Everyone owns a toothbrush. But, if you have an old electric model, you might have wondered what to do with it when it’s time to buy a new one. In this article, we’re talking about electric toothbrushes. We’ll also discuss how to dispose of an electric toothbrush properly to make a positive impact on the planet.
What Is an Electric Toothbrush Made Of?
Electric toothbrushes are mainly made of plastic. Polypropylene and polyethylene are usually used for the handles, and nylon-6 is used for the brush heads and bristles. They also come with a rechargeable battery that’s typically made of nickel-cadmium.
Both of these plastics are recyclable. Even bristles made of nylon-6 can be recycled if they’re separated from other plastics. At the moment, there’s no electric toothbrush that’s an entirely eco-friendly alternative. You could, however, opt for a manual bamboo toothbrush, which comes without the benefits of an electric toothbrush.
Only Get Rid of Components That Need Recycling
With the proper care and attention, electric toothbrush handles can last a lifetime. It’s the brush head that usually needs replacing around every three months. But the good news is that you can recycle many of the various plastic and nylons in a brush head. That means you’ll have one less thing to place in your wheelie bin with the general waste.
Why You Need to Dispose of Electric Toothbrushes Handles Responsibly
Around 170 million electric components are purchased in the U.K. every year. Many of these electric components can be reused, but placing electrical waste such as a battery in the general waste can have more adverse effects than you probably realise.
Anyone know how to correctly dispose of an old electric toothbrush?
— Jackie G (@pdxdayhiker) February 8, 2010
Why is there so much emphasis on disposing of your electric toothbrush handle responsibly? In general, you shouldn’t place batteries in with your everyday waste because the chemicals within the batteries are dangerous to the environment. Since electric toothbrushes run on batteries, they shouldn’t go into waste for kerbside collection. If the batteries are amongst general waste which goes to landfills, the old batteries can leak, and the toxic materials can seep into the soil.
If you’re ever in doubt about how to dispose of brush heads, old handles, and more, go online or contact your local recycling organisation. They’ll be happy to provide you with information on where you need to go and what you need to do.
Getting Rid of Old Electric Toothbrushes Responsibly
Fortunately, there are several ways you can reduce your landfill waste. First, get an electric toothbrush that uses materials that are made for recycling. Next, be part of online or local groups that follow a recycling process. Here are just some initiatives for manufacturers.
Rip electric toothbrush after years of faithful service. How to dispose of responsibly?
— Lorna (@LornOwl) June 16, 2011
Send Toothbrush Heads to TerraCycle
You can recycle your electric toothbrush heads for free in the comfort of your home by sending them to TerraCycle. Simply download and print off a shipping label, post your flosser nozzles, toothbrush heads and floss containers to them, and they’ll recycle your dental products for you in their recycling plant. By engaging in this recycling program, you’ll also receive 10% off your next purchase of Philips electric toothbrush heads.
However, it’s worth noting that various items aren’t accepted for recycling with this programme. These include battery-operated toothbrushes, electric handles, manual toothbrushes, toothpaste tubes and caps, batteries, dental floss, outer cardboard and plastic packaging.
Drop off at the Local Colgate Recycling Locations
Alternatively, you can find your closest recycling drop-off location. Just go online and find your nearest option. This programme is all thanks to Colgate, who lest you recycle battery and electric toothbrush heads, plastic toothbrushes, toothpaste cartons and the outer toothbrush packaging of any brand.
To engage in this recycling programme, you need to perform the best practices beforehand. Always thoroughly clean the products for recycling and dry them properly before sending them off.
What happens to your waste? The oral care products are separated by materials, cleaned and broken down into small plastic pellets to make new recycled products.
— Sio Lohrasb (@SioLohrasb) November 6, 2012
Send Your Dental Care Components to Oral-B
Oral-B is one of the various manufacturers committed to having a positive impact on the planet. That’s why they developed a programme called Recycle on Us.
They’ll collect your oral care waste, such as toothbrushes, toothpaste tubes, and floss containers. Once your box is full, download a free shipping label from the Oral-B website and ship your items to them. The collection service will then process the components for recycling.
— Will (@WillGormley) June 6, 2020
Alternative Ways to Use Old Toothbrushes
Another way to reduce your landfill impact and take care of the planet is to reuse your toothbrush in many other ways before you throw it straight in for recycling.
One of the best ways to reuse an old toothbrush is for cleaning hard-to-reach areas of your home. Think about how a toothbrush can reach all areas of your mouth. Now think about what this could achieve with cleaning around your home.
For example, you can use the brush to scrub the grout between tiles or get into the nooks and crannies in your car. You could even clean every small space of your keyboard or mouse part of your home that you weren’t able to reach otherwise.
Use old brushes for cleaning other things in your home. They make great tools for cleaning kitchen utensils, including cheese grates, garlic mincers, and other metal objects that can often collect food and debris.
wild uses an electric toothbrush to clean their keyboard lmaooo
— The JBat (@JBatBoi) February 22, 2021
Alternatively, use your old brush to add life to your jewellery for a clean, polished look. And, since toothbrushes can reach all areas, you’ll notice changes in the quality of your jewellery almost straight away.
For Stain Removing
Another way to make the most of an old brush is to remove stains from your clothes, which nobody likes having. Thankfully, using an old electric toothbrush head can help when you’re trying to spot clean your clothing or other fabrics.
A Reason To Smile
Knowing how to dispose of an electric toothbrush properly is just one way you can reduce your carbon footprint and one of the steps towards making the world better. Now, you even have the option to repurpose it when it exceeds its lifespan.
We’d love to hear some ways that you have a positive impact on the environment. Let us know how you contribute to a healthier planet in the comments.