Part of conscious consumerism is not just consuming but also considering the end of the life for your products. If you have one of our 100% plant-based bamboo brushes or are considering switching over, please make sure you've used it to it's full potential before you dispose of it.
The American Dental Association recommends replacing your toothbrush every 3 months or when the bristles have frayed but before tossing, there are a few other uses for your brush when it's no longer recommended to be cleaning your teeth:
Here are four ways to upcycle your bamboo toothbrush
- Cleaning sports equipment like your bike chain, skate bearings, even running shoes
- Cleaning hard to access areas in your home like window rails and tile grout.
- Cleaning debris from your computer keyboard.
- Keeping one in your car to get down and dirty inside cup holders, the seams of your seats and along the rubber window piping.
When that brush is FULLY worked, here's how you can properly dispose of it:
How to dispose of your bamboo toothbrush
Step 1: Remove the bristles from the head of the toothbrush with pliers.
You'll find aluminum staples that are holding the bristles in will come out. You can pull the staples off of the bristles with the pliers and recycle them. We'd recommend folding the tiny staples up inside used (but clean) aluminum foil if your curbside recycling accepts this or putting them inside an aluminum can and crimping the can shut so they make it through the recycling system as they are so small. Aluminum is expensive to mine and make new so it's highly recycled, as a matter of fact 75% of all aluminum ever produced is still in use today.
If you choose not to remove the staples, aluminum won't biodegrade but as it does come from soil (it's most common metal in the Earth's crust) as long as it is in extremely small amounts, it should be able to chemically break down and not harm plants. It's important to note though, too much aluminum is will throw the pH off in soil and will stress out plants so we would recommend in this case, removing the staples and recycling them if you can.
The bristles themselves can be put in your home compost. They will take a while to break down but they eventually will and as they are 100% plant-based once they break down, they will add nutrients to the soil (to be used by plants, a la "plant food") instead of petroleum-based bristles which will break down into micro plastics and become toxic to the soil and surrounding plants.
Step 2: Reuse or compost the handle.
Both the bare toothbrush head and handle can be composted either in an industrial composting facility or put into your home compost. They are made of 100% bamboo so they will break down entirely.
And that's it! At end of life, your Luala Eco bamboo toothbrush will break down into nutrient rich soil to be used by plants as food.