The efforts are part of TerraCycle's Oral Care Recycling programme, teaching minors the importance of recycling and limiting the rubbish that goes into the ocean. The reason for recycling toothbrushes in particular, is that they are a heavy dense floatable plastic.
TerraCycle operates several free recycling programmes that help New Zealanders recycle hard-to-recycle waste; such as coffee capsules, toothbrushes and yoghurt pouches.
At the New Brighton Playcentre, they collect oral care products. The idea came from the treasurer of the play centre Julie Donaldson. She saw a Facebook post on the effects of rubbish and in particular, how rubbish affects marine wildlife.
Once the oral products from the centre are collected up, they are then sent to TerraCycle. From there they shred the products down into raw materials to create garden beds, park benches, and playgrounds. The programme is also set up to redirect non-recyclable waste from landfills.
Donaldson said she asked around fellow play centre parents if the initiative was worth starting. Everyone was on board and she set up a collection box at the gate.
"We have sent in over 550 oral care products for recycling, it is going very well," Donaldson said.