Many of us know that we all need to be doing more to improve the levels of recycling and how we dispose of our waste.
This applies to everything in our day to day lives, including the products we use to clean our teeth.
Dentistry is a heavy user of plastics and there are many products we use that have a short usable life or are intended as single use.
Things are changing for the better, slowly and we embrace this change.
Philips are following in the steps of Colgate and now offering a recycling programme for oral care products.
How it works
Rather than throwing away your electric toothbrush head or interdental brush in the bin, to go to landfill, it can be recycled.
Via a nationwide network of drop-off locations you can deposit many of your used oral care products.
This initiative is manged by Terracycle, but is funded by Philips.
Once full, the bin is collected and sent into TerraCycle’s facilities for processing.
The recyclable products are then separated by material composition, shredded and melted into hard plastic pellets.
From there they can be remoulded to make new recycled products such as benches.
Do be aware that you can’t put all of your oral care products in the recycling bin.
What you can place in the Philips dental care recycling box:
- Electric toothbrush heads and covers
- Nozzles from electric water flosser
- Interdental brushes and floss sticks/picks
- Plastic dental floss container
The following products cannot be placed in the recycling box:
- Battery operated toothbrushes
- Electric toothbrush handles
- Manual toothbrushes
- Toothpaste tubes and caps
- Outer cardboard and plastic packaging for toothbrushes, toothpaste tubes and floss containers
- Dental floss
If you can, do your bit for the environment.
Collect your used oral care products and deposit those that can into one of the Philips Dental Care recycling boxes available around the country. To find the one closest to you, consult the recycling programme map.
Although the programme is funded by Philips, those public locations that have the collection boxes can gain rewards.
For every 1kg of dental care products sent into Terracycle, 100 TerraCycle points are awarded (minimum 2kg per shipment).
These points can then be redeemed as financial donations to the charity or school chosen by the owner of the points.
By partaking in the scheme, not only does the environment win, but local communities do too.
According to an FAQ on the Philips website ‘Philips’ ambition is to collect 2 tonnes of waste from landfill through this programme’ – I do hope they don’t stop the programme when they hit this goal.
It is a shame the Philips scheme does not accept manual toothbrush, toothpaste tubes and caps like Colgate’s scheme, it would allow them to achieve that target quicker.
However, the Philips scheme does accept dental floss containers and interdental brushes that Colgate does not!
To learn more head over to the TerraCycle website.