Toothbrushes: Sustainable Options

Day 177 – It’s National Toothbrush Day! The toothbrush as we know it today was not invented until 1938. However, early forms of the toothbrush have been in existence since 3000 BC. Ancient civilizations used a “chew stick,” which was a thin twig with a frayed end.

Around 3.5 billion toothbrushes are sold worldwide each year. Considering most people use plastic toothbrushes that ends up being a great deal of plastic ending up in the landfill. Every toothbrush that you have ever used is still buried in a landfill somewhere.

So, what can we do to avoid adding to our plastic waste problem?

Bamboo Toothbrushes – There are countless bamboo toothbrushes on the market. Bamboo is compostable. Unfortunately, many of the bristles on these toothbrushes are not. So, they need to be removed before composting. Brands like EcoRoots, Brush with Bamboo and The Humble Co. offer bamboo toothbrushes.

Wooden Toothbrushes – There are some toothbrushes made from responsibly-harvested wood. One company, Redecker, even uses boar hair that is sourced as a byproduct of the meat industry, meaning their toothbrush is totally compostable.

Recycled Toothbrushes – Some companies (Radius) use recycled material in the production of their toothbrushes. Preserve toothbrushes are made from 100% recycled plastic from yogurt cups and once you’re done with the toothbrush, you can recycle it through Preserve’s take-back program.

If you are looking to replace your old toothbrush with a more sustainable option and want to avoid tossing that old brush in the trash, TerraCycle will take it, along with your empty toothpaste tubes and floss containers. The Northcenter Neighborhood Association Recycle Popup will take it, too!

Not adding more plastic to the landfill should put a smile on your face. Knowing that smile is made brighter with an environmentally friendly toothbrush should make you feel good.

Tomorrow, cool shades that are eco-friendly and help others.