Dental News

Recyclable toothbrush launched in US

Wednesday, September 8,1999 6:53 PM ET

NEW YORK (Reuters Health)- Most American homes and offices now have bins for recycling cans, bottles, and paper. A Massachusetts company wants to add one more item to the recycling list: its brand of toothbrushes.

Toothbrushes account for over 50 million pounds of plastic waste each year in the United States, according to the company, Recycline, Inc. of Cambridge, Massachusetts ( And that is if people only replace their brushes twice a year, not the four times a year recommended by the American Dental Association. But Recycline’s new toothbrush, called the Preserve, has a handle made from 100% recycled polypropylene plastic.

In a statement, the company stresses that although it is committed to using recycled materials, the nylon bristles of the toothbrush are not derived from recycled materials.

Preserve toothbrushes come with a postage-paid envelope so consumers can send back the used toothbrush and its packaging. The toothbrush is then recycled into plastic lumber.

According to the company, “the Preserve is the only toothbrush available at market that uses recycled plastics in its handle.”

“As Americans take action to improve their oral hygiene, toothbrushes will become more of a consumable,” said Eric Hudson, president of Recycline, in a statement, adding that ”combining the benefits of recycling with the product makes more and more sense.”

Preserve comes in soft, medium and firm textures. Priced at $3.79, the toothbrush is available at supermarkets and natural food stores.