How to Properly Dispose of Bamboo Toothbrushes
By using a bamboo toothbrush, you are on the path to restoring mother earth’s purity and beauty. Kudos to you!
You may decide to follow the recommendations of the American Dentists Association and change your toothbrush every two to three months. However, disposing of your bamboo toothbrush doesn’t mean just throwing it away.
To properly dispose of it, throw away the bristles and packaging in the recycling or compost bin. The bamboo handle can be composted or used for other home activities.
How should you properly dispose of your bamboo toothbrush?
You’re keeping it green, that’s great! Go one step greener by following these steps to dispose of your bamboo toothbrush properly.
Reuse/upcycle your bamboo toothbrush
It’s a fact that the primary aim of your toothbrush is to clean your teeth. However, once its bristles start spreading out all over the place, it’s best to replace it with another.
But wait for a second, look around you and figure out the various other things you could use it for.
For instance, you could boil it in hot water and use it for a lot of household chores, including:
- Maintaining electrical devices: been looking for a way to get into the hidden corners of your computer keyboards or TV remotes? An old toothbrush can do the trick.
You could use it to clean and remove dust particles from your hairdryer, vacuum cleaner’s filter, or air vents. Now that’s a handy cleaning tool.
- Cleaning your bathroom: if you are struggling to get into those hard-to-reach spots in your bathroom, a good old toothbrush can handle that. Use it between the tiles, countertops, or inside the toilet seat.
- Scrubbing your sports gear: for more precise cleaning of your football “boots” or greasy bike chains, an old toothbrush and a lil’ elbow grease go a long way.
- Cleaning cooking equipment: when dealing with stubborn food particles that just won’t let go of your food graters and sieves, keep an old toothbrush handy for quick, effective removal.
- As garden markers: for a unique way to demarcate your garden veggies without using plastic, you could use a bamboo toothbrush handle. Mark the specific vegetable’s name on the bamboo handle, then drive it down into the soil for an easy reminder.
Pluck out the bristles
As eco-friendly as the bamboo toothbrush is, the bristles are a part that isn’t biodegradable. Therefore you must remove it before disposal, keeping the bamboo handle for the compost bin.
To best care for your oral hygiene, the toothbrush bristles are made out of standard nylon materials. Unfortunately, there are no practical alternatives (yet), and these do not decompose.
There are two ways to dispose of the bristles: pluck them off section by section using pliers or, if you’re feeling a little on edge, you can snap the entire head of your toothbrush, detaching the bristles from the rest of the handle.
Compost the bamboo handle
The handle of your bamboo toothbrush is biodegradable. However, to make sure it breaks down quickly, you need to know how to dispose of it properly.
One option is to throw it into your compost bin to be disposed of in an industrial composter, where it will break down within a few weeks. You could also dispose of it in your home composter.
If you want to help the decomposition along, break it into tiny pieces before dropping it in your compost bin. Bamboo will biodegrade in a couple of weeks to a couple of months, depending on the soil and your climate’s humidity and temperature.
What about the packaging?
When you open your bamboo toothbrush, take a moment to marvel at its beauty (if you want). Then, look through the box to see if its liner is biodegradable.
If the liner and box are biodegradable, you can drop them into your compost bin or at a neighborhood compost facility.
However, if they are plastic materials, throw them into your recycle bin. Usually, the toothbrush packaging will identify whether the lining is compostable.
How long does a bamboo toothbrush biodegrade?
Time for a little experiment. Different conditions will determine how fast a bamboo toothbrush can biodegrade.
- If you bury your bamboo handle horizontally in the soil, it might take up to three years for it to completely break down.
- If you just throw it in your garden, it could take five to ten years to break down completely.
- A bamboo toothbrush should break down in a few weeks to break down in an industrial composter.
- For a home composter, it could take four to six months. Remember, you can expedite this process by cutting it up into tiny pieces with a saw or hammer.
Activity for Eco-Kids! Switch the whole family over to bamboo brushes and set up an experiment (or even friendly competition) to see who can pick the best conditions for composting their brush.
However you get rid of it, choosing a bamboo toothbrush is never a waste
With all the non-degradable plastic waste floating in the sea and piling up on land, using a bamboo toothbrush is a great way to reduce your waste and negative impact on the planet.
This eco-friendly alternative degrades quickly, decreasing the amount of waste polluting the earth. Choosing to switch is a significant step, but it’s not everything. After using your toothbrush, how you dispose of it goes a long way in determining whether you are helping the environment or hurting it.
Following these easy steps – plucking out bristles, composting the bamboo handle, and repurposing the old toothbrush – helps make sure you’re maximizing the impact of your eco alternative. It is important to maintain proper oral hygiene by changing your toothbrush occasionally but don’t be too quick to throw away the old one.
Take a close look at your immediate environment, and you’re sure to find a lot of ways to put an old brush to good use. Remember, always reduce, reuse, and recycle to keep our planet pollution-free, and make sure to brush twice a day to keep those teeth squeaky clean!