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Are Bamboo Toothbrushes Recyclable?

Are Bamboo Toothbrushes Recyclable?
The bamboo toothbrush is an absolute must-have in your eco-friendly bathroom. Whether you have decided to go all-in on zero waste or are going room by room, the bathroom, and your dental hygiene is one of the quickest and easiest zero waste swaps. Say goodbye to the plastic toothbrushes that are filling up landfills and oceans, and instead switch to the environmentally friendly bamboo toothbrush


Why is the bamboo toothbrush better for our planet?

The bamboo toothbrush, unlike its plastic counterpart, has a significantly smaller impact on both the production and end of the life cycle process. Bamboo is one of the fastest-growing plants and dot not only produces oxygen during its growth but provides safe jobs and opportunities for people living in rural areas. Unlike petroleum-based products, bamboo is a renewable resource that can continuously grow.  Petroleum-based products such as plastics that make up traditionally used toothbrushes are made from a non-renewable resource that require significant energy input to extract them from the ground. The process of inverting these raw materials into polypropylene and polyethylene  Also produces carbon emissions, chemical runoff. The current data shows thAt most petroleum-based plastics emit  4.50-6.75 tons CO 2 per production of a 1 ton of corresponding plastic. 
However, the environmental footprint of the toothbrush doesn’t end there. Plastic toothbrushes are made from polypropylene and polyethylene That can be injected into molds. Polypropylene is labeled as recyclable number 5 and can be recycled in certain places. Unfortunately, mostly plastic toothbrushes end their life cycle within a garbage mountain. Terracycle has put in initiatives to increase the number of plastic toothbrushes becoming recycling. Bamboo toothbrushes, on the other hand, face a different fate.

Are bamboo toothbrushes recyclable?

The bamboo toothbrush is made out of bamboo fibers while the bristles are typically made from nylon. Certain bamboo toothbrushes manufacturers employ biodegradable boar bristles or compost ale maize-based tapioca bristles. This means that the bamboo toothbrush handle and bristles are not recyclable. Instead, the bamboo toothbrush handle is compostable and biodegradable. This can be considered a better alternative to recycling, as recycling requires large amounts of energy to turn materials into (usually) less high-quality materials. Unlike aluminum, steel, or glass that can be recycled infinitely. Materials such as paper are downcycled into lesser quality toilet paper, cardboard packaging, or filler materials. By composting your bamboo toothbrush handle, you will allow the bamboo fibers to return to the soil and help rejuvenate soil structures and nutrients.

What to do when you finish using your bamboo toothbrush?

Once you have used your bamboo toothbrush for the recommended three month period, or until the bristles are worn out, you have several options. You can check out this handy guide on how to dispose of your bamboo toothbrush, where you can learn how to separate the bristles from the handle and the best method to compost. An alternative thing to do with your bamboo toothbrush is to continue its life cycle in other tasks. Downgrade the human bamboo toothbrush into a pet bamboo toothbrush. Or use the bristles to get the dirt out of hard to reach cracks and crevices. You can also use it to clean your aquarium, under your nails, or use it as marking sticks in your vegetable garden.

Are bamboo toothbrush bristles recyclable?

In most places in the world nylon toothbrush bristles are not recyclable. Boar bristles are compostable, and tapioca bristles and biodegradable. Nylon bristles may be recyclable in your city, so check with your local council. Since they are so small, the best thing to do with the toothbrush bristles is collect them all together so the individual strands do not enter the natural ecosystem.

What is recyclable in Australia?

With the big yellow bins out the front of almost every home in Australia, the assumption would be that Australia has fantastic recycling systems. Unfortunately, not only in Australia but worldwide the recyclability of items depends exclusively on the infrastructure available in that town and area. The best way to find what you can recycle in your city is to check with the local council. They will have infographics and lists of items that you can place in your recycling bins. With certain specialty items such as chemicals, batteries, or large-sized pieces of metal it would be a better idea to head over to your local tip shop. Tip shops or waste management facilities will have designated areas where you can dispose of these items. Typically, car batteries can be taken back to car stores where they are taken apart or used for parts. Certain places collect the lead in the batteries to create dive weights or similar. 
Warning !! For items such as soft plastics, these need to be taken to recycling points typically found in large supermarkets. Even if they say recyclable on the soft plastic packaging, it is important to not place them in your normal recycling bin. If these soft plastics enter the recycling separation machinery, they can get wrapped up on the equipment and stall or stop the entire process. 

Top tips for recycling!

To ease the recycling process and ensure all of the designated recycling you have separated makes it to a recycling plant, here are a view top tips to consider. There have been reports, that even when one item of general trash is placed in the recycling bin the whole truck can be diverted directly to the landfill. Currently, recycling is not economical and only 9% of recyclable plastic actually got recycled between 1950 to 2015.

1. Keep food scraps out of your recycle bin

While there are washing parts of the recycling plant, avoid putting pieces of food into your recycle bin. Grease from your food May contaminate the recycling bin. Instead, compost those food scraps along with your bamboo toothbrush.

2. Do not put in greasy paper

While cardboard pizza boxes are recyclable, greasy cardboard pizza boxes are not. the grease on the cardboard Will hinder the paper processing and can sometimes cause the entire batch to be thrown out.

3. Check with your local council

Some areas accept aluminium cans, plastic bottles, food packaging, glass wear, while others, such as Exmouth in Australia only collect aluminium cans.

4. Do not put your recycling in plastic bags

As mentioned above, the soft plastics can damage machinery, and recycling in plastic bags will be considered as trash designated for the landfill.

5. Find your waste management facility

Most municipalities will have a tip shop or waste management facility that you can visit and dispose of your green waste, toxic chemicals, and batteries. Separate these items from your normal trash, and commit to a regular tip visits to ensure your trash is properly sorted.

6. Keep the Lids and labels on food packaging

Recycling plants have mechanisms to separate the lids and labels to the appropriate sections. Keeping the lids on the bottles and glass wear also ensures that the smaller pieces are not lost.
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