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What You Need to Know About Recycling Oral Care Products & Packaging

The Colgate® Oral Care Recycling Programme in tandem with groups like TerraCycle® is making great headway in working to recycle and repurpose oral care consumables. TerraCycle is ‘Eliminating the Idea of Waste®’ by recycling the “non-recyclable.”

With a worldwide reach, TerraCycle® works with several recycling streams to create repurposed outdoor furniture and other items. From plastic gloves, coffee capsules, pens, children’s toys, beauty packaging, granola wrappers and crisp packets, the recycling of oral care products is relevant to our case.

Dental consumables are now seriously on the watchlist.

What is Acceptable Oral Recycling Waste and What is Not?

What is acceptable for recycling:

  • Any brand of toothpaste tubes and caps
  • Any brand of plastic toothbrushes
  • Any brand of plastic toothbrush outer packaging
  • Any brand of toothpaste cartons
  • Any brand of electric and battery toothbrush heads
  • Any brand of floss containers and outer packaging

What is not currently acceptable for recycling:

  • Any toothbrushes not made from plastic
  • Interdental brushes
  • Battery operated toothbrush handles
  • Dental floss (string)
  • Mouthwash plastic bottles
  • Breath sprays
  • Denture adhesives packaging
  • Denture tablets packaging
  • Denture cream tubes
  • Outer packaging that did not contain toothbrushes or dental floss
  • Cartons that did not contain toothpaste
  • Tubes that did not contain toothpaste
  • Toothpaste pumps
  • Toothache kits

While the list of what is recyclable may be shorter than what is not, that will change as more and more innovators, investors and communities respond to what us currently recyclable.

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Precycling & Smart Shopping Choices Set to Lessen Recycling

When we take a step back and look at the big picture, we start to understand how effective we, as consumers can be in directing the clean-up of our spectacular planet. We created the mess that we’re almost drowning in but it’s not too late to start reversing that process.

Recycling dental and oral consumables is an excellent place to start – and urgently so. Precycling is where we will go next.

Oral care recycling raises awareness both before and after we shop besides reminding us to maintain oral hygiene in our everyday lives. As we improve in our choices, we can aim for electric toothbrushes with replaceable heads, for example, or use bamboo toothbrushes and avoid plastic altogether. We can avoid packaging as much as possible.

Nicola Heath has the low-down on precycling commenting that “when it comes to minimising waste, recycling is too late. Precycling – where you buy items free from packaging – is a more effective way to reduce your carbon footprint.”

While we kick our butts into gear and get with the programme on recycling, precycling is tipped to be the next proactive trend toward saving our planet. Meantime, we have tons of already produced goods, which we purchase and use that we can more effectively recycle than have them end up in landfills.

Preparing the Recycling of Oral Care Products

Recycling mentality teaches us not to waste and that includes getting all the toothpaste out of the tubes before we send it to recycling collection points. We will need to cut the top of the tube off and slice down the side to open the tube and wash off any residual toothpaste with soap and water. The packaging used for oral care products is a cinch to recycle and that includes mouthwash and dental floss containers.

Watch the iTunes Recycling Comedy Occu-Series

We kid you not. “Human Resources – taking the trash out of TV” is a brilliant occu-series that by all intents and purposes, is successfully ‘running point’ on the reality of and endless possibilities for recycling. ‘Run by Tom Szaky, an idealistic 32-year-old entrepreneur, TerraCycle, one of the fastest-growing green companies in the world, gets paid top dollar to take anything and everything that is landfill-bound – from potato chip bags to cigarette butts – and recycle, up-cycle, re-use, or otherwise transform these objects into something else. Tom and his colleagues at TerraCycle dream of a day when garbage cans will belong on the trash heap of history. This series blends environmental innovation with laugh-out-loud comedy into a reality TV cocktail for the 21st century.’ 

With three seasons under their belt the recycling awareness this off-beat show is off the charts! It is a great way to get our kids inspired to recycle.

Colgate® is championing the cause with regard to oral care product recycling by making dentists aware and trusting they will educate their patients in turn. Recycling companies do their best to make it easy for all of us to join the recycling, upcycling re-using, re-purposing drives.

We, at Shine Dental, for one stand by to assist patients to focus on oral care recycling and fund-raising opportunities. You can drop-off your oral care products and packaging at public drop-off locations across the UK – find your local one here.

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