The number of plastic toothbrushes that goes to landfills

The challenges with waste are real and vicious. Most of such waste are non-biodegradable materials and recycling, nor upcycling is not a totally effective resolution. Plastics – hard plastic materials, for that matter, like toothbrushes stays in landfills longer, even lengthier than a regular person’s lifetime.

According to the Metro Manila Development Authority (MMDA) report, Metro Manila is producing excessive trash that causes landfills to chock-full. The National Capital Region (NCR) is generating an increased 75,000 truckloads of waste as per the 2016 Commission on Audit (COA) report.

The said number is said to have increased to a significant percentage of around 10 to 11 million cubic meters per year since then.

As also said by the report from the MMDA, the agency professed that if this number of trashes continues to grow, three landfills in the Metro will be deemed inoperative and full in 2037, these disposal facilities are:

  • Quezon City Sanitary Landfill – full in 2021
  • Navotas Sanitary Landfill – full in 2026
  • Rizal Provincial Sanitary Landfill – full in 2037

A toothbrush is recommended to be replaced every three months. If people are using plastic toothbrushes and do not re-use them for another purpose, it will go straight to landfills.

Plastics in toothbrushes are usually made from hard plastic materials. These said materials do not decompose and can be at its original state forever. Nylon bristles are another story; once they are dismantled from the actual body, it can be carried away by the current of any body of water.

In the United States, at least one billion plastic toothbrushes are thrown away every year. Around 50 million pounds of which end up in landfills.

In addition, the production of nylon and polypropylene plastics is obtained from non-renewable fossil fuels that can endanger the environment more if continued.

Alternatives to plastic toothbrushes are already available. Using toothbrushes made from recyclable materials is one option. Moreover, it is still best to avoid using plastics. Bamboo toothbrushes can do the job, and even better. They are eco-friendlier and ecologically responsible as well.

 

Author: Shainne Hostalero, MDC

References:

Rappler.com. (2017, June 22). Metro Manila landfills full, unusable in 20 years – MMDA. [News Report] Retrieved from https://www.rappler.com/nation/173624-metro-landfills-full-20-years-mmda-report

Charlie. (2016, March 3). Plastic Toothbrush. [Blog Article] Retrieved from http://charbrush.com/general/environment-plastic-toothbrush/

Live Well. (2015, December 9). How Toothbrushes Affect the Environment: An Infographic. [Infographic Article] Retrieved from https://www.foreo.com/mysa/how-toothbrushes-affect-environment-infographic/

 

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