Investing in an eco-friendly toothbrush helps to reduce the amount of plastic that we throw away. This, in turn, prevents as much plastic being dumped in the ocean, hurting marine life, or being thrown into a landfill.
However, using and disposing of a bamboo toothbrush is not quite as simple as swapping your toothbrush and then putting it in your bin as usual when you’re done. For maximum impact on the environment, bamboo toothbrushes should be disposed of or composted correctly.
You’ll be glad to know, although it might take a little getting used to, that this new process is super easy and doesn’t take any extra time. To help you make the transition smoothly, here is how to appropriately dispose of your bamboo eco-friendly toothbrush, making sure it degrades as quickly as possible.
Step 1: get more life out of it by upcycling
Dentists advise that you should change your toothbrush a few times a year, ideally every two months (although we recommend every four to six weeks !). However, this doesn’t mean you can’t get a bit more life out of it even when it has run its course in dental hygiene!
An old toothbrush is a great cleaning tool for getting into those hard-to-scrub areas around the home, such as in tight corners or along the joins of your bathtub, or to assist you in your washing up. Just remember to sanitise it before use by boiling it in water for a few minutes, and keep it away from your new toothbrush!
Step 2: remove and recycle the bristles
Firstly, remove the bristles from the head of the eco-friendly toothbrush. This is because the bristles are not currently biodegradable – we’re working on it!
If your toothbrush’s bristles are very tough to get out, you might need to use some pliers. Our top tip is to not try and pull too many out at once; instead, use a slight rolling action to pull them out smoothly without breakage.
Although the bristles aren’t biodegradable, they are currently recyclable, so you can just pull them out and then pop them into your recycling bin with your other recycling. As they are so small, you might find it best to put them inside a plastic bottle or something similar that you are already recycling.
Step 3: compost the bamboo handle
The bamboo handle of an eco-friendly toothbrush is 100% biodegradable, and so it is suitable for composting. However, there are a few different methods you can use to compost your eco-friendly toothbrush.
Bamboo breaks down completely over time, but is also rot-resistant, which is why it’s so great for toothbrushes. This means the time it can take for this material to biodegrade depends on the conditions, such as the heat and moisture level.
If you pop your toothbrush in the garden, it can take as long as a decade to break down, whereas burying it can accelerate the process to around three years. You might also use a home composter, which takes four to six months, while an industrial composter will only take a few weeks.
So, there you go! Follow these three simple steps to properly dispose of your bamboo eco-friendly toothbrush when it has run its course. Just remember to get yourself a new toothbrush to replace it, and you’ll be good to go.