Clean teeth are causing dirty oceans – and here’s what you can do about it.

by Sustainable Choice Group 19/12/2020

Thought Starters

Eco-friendly bamboo toothbrushes

Picture every toothbrush you’ve ever owned… at the bottom of the ocean. Sadly it’s far worse than you can imagine: about 4.5 million toothbrushes become ocean waste every year.

The humble toothbrush is now accounting for almost 1% of ocean rubbish pollution. And it’s not a cheerful reef of colour plastic sticks, bristles waving in the water. An ugly guilty waste. It’s probably fair to say, our ocean dwellers don’t appreciate our dental hygiene habits as much as our dentists do.

Plastic toothbrushes are a staple household item. First invented in the 1930s, we’ve become automated toothbrushing machines with our twice-daily habit. But this isn’t the problem. It’s the rubbish we’re disposing of every few months that’s contributing to an environmental crisis.

A simple shift to bamboo toothbrushes could prevents billions of pieces of plastic waste.

What’s the solution?

We’d never be able to go back to what we used before toothbrushes were invented in the 1930’s: chewing twigs, rags, even the sturdy hair of animals! Thankfully, we have another option: bamboo toothbrushes.

They’re an eco-friendly alternative to their plastic counterparts. Even better, they’re (at least partially) biodegradable. It’s a fairly easy toothbrush swap, but it takes commitment from all of us to see the value in choosing sustainability over price-point.

So, let’s do this together – swap to natural bamboo toothbrushes!

But wait! Not all bamboo toothbrushes are completely biodegradable

While it’s wonderful there’s an alternative to plastic, some bamboo toothbrushes are not completely biodegradable. Most companies don’t use natural materials for the bristles. Instead, they use nylon. And regardless of what they may say on the pack, nylon is not biodegradable.

What should you do? It’s simple: neatly cut off any nylon bristles before throwing your bamboo toothbrushes in the your compost or green waste bin. Don’t have either of those? You can bury them in your garden!

Now, you can rest easier, knowing you’re contributing to a cleaner ocean by swapping to bamboo. Just remember to do away with nylon bristles.     

The ocean dwellers may not appreciate our pearly whites, unless you’re partial to kissing fish… But we’re sure they’ll appreciate the cleaner waters they truly deserve.

Over to you

The world of sustainability is always changing. The information we’ve provided is based on what was current when we published it. So, please make sure to check the latest standards and guidelines.

This is an article from a Member. The views and opinions we express here don’t necessarily reflect our organisation.

by Sustainable Choice Group