Toothbrushes seem to get overlooked when considering waste reduction but plastic toothbrushes account for a substantial amount of waste. In fact billions of plastic toothbrushes are discarded annually accounting for millions of pounds worth of waste entering our landfills.
Because of the size and type of plastics that make up toothbrushes the likelihood of them getting recycled is slim which means about every plastic toothbrush you’ve ever owned is still sitting or floating somewhere on this planet.
So how can you keep your teeth clean and the Earth clean at the same time? Try a sustainable alternative. As in toothbrushes made from natural materials like bamboo, or even toothbrushes that have a reusable quality. Basically, avoid any that would result in getting tossed into the trash can.
The “sustainable” toothbrush market is continually growing. Like any trend, there are companies that will jump on the bandwagon to make a quick profit without true values and sustainability in mind. So, to weed out any potential impostors, here are a few companies that I trust.
This toothbrush is made from sustainably harvested bamboo making it compostable after use. The bristles will need to be removed as they are nylon. Still a pretty big reduction in waste by switching from plastic.
Mable’s beautiful design allows their toothbrushes to stand upright. I have found this to be very beneficial to keeping the brush dry after use. The bristles are soft and very gentle on the gums.
Mable’s packaging is also 100% recyclable and plastic free.
Brush With Bamboo is made from sustainably harvested bamboo
. It’s ergo dynamic design allows for fabulous control. The brush bristles have a slight curve allowing for them to get into every nook in cranny.
Brush With Bamboo is the first plant based toothbrush including the bristles, box, and wrapper. The bristles are 62% Castor Bean Oil, 38% plastic which makes them the most sustainable, modern toothbrush bristles but still will need to be removed and disposed of before the handle is composted.
The lifespan is the same as a plastic toothbrush which the ADA recommends replacing them at about every 3-4 months.
The Swak toothbrush is based off the ancient techniques of miswak dental hygiene. The bristles are made from the plant salvadora persica also known as the “toothbrush tree.” Rather than using toothpaste, the miswak head contains natural agents to clean teeth effectively.
The handle is reusable so once the bristle head wears out, the bristle head can be composted and a new one can be inserted.
The toothbrush and heads are packaged in cardboard. I look forward to giving this brush a full review.
Keep in mind, there are several companies out there who are making sustainable toothbrushes beyond the companies that I have listed. Just do some research and try to make the best decision. The goal is to eliminate toothbrush waste from landfills and support companies who will continually use their influence to do good. Choosing to buy a more sustainable toothbrush is such an easy zero waste swap and anyone can do it! So when your plastic toothbrush wears out, retire it to your cleaning supplies (they make GREAT cleaning brushes) or try recycling it and upgrade to something a little more Earth friendly.
Have you ditched your plastic toothbrushes?
For more easy swaps in the bathroom check out, “10 Zero Waste Bathroom Swaps.“