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Personal Care Has A Recycling Problem

What Boie USA is doing to combat issues in the recycling process and close our plastic loop.


You probably know by now that most single-use plastics like straws and packaging end up as ocean-bound waste or spend eternity in mountainous landfills. 

 

But, what about your toothbrush? Or your plastic loofah pouf? They may not technically be single-use, but they often meet the same fate because they’re rarely designed to be recycled and need to be replaced often. This is how traditional toothbrushes like the plastic kind from the drugstore end up contributing to an estimated 50 million pounds of waste annually in the USA alone.

 

And, even if they are recyclable, that doesn’t always work out the way we want it to. A 2015 study found that only 9% of things we attempt to recycle actually get recycled.


Why Can’t Most Toothbrushes Be Recycled?


Recycling toothbrushes is difficult for facilities for a couple reasons. One, plastics that are smaller than two inches in diameter get lost during the sorting process, so they end up as waste. 

 

Two, many toothbrushes mold two kinds of plastic together, which greatly lowers the chances of it being processed correctly—even if the material is technically recyclable. Alternative toothbrushes like bamboo probably still have plastic bristles that are almost impossible to recycle.

 

That’s why we never mold together two different plastic types. When we do use more than one kind, we make them separable like our toothbrush head and handle!

 

What are Boie products made out of?


Boie makes sustainable toothbrush and loofah alternatives out of a material called TPE, a type of plastic that feels sort of like silicone. It’s soft, hypoallergenic, and antimicrobial. 

Okay, but can it be recycled?


Yes! TPE is classified as a #7 plastic. Most facilities actually don’t accept this type because it isn’t that common. 


However, since a bunch of stuff we send to processing plants never gets recycled anyways, we created our own ‘send-it-back’ program. We know it’s an extra step, but we think it’s worth it in order to create products that are sustainable in practice, not just in theory.


Our process ensures that anyone who wants to recycle their Boie product is able to  and it brings us closer to a closed-loop system.


Yay! Tell me how.


Recycling Boie is super easy. Because our products are so lightweight, you can send them back to us in a regular envelope with stamps! We’re currently collecting a bunch of products and, once we have enough, we’ll clean them (duh) and melt them down to be reformed into something new! 

In fact, we want your opinion. Email us at recycle@boieusa.com and tell us what kind of new personal care product you would like to see made!


Ready to recycle? Send your product to the following address:


Boie Recycling
P.O. Box 61790
Lafayette, LA 70596


Go here for more info!


 

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