Can You Recycle Invisalign Trays?

Sometimes, the journey to a more beautiful smile may require one or five Invisalign trays. They are essential if you are looking to correct your teeth. However, this means that you may be using several Invisalign trays before you complete this journey.

Indeed, you cannot hand them down. Unfortunately, you also can’t give them out either, so what do you do with all the Invisalign trays you have used? Throwing them in the trash may be the most suitable option, but we also need to consider if we can recycle Invisalign trays or not.

Invisalign-Trays

This blog post aims to answer all your questions regarding how you can dispose of your useless Invisalign trays without harming the environment. We assure you that you have a couple of things to learn from us, so please, dive in!

Are Invisalign Trays Recyclable?

If you have used a couple of Invisalign trays, then it means you have felt them and have an idea of what they are made of. They have a solid form, and it can be quite confusing what material makes up their composition.

Well, if you didn’t know, they are made from a collection of plastics, which means that they have not just one, two, or three different plastics in their composition; they have several. Ordinarily, recycling plastic requires extra special attention; now imagine recycling an item with multiple types of plastic in it.

Aside from the array of plastics used in its composition, an Invisalign tray is considered medical waste. It just doesn’t seem right to attempt to recycle an item that has spent a considerable time in your mouth.

So, the short answer is, you cannot recycle your used Invisalign trays. You can’t give them out either because they are tailored to fit your teeth set and also because they are your medical waste. You can’t share them.

In this context, the best disposal method is the bin. Yes, it sucks that you have to contribute to the non-biodegradable items at our landfills. Still, until a proper way is devised to help us eliminate waste items like Invisalign trays, our next best shot is a landfill.

Are Invisalign Bags Recyclable?

Wearing an Invisalign tray is undoubtedly a better option than wearing braces. For one, you can take them out anytime you want. Another reason is that they don’t have nearly as stringent requirements as wearing a set of braces does.

However, just like every other tooth care treatment, you would also need some things to take care of your teeth and your Invisalign trays. So, when you have to travel or go for a sleepover, where do you store these things?

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Well, let us tell you something. If you didn’t already know, there are Invisalign bags you can use to carry everything you need for your teeth care routine conveniently. You can get these bags from your dentist or from any accessories store that sells teeth care products. You can even get them from the supermarket.

Now, what do you do with the bags when you don’t need them anymore? After all, you would still outgrow your Invisalign trays. You certainly won’t need the accessories anymore, and also probably the bag.

You may be looking to dispose of these things properly. However, in this blog post, we are more invested in showing you how to dispose of the bag in an environmentally friendly manner. So enjoy!

Invisalign bags, just like other bags, are made from various products. For example, bags can be made from wool, silk, cotton, or other synthetic materials. Whatever material your Invisalign bag is made from determines if it would be recyclable or not.

Typically, materials made from plastic are harder to recycle. It is, however, possible to recycle them. Since it is doubtful that you would purchase an Invisalign bag made from plastic, you have nothing to worry about.

Materials like silk, cotton, and leather are more commonly used for Invisalign bags. The best part is, they are all recyclable. You would, however, have to consult with the workers at your recycling center to find out the process of recycling those items.

We suggest that you go for an Invisalign bag that is made from recyclable material. You can ask at your accessories store if the type of Invisalign bag you are buying would be recyclable. Most times, you would be presented with an array of options, so we suggest you opt for one that would be environmentally friendly.

Is Invisalign Bad For The Environment?

Of course, you now know what an Invisalign tray is made from. Well, if you don’t, then here’s a quick rundown. Invisalign trays are made from an array of plastic materials, which means that they are bad for the environment even though they are not harmful to your teeth.

They are even a lot worse than other plastic items because they combine several types of plastics. So they are bad for the environment. Unfortunately, there is no technology to recycle Invisalign trays, so we would have to bin them when we are done.

Aside from the lack of technology required to recycle Invisalign trays, some countries ban recycling medical waste. So even if you want to protect your environment, you don’t have the opportunity to. You would eventually have to resort to binning your Invisalign trays.

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As far as we know, it’s the least of all the potential evils and the best option you have.

Is Invisalign Eco-Friendly?

Invisalign trays are pretty vital if you are looking to correct your teeth. They are guaranteed to produce positive results even after a short time, which explains why you have to make a frequent visit is to your dentist. In addition, each Invisalign you collect at each visit is slightly different from the previous one, which is evidence of progress.

However, did you know that your Invisalign trays are made from a combination of plastics? Each Invisalign tray you collect has several types of plastics that make them as effective as they are.

Sadly, this means that they are not environmentally friendly. Anything made from plastic is not environmentally friendly; however, some plastics are safer than others. An item such as an Invisalign tray that combines a variety of polymers is quite far from safe.

So no, your Invisalign tray isn’t eco-friendly. It is also heartbreaking that there isn’t any method of recycling them just yet. Aside from that, it is a felony in some states to recycle medical waste, and rightly so! It is cringing to think about using an item that has been in your mouth to make other products for a lot of people.

So even though Invisalign trays aren’t eco-friendly, we still have to use them when we need them. The alternative could be tooth decay or toothache; after all, we use these trays because our teeth need to be corrected.

Invisalign trays may be far from eco-friendly; however, we use them because we need them. We are keeping our fingers crossed that technology would get to the stage where we can dispose of these environmentally harmful items properly.

What To Do With Old Invisalign Trays

Since we have established that we cannot recycle our Invisalign trays when we are done with them even though we want to, we have a couple of things you can do instead.

Invisalign trays count as medical waste, so they have a limited number of things we can use them for beyond fixing our teeth.

1. Hold on to them

You may want to hold on to your Invisalign trays even after getting the next fix because you may lose the current one and have to go back to the previous one. However, it isn’t at your discretion to make this decision. You would have to consult with your dentist to find out the most suitable option for you.

It never hurts to hold on to one or two of your latest Invisalign trays because you never know when you might need them.

2. Bin Them

Binning is the ultimate option for getting rid of your Invisalign trays. You certainly can’t hand them down or give them out because each person has an entirely different set of teeth. Also, what might be plaguing you is pretty unlikely to be troubling someone else you know.

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You most definitely can’t also recycle them because they are made from complex plastic. By now, you should also know that they are a type of medical waste too. Therefore, the most suitable option is to bin them.

3. Creative Creepy Stationery Holders

If you fancy creepy arts and crafts, then this tip is perfect for you. You would need to hold on to several of your Invisalign trays. We envision about ten of them; the higher the pile, the more appealing it looks.

You would also need a glue gun and some paint. First, create a circle using two sets of your Invisalign trays. Next, pile the trays on top of each other while attaching them with a glue gun. When you reach a pile of five, if it isn’t high enough to hold your stationery or suit your taste, you can increase the pile.

When you attain your desired height, you can then paint the artsy project you just completed. We believe it would be a great color for it. You can, however, choose any other color you like.

This stationery holder is suitable for your office desk or your reading desk at home. Please note that it would be a terrible gift idea for a friend because it sat in your mouth for a while. So unless they specifically ask you to make one for them, please do not consider gifting them.

You may also consider disinfecting and cleaning it properly before you start working on it.

4. Creepy Nightstand Decorations

Did you know that you could paint your useless Invisalign trays with glow-in-the-dark paint and place them on your nightstand? If you didn’t know, well, now you do. It’s a super cringe but also a creative idea. It’s also a great way to dispose of them without harming the environment.

We bet you can’t wait to try it out. So get your favorite color of glow-in-the-dark paint and get to work on those trays. You can place them on your nightstand or anywhere suitable for you.

Once again, these decorations are terrible gift ideas, so unless a friend specifically asks you to make one for them, do not consider gifting them.

Conclusion

We have established that despite Invisalign trays being quite toxic to the environment, we still need them. Unfortunately, the only way we can dispose of them is to bin them. However, we are keeping our fingers crossed that technology would develop a way to dispose of them without harming the environment properly.

Until then, consider disposing of them in a dustbin, or if you are partial to creepy but innovative art, feel free to use one of our ideas.

References:

https://www.theschulhofcenter.com/the-environmental-footprint-of-braces/

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About Rinkesh

A true environmentalist by heart ❤️. Founded Conserve Energy Future with the sole motto of providing helpful information related to our rapidly depleting environment. Unless you strongly believe in Elon Musk‘s idea of making Mars as another habitable planet, do remember that there really is no 'Planet B' in this whole universe.