Toothbrushes are used every day, by almost everyone.
It is estimated that Australians use and dispose of around 30 million toothbrushes annually. That leads to over 1000 tonnes going into landfill every year!
The majority of these toothbrushes are constructed of plastic, and herein lies the environmental threat.
Prior to the 20th century toothbrushes were constructed of materials such as quills, bone, and animal hair. Synthetic materials only became the norm in toothbrush production during the 20th century due to the potentially unsanitary nature of the other products. Now thermoplastics and nylon are the standard materials for toothbrush handles and bristles respectively.
These plastics will not break down in a single lifetime, they can hang around in the environment for up to 1000 years; often they migrate from landfills, compounding the problem. Many discarded plastics end up in our oceans, contributing to the enormous Oceanic Garbage Patches and threatening marine life and ecosystems.
This is not how we want future generations to remember us!
We at Smile By Design have partnered with Terracycle, a multi award winning, innovative company who are combining advanced technologies with community involvement to reduce the global waste crisis.
Smile By Design is your local drop off point for recycling Oral Care Waste. That includes toothbrushes, toothbrush packaging, empty toothpaste tubes and packaging and floss containers. We ship them to Terracycle (in a recycled cardboard box, of course!) where the tubes and brushes are separated by composition, shredded and melted into hard plastic that can be remoulded to make new recycled products.
We have also made the switch from single use plastic cups to paper cups, and you will notice our goodie bags have had an eco-friendly make over too! You will now have the option to upgrade to a sustainably sourced Bamboo toothbrush inside your recyclable goodie bag.