Can I recycle my toothbrush?
It is recommended that you change your toothbrush every three months. Although this is great for our personal health, it’s not great for the environment.
The standard toothbrush is made of a hard plastic handle, nylon bristles, and metal staples that hold the bristles in place. All of these components need to be separated before they can be processed for recycling.
Toothpaste tubes are a little easier because they can be shredded and then passed through a wash cycle to remove the remaining paste. However, these petroleum products do not biodegrade and release toxic chemicals when/if they are incinerated.
Can I buy a toothbrush that’s safe for the environment?
Preserve Company makes toothbrushes out of recycled #5 plastic. They take the plastic, melt it down, and turn it into toothbrushes, razors, and food storage containers.
Preserve toothbrushes can be found at Whole Foods and other grocery stores that specialize in organic and natural foods.
You can also choose to purchase toothbrushes made from wood or bamboo.
How can I recycle my toothbrush and toothpaste tubes?
To recycle your toothbrush, take it to a participating Whole Foods retailer and look for the Gimme 5 bin. You can also mail your old toothbrush directly to Preserve, or call 1.888.354.7296 for more information.
Colgate has partnered with Terracycle to recycle unwanted toothbrushes, toothpaste tubes, dental floss containers and their packaging . To recycle your items you can mail your items to TerraCycle.
Minimize your waste.
If you have old toothbrushes, don’t just throw them away! When you’re finished with your toothbrush, consider hanging onto it and use it around the house to scrub faucets or clean your jewelry.