Japan has discovered the latest recyclable item – false teeth!
Denture deposit boxes have appeared in the southern Japanese city of Fukuoka in response to a request by the charity, the Japan Society for the Recycling of Dentures.
The JSRD plans to set up hundreds of false teeth collection boxes in cities across Japan to raise funds for UNICEF.
‘People on average get new dentures every three years, because the condition of their teeth changes,’ explained the charity’s founder Isao Miyoshi.
‘Once the new ones are made, dentists usually give the old ones back to the patients.
‘But most people don’t know what to do with them and they end up keeping them in their drawers. That’s really a waste of something useful.’
When dentures are recycled, the precious metals are extracted and sold.
About 80% of the proceeds are given to charities like UNICEF Japan.
An average set of false teeth can produce about 3,000 yen (about £15) in saleable metal, an amount equivalent to the cost of eight UNICEF blankets.
After gaining publicity through the Japanese media, Miyoshi’s office began to receive a flood of used dental work through the collection boxes and direct mail-ins.
The organisation’s first donation of funds to UNICEF Japan amounted to 1,036,102 yen (£5,173) – after only two months.
Any chance of the initiative now hitting Britain?…