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.
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.
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 on 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.
Humble Brush has a handle made from 100% biodegradable, sustainably-grown bamboo. The bristles are made of nylon-6 bristles from Dupont. The packaging is eco-friendly, the box and inside wrapper are made from recycled materials, and can be thrown out with the organic trash.
Every Humble purchase goes towards funding oral health projects for children in need.
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.”
Also, check out my homemade toothpaste recipe, with spirulina! Remineralizing Zero Waste Toothpaste