished with them. They’ll then recycle them with their partner, TerraCycle.

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