Wait before you toss that tube of toothpaste
According to a study by the Natural Resources Defense Council, Americans generate an estimated 32 million pounds of waste from dental products each year. This includes mouthwash bottles, toothbrushes, dental floss, and toothpaste tubes. Of this waste, only about 5% is recycled. The rest ends up in landfills or incinerators.
The study also found that the production of dental products contributes to greenhouse gas emissions, water pollution, and air pollution. For example, the production of toothpaste tubes requires the use of fossil fuels, which contribute to greenhouse gas emissions. Additionally, the manufacturing of dental products can generate air pollution and water pollution.
St. Joseph Dentistry is proud to support our patients in their efforts to help save the planet. Here are a few free recycling programs for dental products:
- Colgate offers a program to recycle used toothbrushes. Simply mail your used toothbrushes to Colgate, and they will be recycled into new products.
- Crest offers a similar program for used toothpaste tubes. Simply mail your used toothpaste tubes to Crest, and they will be recycled into new tubes.
- ARM & HAMMER offers a way to recycle Toothpaste packaging.
- Oral-B offers a program to recycle used electric toothbrushes. Simply mail your used electric toothbrush to Oral-B, and they will be recycled into new products.
- TerraCycle offers a program to recycle used dental products, including toothbrushes, toothpaste tubes, electric toothbrushes, and dental floss. Simply sign up for the program on TerraCycle’s website, and they will provide you with a free shipping label to send your used dental products to them. They will then recycle the products into new products.
Some local recycling programs will also take your used products. Make sure you call ahead, or look online at your recycling provider’s website and check out these tips before you place items in your recycling bin.
- Rinse your toothbrush thoroughly before recycling it. This will help to remove any toothpaste or other residue that could contaminate the recycling stream.
- Remove the bristles from your toothbrush before recycling it. This will make it easier to recycle and will help to prevent the bristles from getting tangled up in other recyclable materials.
- Flatten your toothpaste tubes before recycling them. This will help to save space in the recycling bin and will make it easier for the recycling facility to process them.
- Rinse your mouthwash bottle thoroughly before recycling it. This will help to remove any mouthwash that could contaminate the recycling stream.
- Remove the label from your mouthwash bottle before recycling it. This will make it easier for the recycling facility to process the bottle.
You can also reduce the amount of waste you produce by using sustainable dental products. For example, you can use a bamboo toothbrush, which is made from a renewable resource. You can also use toothpaste that comes in a glass jar instead of a plastic tube.
By recycling and using sustainable dental products, you can help to protect the environment.