1 December 2016

Rugby charity the Oral Health Foundation is giving its support to a new local initiative encouraging Warwickshire's households to recycle more and throw away less as part of the ‘Slim Your Bin' scheme.

The charity is encouraging local people to get involved in the initiative with a call to start recycling their toothbrushes.

Research by the Oral Health Foundation shows roughly 20% of us throw away our toothbrushes at the end of its three-month lifespan, with 80% choosing to recycle or reuse them for other purposes such as cleaning.

Although many people are already seeing the benefits of recycling their toothbrush it still means an estimated 438,984 toothbrushes are thrown away by Warwickshire residents every year, often ending up in landfill.

As a result, the Oral Health Foundation is sending out the message to the people of Warwickshire that our toothbrushes have the potential to be put to lots of great uses, long after their initial role in cleaning our teeth and gums is over and this is a great first step to helping our environment.

Dr Nigel Carter OBE, CEO or the Oral Health Foundation said: "What happens to your toothbrush after its short but useful life?

"We've taken a look at what you get up to with your used toothbrushes and there really are some incredibly inventive, unusual and even bizarre uses which it can be put to. 

"It seems that making the jobs many of us try to avoid a bit easier is where toothbrushes are most useful, with scrubbing bathroom tiles coming out as top use for an old toothbrush. In fact, cleaning - not surprisingly - was found to be a common theme. Almost a third (28 percent) of us use our old toothbrushes to assist in cleaning various kitchen appliances, more than a quarter (26 per cent) to give an extra glimmer to our jewellery and roughly one in every five (18 per cent) use the oral hygiene product to shine our shoes.

"Some of us even put our toothbrush to use cleaning bike chains, as makeshift nail brushes and to add a sparkle to the ornaments in your fish tank. 

"It is important to remember to change your toothbrush, or head on electric toothbrush, every three month to help stop the spread of bacteria and to ensure you are brushing your teeth effectively, so be sure that before the next time you go to throw one away you think about how else you can put it to use around the house.

"This is a great way to start your involvement in cutting down on your waste and help your local environment as part of this exciting initiative."

Slim Your Bin is a community focused scheme, free to all residents living in Stratford-on-Avon district as well as North Warwickshire, Warwick district and Nuneaton and Bedworth borough. Through an engaging community education initiative, the scheme aims to reduce waste and get people recycling more, while benefiting local community projects and promoting community spirit.

To find out more about the ‘Slim Your Bin' initiative visit www.warwickshire.slim-your-bin.com and see how you can get involved in this very worthy campaign.