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How to Dispose of a Bamboo Toothbrush: Guide

So you're making a conscious effort to become more eco-friendly and have ditched your plastic toothbrush for a bamboo toothbrush. Great! Please don't throw the bamboo one in the bin when you're finished with it, though... That won't be helping the environment half as much as if you dispose of it in other ways...

Most Bamboo Toothbrush Bristles Are Nylon 

Each week we're inundated with enquiries asking us if the bristles (nylon) on our bamboo toothbrushes are biodegradable and the best way to dispose of a bamboo toothbrush in its entirety.

First of all, nylon is not biodegradable but can usually be recycled. So, the bristles on the majority of toothbrushes on the market are not eco-friendly or biodegradable.

Plant based bristles are available on some companies' toothbrushes - and also others that make bristles from animal hair such as pig and horse hair (seriously). We trialled various plant-based options and consulted dental experts on their use before launching our bamboo toothbrushes. We ourselves concluded they did not provide the cleaning capabilities of nylon and did not last long enough. The bristles made of animal hair were not a consideration for us and do not pass as vegan-friendly.

The fact that nylon is used for the bristles in most bamboo toothbrushes doesn't mean you shouldn't switch from a plastic type - after all, these also use nylon brushes and also a solid plastic handle. The handle on most bamboo toothbrushes on the market is 100% biodegradable and the packaging that they are supplied in (should) be eco-friendly. We use recycled packaging for all our toothbrushes and no plastic. Whether you recycle the bristles or not (less than a gram of plastic) you are still making a considerable contribution to reducing plastic consumption by making the switch and disposing of a bamboo toothbrush correctly. 

Benefits of a bamboo toothbrush

  • Biodegradable handle
  • Look great 
  • Usually supplied in eco-friendly packaging with no plastic 
  • Eliminates unnecessary waste 

*Dentists recommend changing your toothbrush a minimum of every 2 months*

Before You're Finished With It...

Always get the maximum use out of your toothbrush before considering disposing of it. That doesn't mean getting rid when the bristles are misshapen and no longer useful for brushing your teeth. You can still use the brush for a variety of useful applications until it really is ready for disposal. These include:

  • Cleaning shoes and sports equipment 
  • Cleaning hard-to-access areas in the bathroom 
  • Handy in the kitchen when trying to remove food stuffs from tricky to clean utensils 

Nomad Genie Bamboo Toothbrush

How to Dispose of A Bamboo Toothbrush 

  1. The bristles should be removed first
  2. To remove the bristles use a pair of pliers to carefully pull them out of the bamboo
  3. Alternatively, break the head of the toothbrush off, the part containing the bristles
  4. Compost the bamboo part of the toothbrush by putting it in a compost heap in your garden
  5. It is important you don't just throw it into the trash. If you don't have a compost heap then put it separate into the bio waste bin
  6. The nylon bristles can be placed into the recycling. There's less than 1g of plastic, but every little helps.

How Long Does a Bamboo Toothbrush Take to Biodegrade?

If you compost your bamboo toothbrush yourself it could take months for your handle to completely disappear but Industrial grade composters are capable of breaking a bamboo toothbrush handle down in a matter of weeks. Breaking the handle up into smaller pieces would speed the process up. 

So, there you have it. Hopefully you've found this guide useful. Want to make the switch to bamboo toothbrushes? Check out our range here... 

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