The UK Throws Away 2,266 Tonnes of Toothbrushes a Year

New data calculated by Expert Reviews has revealed that the UK throws away a staggering 2,266 tonnes of toothbrushes each year – that’s 212M electric toothbrush heads and manual brushes discarded annually.

The recent analysis found that 141M electric toothbrush heads and 71M manual toothbrushes are disposed of each year. On a monthly basis, the UK discards approximately 17.6M toothbrushes and toothbrush heads – or 580,821 per day.

Oral hygiene guidelines generally advise that people change their toothbrush heads every 3-4 months. While this may help to improve our oral health, it also inevitably increases our contribution to the already mammoth amount of waste caused by discarded dental products.

As the world is now warming faster than scientists had expected, it’s becoming increasingly necessary to make eco-friendly adjustments to our daily life. Although toothbrushes may seem small in comparison to larger polluters such as vehicles, their waste weight still plays a role in damaging the environment. The annual waste weight of an electric toothbrush head is 846 tonnes, while manual toothbrush waste weight is 1,420 tonnes annually.

Thankfully, there are sustainable solutions available to help people take better care of both their environment and their teeth. Plastic toothbrushes can’t be recycled from home, but there are a number of free oral care recycling programmes that offer drop-off points in certain areas around the UK. In addition, Compostable brushes such as wooden or biodegradable alternatives are an environmentally friendly option to consider instead of purchasing a plastic manual toothbrush.