Money for old toothbrushes?

People can now send off any brand of old toothbrush or toothpaste tube by post for recycling under latest TerraCycle partnership

UK consumers can now post off their old toothbrushes, toothpaste tubes and packaging for recycling under a new partnership between dental products giant Colgate and TerraCycle announced today.

The Colgate Oral Care Recycling Programme lets people send any brand of toothbrush, toothpaste tubes and caps, toothbrush outer packaging, electric and battery toothbrush heads and toothpaste cartons for free to recycling company TerraCycle in a bid to drive down plastic waste.

In return for signing up to the programme, consumers receive 100 points for every kilo of items recycled. Every 100 points represents £1, which can then be redeemed by schools, charities or non-profits of the sender's choice.

Philip Durocher, Colgate UK's general manager, said the global plastics issue was "high on the agenda for all". "We really encourage people to take advantage of the programme and recycle their oral care products and packaging via the programme and tell their friends and family about this new recycling initiative," he said.

Oral care products such as toothbrushes and packaging are typically made of a complex mix of materials such as rigid and flexible plastics and bristles, which means they are not widely accepted for recycling by local councils in the UK, explained Colgate.

However, under the partnership announced today, TerraCycle will separate items by composition, before shredding and melting them into hard plastic pellets that can then by remolded to make new recycled products such as benches and construction products.

It is the latest in a slew of plastic recycling partnerships secured by TerraCycle, following similar deals with both Walkers and Kellogg's allowing UK customers to send old crisp packets and Pringles tubes for recycling into plastic pellets.

Laure Cucuron, TerraCycle Europe's general manager welcomed the partnership. "Oral care products are used by all of us each and every day, so it's one of the most frequently asked about types of products that consumers tell us they want to be able to recycle," she added.

Go to this link for more information and to sign up