Improving oral hygiene is essential to maintaining overall health, but the traditional plastic toothbrush is wreaking havoc on the environment. The average person uses 300 plastic toothbrushes in their lifetime, resulting in billions of plastic sticks ending up in landfills each year. It’s time to take a closer look at sustainable alternatives that benefit both our health and the planet.
In this article, we’ll explore the benefits of zero-waste toothbrushes and how they can help reduce plastic waste. From bamboo to recycled plastic, there are a variety of options available that are both effective and eco-friendly. Join us as we dive into the world of sustainable dental care and discover how we can all make a positive impact on the environment.
Biting Into The Best Bamboo Toothbrushes
Bamboo toothbrushes have become increasingly popular in recent years as people look for more sustainable alternatives to plastic toothbrushes. Here are some of the best bamboo toothbrushes on the market:
- ZWS Essentials offers a zero waste wooden toothbrush with castor bean oil bristles that can be backyard composted.
- EcoRoots’ earth-friendly toothbrush has recyclable bristles and a bamboo handle.
- Georganics offers bamboo toothbrushes that are part of their Zero To Landfill scheme, making it easy for UK customers to responsibly dispose of frayed bristles.
When considering a bamboo toothbrush, it’s important to look for options with biodegradable or recyclable bristles and a sustainable handle material. By making the switch to a bamboo toothbrush, individuals can reduce their plastic waste and contribute to a more sustainable future.
The Best Zero Waste & Eco Toothbrushes
When it comes to sustainable oral care, using a zero waste toothbrush is an easy switch that can make a big difference. Here are some of the best options available:
1. Brush With Bamboo
Brush With Bamboo offers eco-friendly toothbrushes for both adults and kids. Their toothbrush handles are made of sustainably-harvested Moso Bamboo, which is not a species that pandas eat, so there is no risk to pandas. The bristles are made of 100% castor bean oil and are chemical-free. While the bristles are biodegradable, they will break down more slowly than standard items in a home compost, so they should be removed using pliers before composting the handle. The toothbrushes are vegan, FDA registered, USDA Biobased, and Green America certified.
EcoRoots offers a sustainable bamboo toothbrush that is certified vegan, cruelty-free, and has a 100% compostable bamboo toothbrush handle that’s anti-fungal, anti-bacterial, and antimicrobial. The toothbrush bristles are made with soft nylon and are BPA-free and non-toxic. They’re also infused with activated charcoal for whitening benefits. While the bristles are not biodegradable, they can be removed and recycled through TerraCycle. The toothbrush sets are shipped plastic-free.
Etee offers a reusable bamboo toothbrush that is made of FSC-certified bamboo. The toothbrush handle is indefinitely reusable, and all you need to order is replaceable heads, further minimizing waste. The bristles are made of castor bean oil, but they are not yet biodegradable. To compost the head, use pliers to remove the staple keeping the bristles in place and compost the head sans bristles. Etee is vegan, cruelty-free, 100% natural, plastic-free, and made using renewable energy.
4. ZWS Essentials
ZWS Essentials offers a reusable bamboo toothbrush that is 100% biodegradable. The toothbrush handle is made with sustainably sourced bamboo, and the bristles are made of plastic-free castor bean oil. The toothbrush is backyard compostable, but be sure to use pliers to remove the metal staples holding the bristles in place. ZWS Essentials is organic, compostable, and sustainably packaged.
Georganics offers a range of eco-friendly toothbrushes, including a bamboo toothbrush with plant-based bristles. The toothbrush handle is made of Moso Bamboo, and the bristles are made of 62% castor bean oil and 38% nylon. The toothbrush is vegan, cruelty-free, and BPA-free. The packaging is plastic-free and recyclable.
6. The Humble Co.
The Humble Co. offers a bamboo toothbrush with soft bristles made of nylon. The toothbrush handle is made of 100% biodegradable bamboo, and the packaging is made of recycled materials. The Humble Co. is certified vegan and cruelty-free.
7. Me Mother Earth
Me Mother Earth offers a bamboo toothbrush with an aluminum handle. The toothbrush handle is made of compostable bamboo, and the bristles are made of BPA-free nylon. The toothbrush is vegan and cruelty-free.
8. BATTLE GREEN
BATTLE GREEN offers a bamboo toothbrush with a compostable handle made of bamboo and wheat straw. The bristles are made of BPA-free nylon. The toothbrush is vegan and cruelty-free.
Bite offers a toothbrush that is made of plant-based materials and is 100% biodegradable. The toothbrush handle is made of bamboo, and the bristles are made of castor bean oil. The toothbrush is vegan, cruelty-free, and comes in plastic-free packaging. It also includes a tongue cleaner on the back of the head.
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How We Found The Best Zero Waste Toothbrush Brands
When searching for the best zero waste toothbrush brands, the team considered several factors to ensure that the toothbrushes were eco-friendly and sustainable. The team looked at the handle material, durability, oral hygiene, handle design, interdental brushes, homemade toothpaste compatibility, and price.
One of the most popular eco-friendly toothbrush handle alternatives is bamboo. Bamboo is a fast-growing plant that is 100% compostable, making it an excellent choice for those seeking a sustainable toothbrush. It also has anti-fungal, antibacterial, and antimicrobial properties, which make it ideal for oral hygiene.
However, to make a bamboo toothbrush truly zero waste, the bristles must also be considered. The team looked for toothbrushes with compostable bristles made from materials like castor bean oil or nylon-4, which can be composted in industrial facilities.
The team also considered toothbrushes with durable handles that could withstand regular use. The handle design was also evaluated for comfort and ease of use.
Additionally, the team looked for toothbrushes that were compatible with homemade toothpaste, which can reduce waste and save money.
Finally, price was considered to ensure that the toothbrushes were affordable for everyone.
After thorough research and consideration, the team found several zero waste toothbrush brands that met these criteria and were highly recommended for their eco-friendliness and sustainability.
The Challenge Behind Zero Waste Toothbrush Bristles
When it comes to eco-friendly toothbrushes, the bristles pose a significant challenge. While it is relatively easy to have a biodegradable handle, the bristles often prevent toothbrushes from being fully compostable. Although most materials will eventually degrade, it can take hundreds of years, making it necessary to use compostable materials.
However, some brands confuse biodegradable and compostable materials, leading to greenwashing. For instance, My Plastic Free Life discovered that supposedly “biodegradable” nylon bristles were not biodegradable.
Currently, there are only a few “zero waste” toothbrush options available on the market. These include:
1. Boar Bristle Toothbrushes
Boar bristles are the only compostable toothbrushes currently available. However, brushing teeth with pig hair may not be the most appealing option for everyone.
2. Castor Bean Toothbrushes
Bristles made from castor bean oil are not always as wholesome as they sound. Nylon-11 is the result of subjecting castor bean oil to a complex and chemically intensive process. Its biodegradability is still uncertain, with some brands claiming that their castor bean oil bristles are home compostable, while others recommend recycling.
3. Miswak Sticks
Miswak sticks are a traditional oral care tool popular in Pakistan, India, and parts of Asia and Africa. Studies show that they are as effective or even superior to other types of toothbrushes. Organic chew sticks are available from several sellers on Etsy.
Final Thoughts on Sustainable Toothbrushes
Toothbrushes, like many other consumables, are damaging to the planet’s health. Although zero waste toothbrushes are not entirely zero waste, they are a step in the right direction. Bamboo toothbrush brands are getting closer to producing a fully vegan and compostable toothbrush.
To make toothbrushes more sustainable, it is recommended to reuse old brushes for zero waste cleaning before disposing of them properly. The bristles should be removed with pliers and recycled.
By sharing these toothy tips, loved ones can avoid both plaque and the insidious plastic toothbrush.