How To Properly Dispose of a Bamboo Toothbrush
Your new bamboo toothbrush is on it's final brushes and it's almost time to say goodbye... But how do you dispose of it? Do you just throw it away? Do you recycle it? This guide shows you how to properly dispose your bamboo toothbrush in just 3 easy steps.
Buying a biodegradable toothbrush already means one less plastic toothbrush polluting the ocean or filling up landfill so you should be proud of your change. However, it still needs to be disposed of properly as the bristles aren't fully biodegradable.
Step 1: Re-use Your Toothbrush
Your toothbrush has gracefully fulfilled it's purpose of keeping your teeth clean, but you can still squeeze a bit more life out of it yet and make your money go that extra mile(who doesn't love saving money!). Here are some ways you can reuse your toothbrush:
1. Cleaning. - Toothbrushes are great for cleaning household items and for getting into all those tight, hard to reach spots that regular brushes can't get to. You can use your old toothbrush to get in between tiles and clean sinks, faucets, jewellery or even your toilet.
2. Maintaining beauty products. - You can use your bamboo toothbrush to remove debris and dust from the vent of your hairdryer keeping it clean and in good condition. It's also perfect for keeping your hairbrush free from extra hair and dirt.
3. Maintaining sports equipment and electrical components. - Use your brush to clean computer keyboards or to dust off other items. They're great for cleaning the charging port of your phone or the headphone jack(if it hasn't already been removed!). Toothbrushes are excellent for cleaning bicycle chains and can also be used to remove mud from boots/trainers.
4. Gardening. - Planting a garden? Write down the names of the plants you're sowing on an old bamboo toothbrush as a useful reminder. They make great garden markers and are much better than using plastic labels.
Before reusing your toothbrush be sure to submerge it in boiling water for 2-3 minutes to sanitise it and kill any bacteria. It might also be useful to mark your toothbrush so you don't accidentally brush with it again!
Step 2: Remove the Bristles
You can remove the bristles in one of two ways:
1. Simply pull out the bristles with pliers. - Grab a pair of pliers and use them to take out a small group of bristles at a time. Use a slight rolling motion to make things easier. You can also run the bristles under hot/boiling water to make them come out quicker. When removing the bristles, a small metal clamp used to hold the bristles together will also fall out.
2. Snap off the toothbrush head completely.
Once the bristles are removed, place them into a plastic recycling bin not a mixed recycling bin. The bristles are very small and lightweight so are not accepted for mixed recycling in most countries. Each country has different recycling options so be sure to check with your local authority.
Step 3: Compost Your Bamboo Toothbrush
Once the bristles are removed, the handle can be put in your home compost or in a commercial composting bin. You can even throw it away into your garden or fireplace! Even if you throw your bamboo toothbrush away with your normal rubbish and it ends up in landfill, it will still biodegrade within a few years. However, we recommend composting it if possible.
Depending on how you compost your toothbrush, it can take anywhere between a few weeks and a few years. Here's a rough guideline:
Industrial composter - A couple of weeks
Home composter - 3-6 months
Buried in soil - 2-4 years.
Thrown away in garden - 5-10 years.
These can all be sped up by breaking your toothbrush into smaller pieces before composting.
There are many ways you can re-purpose your bamboo toothbrush before throwing it away so get creative and send in your photos!
Feel free to leave your comments below and share this post with friends! We would love to hear your feedback and any ideas you come up with!