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Caring For Your Oral Health And The Environment

We should only use our toothbrushes for around three months before replacing it with a new one. This means that in the UK around 256 million toothbrushes are bought and discarded every year.

Plastics are a key material in toothbrushes. They are flexible, have good durability and are easy to keep clean. However, they have detrimental impacts on our environment due to manufacturing, transportation, and disposability.

Alternative Plastics

One of the most common types of plastic is recycled plastic, however this is not always appropriate for oral healthcare products as it may contain hazardous materials. For this reason, it is unlikely that recycled plastics in their current for could be used to make toothbrushes. However they could be useful for their packaging.

Oral health is currently shifting towards the use of renewable plastics, in the form of biobased plastics. They are made from plants such as sugar cane and the caster oil plant. This helps to create a smaller carbon footprint as it removes the use of fossil-based plastics.

Reusing Your Toothbrush

Extending the lifespan of our toothbrushes and finding other ways to make them more sustainable is the responsibility of oral health companies. However we can try to make a difference too. Studies from the Oral Health Foundation found that 80% of us use our old toothbrush for an alternative purpose. Try using it to clean your bathroom tiles or kitchen appliances.

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