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Toothpaste is a major part of our daily dental hygiene, however most toothpaste packaging on the market today has a negative impact on our environment.
A vast majority of toothpaste tubes are made from sheets of plastic laminate put over a thin layer of aluminum. Since plastics and metals can’t be recycled together, many people just toss used tubes in the trash, so they end up in our oceans and landfills for hundreds of years.
What can we do about these problems? Can toothpaste tubes be recycled?
Recycle Those Tubes
When finished, we can recycled our toothpaste tubes. It does take a special process to recycle them, though. First, the tubes must be shredded to expose any remaining toothpaste and then washed in a solution of water and biocide to remove those residuals. After shredding and cleaning, the tubes are dried and turned into pellets so they can be made into new products.
This special process does mean that not every recycler accepts toothpaste tubes.
How can you do your part?
You can do your part when recycling your toothpaste tubes to make the process easier and more effective to protect our planet. First, call your local recyclers to see if they accept toothpaste tubes. If they don’t, check Earth911 Recycling Search database to find a recycling option near you.
Next, take some time to prepare your tubes. Squeeze out as much remaining toothpaste as you can. Cut the top of the tube off at the neck, then cut a slit all the way down the side to fully open it up. Finally, rinse out any residual toothpaste. You can follow this same process with other oral hygiene products like, dental floss containers, mouthwash bottles and toothbrushes.
For example rather than using a plastic toothbrush, try switching to a bamboo handle that will degrade naturally. You can also choose a sustainable oral care brand such as Terra & Co.
Terra & Co.
Terra & Co. is committed to offering products that are not only good for your mouth but also our planet. Their toothbrushes are made from sustainable bamboo that is biodegradable and and their charcoal whitening toothpaste is vegan, cruelty-free and free of harsh chemicals.
Made with clean, ingredients like activated charcoal, coconut and peppermint oils, their Brilliant Black Organic Toothpaste won’t release harmful chemicals into the environment. Plus, the added benefits of activated charcoal will help brighten your pearly whites for a healthy smile you can be proud of.