Dental Practices can now recycle hard-to-recycle waste with TerraCycle

TerraCycle’s Oral Care Waste and Packaging Zero Waste Box allows dental practices to offer staff and patients a recycling solution for their used toothbrushes, toothpaste tubes and much more

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As awareness of the issue of waste and single use plastics grows, consumers are increasingly looking to make more sustainable choices as they go about their daily lives. Of course when it comes to oral care, a patient’s health is the top priority, and unfortunately plastic waste is unavoidable. Thankfully, TerraCycle’s team of engineers, polymer scientists and recycling experts have over 20 years of experience in keeping otherwise unrecyclable materials in use and out of landfills and incineration, and have come up with a solution specifically for used oral care products.

The Oral Care Waste and Packaging Zero Waste Box is the first comprehensive recycling solution for hard-to-recycle oral care products and packaging, developed by the award-winning waste experts at TerraCycle®.

Whether you’re looking to recycle toothpaste tubes and caps, plastic toothbrushes, electric toothbrush heads which don’t contain an RFID microchip or interdental brushes and floss containers, the Zero Waste Box system is an all-inclusive recycling solution for all of those dental items that are typically considered “non-recyclable” through traditional council recycling systems.

The Zero Waste Box™ system is convenient and easy to use, making it the perfect option for dental practices looking to offset their impacts and reduce their environmental footprint. Aside from the obvious environmental benefits, an Oral Care Waste and Packaging Zero Waste Box also offers advantages such as bolstering a practice’s reputation within the local community, singling them out as a positive changemaker for a more sustainable planet, generating potential positive word of mouth, increasing engagement with their existing patients, and even gaining new patients.

Zero Waste Boxes come in one of three sizes, small medium and large, with prices ranging from £134.21 for a small box, which will hold approximately 250 waste items, to £263.71 for a large box which will hold around 1,250 items. The price of each box includes the cost of TerraCycle sending it to the customer, the prepaid shipping label which the customer then uses to send their full box back to TerraCycle, and the cost of processing the waste.

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How Does it Work?

There are 3 steps to recycling through the Zero Waste Box system.

  1. Customers purchase their preferred size of Zero Waste Box on the Zero Waste Box website ( and it is delivered to them.
  2. Customers then fill their Zero Waste Box with used oral care products and packaging. This could take several months depending on amount of non-recyclable waste they dispose of.
  3. Customers then use the prepaid and pre-attached shipping label to send their box back to TerraCycle where it will be sorted and sent for processing.

The recycling

In order to recycle this waste, TerraCycle partners with a number of third-party processors who turn the waste into a reusable raw material. The waste we send for recycling is shredded, washed and turned into an agglomerate or pellets. These pellets can then be melted down and moulded by manufacturers into new products such as outdoor furniture, planters and even playgrounds for schools.

Several practices across the UK are already using the solution, for example Queensway Orthodontics, an oral health practice with five clinics across the North East of England has purchased the Oral Care Waste and Packaging Zero Waste Box and is using it to offer patients a free recycling solution when they visit the practice.

According to Dr Guy Deeming, Managing Partner and Specialist Orthodontist, Queensway Orthodontics, Billingham: “Our boxes are placed in dedicated areas throughout each of our practices where our patients can comfortably bring in their old oral health items and place them in the box. This tends to be in our waiting rooms. We encourage our team to take photographs for use on social media.”

If you are interested in introducing a Zero Waste Box to your practice, giving a boost to your corporate social responsibility and demonstrating your action to protect the environment, or if you’re looking for ways to increase footfall and positive feedback from patients, then please use the links below to find out more.

More information on TerraCycle:

The Zero Waste Box website:

The TerraCycle Blog:

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