Toothbrush recycling and repurposing

Sounds a bit icky doesn’t it? It’s reported that over 25 000 tons of toothbrushes end up in landfill in America each year. It’s something we don’t think too much about – we use them, we throw them away.

Here’s a couple of ideas for minimizing waste:

Replaceable head toothbrushes.

By weight, the head of a toothbrush is the lightest part, the bristles may wear out quickly, but the handle lasts a long time. There’s brands of toothbrushes available that have replaceable heads, so you could cut down the bulk of your toothbrush related waste that way.

Recyclable plastic toothbrushes

Some manufacturers have heeded the call to minimize waste and are now making toothbrush handles from recyclable plastics. The plastic is reclaimed, melted down and used for making other items such as outdoor furniture. Next time you’re shopping for a toothbrush, look for these – it’s likely their “green” credentials will be mentioned on the packet.

If you’re not sure about what a toothbrush is made from check the packet or handle for a resin code – the number will indicate the type of plastic it is and if it’s suitable for recycling.

Toothbrushes around the home

Given the small head size of a toothbrush, they are really handy for all sorts of fiddly jobs around the home, including:

– Scrubbing in between tiles

– Knocking off dust that’s caked onto other items.

– Comb cleaning

– As a paintbrush for the kids art projects

– Cleaning a cheese grater

– Cleaning jewelry in conjunction with baking soda

– upholstery and carpet stain removal

– Applying hair dye

– Scrubbing dirt off hard skinned fruit and vegetables

– To clean car battery terminals

– Cleaning mud or dog poop from shoes

Remember to disinfect your toothbrush before repurposing it :)

Do you have other toothbrush recycling or repurposing tips? Please add them to this article for everyone’s benefit!