Not only are plastic toothbrushes made from fossil fuel-derived materials and a very common item found to be polluting oceans and killing marine animals, but they are also very difficult to recycle. Electric toothbrushes are especially harmful at the end of their life if the battery has not been disposed of properly as it may leak acid and toxic chemicals. Then there's plastic floss, toothpaste tubes and more...
In this article we'll share with you our top tips for looking after your teeth and mouth the eco-friendly way. We'll show you our favourite low-waste oral care products as well as a few other ideas for how to make your oral care routine more Earth-friendly.
1. Bamboo Toothbrushes
Bamboo toothbrushes are all the rage at the moment and many people are turning to this easy and cheap alternative. They last as long as a plastic toothbrush but are almost entirely biodegradable!
At the end of their life, simply remove the plastic bristles with pliers (they come out very easily after months of use) and place them inside something in your landfill bin so that they don't blow away. Pop the bamboo handle in the compost, bury it, or give it a new use such as a plant label for the garden! This brings your usual whole-toothbrush waste down to just the bristles - a huge improvement! We are hoping to have 100% plant-based bristle toothbrushes in-store later in 2020.
Remember to keep your old plastic toothbrushes even when you switch to eco-friendly alternatives as you can keep using them as cleaning tools and get more use out of them!
2. Zero Waste Toothpaste
If you want to take your oral care to the next plastic-free level, there are now lots of zero waste toothpaste alternatives! We stock Fluoride Toothpaste, Fluoride Toothpaste Tablets (in adult and kids sizes), Fluoride-Free Toothpaste Tablets, Tooth Powders (in tins and in bulk), and Tooth Soap. The toothpaste and tablets come in jars, the powders in reusable tins and the tooth soap in a plastic tub with zero waste refills available.
3. Zero Waste Floss and Tongue Scrapers
Plastic floss and tongue scrapers are easily replaced with eco-friendly alternatives.
Our stainless steel Tongue Scrapers are hygienic, long-lasting, and recyclable at the end of their lives.
4. Recycle Oral Care Waste
The Australian recycling company TerraCycle has streams for recycling oral care waste, including any brand of toothpaste tubes, plastic toothbrushes, floss containers and more.
We have a TerraCycle collection for oral care waste at our Vic Park store. Click Here to find out about our recycling program at Urban Revolution.
You can use the TerraCycle Map to find other collections near you.
5. Use Eco-Friendly Oral Care Practices
Use a Rinse Cup when brushing your teeth to make mouth-rinsing easy while avoiding using more water than you need to. Before brushing your teeth, put water in your rinse cup to use for washing your mouth when you're finished brushing your teeth. This saves leaving the tap running during any part of your routine and wasting water. This is a great tip for both adults and kids. Our plastic-free, biodegradable Toothbrush and Rinse Cups are a great eco-friendly bathroom essential.
You can also choose eco-friendly Toothbrush Holders for travel.