There is no perfect toothbrush, but some choices are better than others. Plastic toothbrushes take over 400 years to decompose… They end up in landfills and release toxic chemicals into the air resulting in harsh damage to the environment. In addition to getting washed away into the ocean, the toothbrush is endangering marine life and contaminating our food.
After seeing this piece of art made by an African artist, it was really eye-opening. Africa has a huge trash pollution issue, along with the rest of the world… This art piece is a commentary on plastic pollution.
Knowing that every plastic toothbrush impacts the environment and that one billion plastic toothbrushes are thrown away every year in the United States alone, creating 50 million pounds of waste- what can we do?
Bamboo Toothbrushes: bamboo is biodegradable. (bristles are not biodegradable)
If bamboo toothbrushes end up in the trash, they aren’t significantly more environmentally friendly than plastic… but if you compost the handles of bamboo toothbrushes by first remove the nylon bristles with pliers then composting the handles… it makes a huge difference. Plus it is really beneficial for our environment.
Then there are the toothbrushes that are recycled and/or recyclable: Some options I love:
Bogobrush is a Company that makes its brushes from compostable bioplastic using leftover plant material from American farms.
Or consider (preserve.eco) Toothbrushes made from recycled yogurt containers which are easily accessible online or in local stores Ojai: Being in Westridge and Rainbow Bridge. Also if you mail your old toothbrushes, not only will they be recycled into new products, but you will also receive a coupon for their online store.
After using these types of recycled toothbrushes another option to help continue supporting the recycling market is by sending them to organizations such as Gimme 5 drop-off/mail-in program. Whole Foods And other companies have Gimme 5 bins located in their stores. You can just look up ones near you.
Note: *Buying recycled stuff when we need to buy new products is the smartest move.*
So now you know the best eco friendly toothbrushes on the market: what do we do with our old ones?
Three months of brushing your teeth is not worth 400 years in the landfills. So an option would be to reuse your toothbrush in different ways until you switch to an eco-friendly toothbrush:
You could easily label your toothbrushes for their different uses around the house: Here are a few options:
-Cleaning Household Items
-Remove dirt from shoes/Soccer cleats!
-Deep clean your desk/Clean beauty supplies
-Spot-treat stains on clothes
-Clean Your Hairbrush out
-Brush Your Eyebrows
These are just some out of hundreds of household uses…
Best of luck on your zero-waste journey! It can be difficult sometimes but if you put in the effort, it’s well worth it. In the meantime, I wish you fresh breath and zero cavities.