“Going Green” and recycling are two trends that encourage people to become more environmentally friendly. Like other lifestyle changes, starting small is the best way to begin a new habit. There are several ways to make everyday tasks more “green.” For instance, old toothbrushes and empty toothpaste tubes are often tossed out without a thought, but there are simple and fun ways to recycle these items. Read on to learn eco-friendly tips for recycling your dental hygiene products.
They may be plastic, but toothbrushes are commonly not accepted by curbside recycling programs. Toothbrushes are made of three different components, which make them difficult to break down. The plastic handle, nylon bristles and the metal staple holding the bristles in place must be separated before being processed. Check your local recycling guidelines to see if recycling a toothbrush is an option for you.
If recycling your toothbrush isn’t an option for you, no need to fret! There are several ways to stay environmentally friendly. Some companies like Preserve Products or Toothbrush Express allow you to send in your old toothbrush to be recycled and will send you a new toothbrush in return.
If you don’t want to wait for a new toothbrush in the mail, you can also purchase toothbrushes with exchangeable heads. Once the bristles have worn out, all you have to do is switch out the head. This is more eco-friendly as it minimizes waste and can be cheaper than purchasing multiple brushes in the long-run.
Fun ways to recycle a toothbrush allow you to reuse it yourself! There are several uses for toothbrushes aside from keeping a clean mouth. Here are just a few ideas:
- Cleaning/scrubbing the grout between your tiles
- Use it as a nail brush to scrub away the dirt under your nails
- Applying hair dye to the roots of your hair
- Use it as a brush to shape your eyebrows
- Cleaning in between keys on your keyboard
- Make a toothbrush bracelet
Some toothpaste tubes can be recycled, but others cannot. You will need to know what your tube is made out of in order to determine whether or not it can be recycled. Tubes made out of aluminum or plastic are recyclable. Tubes made from laminates, however, are not able to be recycled. If you are unsure of the recyclability of your toothpaste tube and the packaging doesn’t specify, you can always contact the manufacturer to find out. Most toothpaste caps and packaging, like the cardboard box, are able to be recycled.