Let’s talk toothbrushes!
A standard toothbrush is made of a hard plastic handle and a set of soft nylon bristles. Most come in plastic packages. These petroleum products do not biodegrade, and they release toxic chemicals if incinerated. A billion toothbrushes will be thrown away in the US this year. Think about it, every single toothbrush made since the 1930s (when the plastic ones were introduced) is still out there in the world somewhere, living on as a piece of trash.
What to do?
- Use bamboo toothbrushes! Bamboo is a fully biodegradable and renewable resource.
- TerraCycle is a company that recycles unwanted toothbrushes, toothpaste tubes, dental floss containers, and the packaging those items come in. They turn them into plastic lumber and other types of products. All you have to do is mail them to TerraCycle using the instructions on their website. It can even be a fundraising project: you can earn points which are redeemable for donations to the school or nonprofit of your choice!
- www.preserve.eco is a website that sells toothbrushes made from recycled materials. When you’re done with them, you can mail the toothbrushes back to them for more recycling, using their mailing label.
- When you no longer want to use your toothbrush for cleaning your teeth, hang onto it and use it for household cleaning instead!