Why You Should Consider Sustainable Oral Care
Our world doesn’t recycle enough to keep up with the thousands of pounds of waste produced. Plastic has become the most unsustainable resource on earth, creating massive destruction to ecosystems and wildlife, and many companies have been slow to work at creating more sustainable sources. Many of our toothbrushes in those landfills will take hundreds of years to break down on their own, and it’s through recycling that this issue can be slowed turned over, one toothbrush at a time.
We’re here to give you an insight guide on how to recycle your used toothbrush and give you other tips to help reduce your impact on the environment through sustainable oral care.
Why Take Part in Sustainable Oral Care?
Plastic remains an ever-growing problem as the amount of waste produced massively outweigh the amount recycled. Billions of toothpaste tubes, toothbrushes, flossers, and teeth whitening trays are being thrown into the trash every year, and with this issue ever-growing, there is a massive need for individuals to take part in carbon-neutral programs and reduce their impact through sustainable products.
Statistics from the agencies such as the EPA cite that in the dental industry alone, the US produces:
- Around 50 million pounds of toothbrushes are discarded and end up in landfills.
- Dental clinics produce one of the main sources of mercury discharge, about 5.1 tons each year, to publicly owned treatment works, which often can spill off into landfills and be released into the environment.
- The average person wastes over 32 gallons of water per day, and this includes brushing and flossing their teeth, causing over 1 trillion gallons of wastewater per year.
- Dental practices alone also waste significant amounts of cotton, plastic, latex, and other materials, including hazardous wastes that aren’t always disposed of through recycling.
For those ready to combat the issue of plastic, it starts by looking at every part of our lives, including our oral health.
Recycling Your Dental Hygiene Products
For the dental industry, the key to combating our environmental issues is through waste management, were more applicable sources such as recycling, using digital solutions, and finding alternative resources to reduce the amount of waste produced. However, there are many things you can also do to reduce your plastic waste at home when caring for your oral health. Our suggestions for better oral health include:
- Oral B Care Recycling Program: TerraCycle and P&G (the makers of Oral B and Crest) founded their recycling program to help form a natural solution towards plastic waste in the dental industry. Old, used tooth products can be boxed up and shipped to one of their facilities to be recycled.
- Learn Your Local Recycling Guidelines: All recycling rules vary by region, so it’s important to check with your local recycling provider to learn about what you can and can’t recycle.
- Consider Recyclable Products: Some dental companies, such as RADIUS or Elims, have been launching new products using cellulite, nano-hydroxyapatite, and xylitol to create more biodegradable materials. Purchasing these can help make recycling easier.
Your dentist will be able to provide you with the most information about recycling and lessening your impact on the environment, so make sure to schedule your appointment soon to learn more.