Clean teeth are important, brushing twice a day and flossing at least once a day helps your pearly whites stay healthy right? If this sounds like you, chances are you could potentially use around 300 toothbrushes through your lifetime, now that’s potentially a lot of plastic. According to the video Life of a Toothbrush that equals billions of toothbrushes ending up in landfills around the world. For this reason, considering a zero-waste toothbrush is a smart idea.
Couple a sustainable toothbrush with zero waste floss and zero waste toothpaste and you’ve potentially saved a lot of waste. Just think of all the marine animals and birds we can protect against plastic ingestion during this process. And yes, living a zero waste lifestyle is not about producing no waste at all but rather to actively reduce waste wherever possible.
The number of sustainable, and in particular bamboo, toothbrush brands has exploded over the last few years, but the choices are still limited when it comes to finding an eco-friendly electric toothbrush. Hopefully, we’ll see more of these in the next few years as they are good for keeping your teeth and gums healthy but not necessarily the environment. We have included a few eco-friendly electric toothbrush heads in our list below.
6 Zero Waste Toothbrush Brands
Brush with Bamboo manufacture the worlds very first fully plant-based bamboo toothbrush. They use USDA certified 100% biobased bristles a bamboo handle and brown paper packaging with no glue or tape.
The bamboo handle is easy to grip and made with wild giant Moso Bamboo, harvested in the sprawling Chinese bamboo mountain range. As far as the bristles go they are soft bristles made in the EU out of castor bean oil and is fully biobased as mentioned which means it contains 0% fossil fuel.
These brushes will last as long as a conventional toothbrush which is recommended to be replaced every 3 months.
The Humble Co. is a health and wellness company that offer reliable products that are kinder to the environment and you. Their eco friendly toothbrushes are developed by dentists and designed in Sweden.
The humble brush comes with a replaceable head so there is even less of the toothbrush to discard. The bristles are quite soft and made of nylon 6 that ensures a thorough clean. Go plastic-free with this bio-degradable bamboo toothbrush handle. Nylon 6 is not bio-degradable, but it is recyclable – however difficult it may be.
If you’d like to compost these brush heads, please remember to remove the bristles before composting. These aren’t a perfect solution, but it contains less plastic than a traditional toothbrush.
As far as good causes go Humble give smiles with their Swedish non-profit the Hubble Smile Foundation which helps to prevent oral disease in 37 countries around the world.
Battle Green agrees that Bamboo is a much loved sustainable plant that releases 30% more oxygen into the atmosphere when compared to other plants. It doesn’t require pesticides and makes beautiful biodegradable and antibacterial zero waste toothbrushes.
This particular eco friendly toothbrush comes with a handy bamboo travel case that you can also buy separately. And the toothbrush handle is fully biodegradable as it’s made from bamboo. The medium-firm bristles are made from 100% castor oil and made in Germany. These brushes contain no petroleum and no BPA.
When it comes to replacing your brush after around 3 months of use you can snap the brush head off and send it back to Welsh-based family-owned Battle Green who pays to recycle their brush heads through a specific UK-based waste management partner.
Don’t worry about plastic in their packaging as there are none of that here.
If you have already invested in an electric toothbrush but are concerned with the plastic waste generated by the replaceable heads you need not worry. Booheads make a Bamboo toothbrush head that is compatible with Sonicare, DailyClean and ProtectiveClean.
These heads are made from biodegradable materials, bamboo and bioplastics, so you can have a clean conscience and clean teeth with this zero waste toothbrush head. And the bristles are plant-based medium-soft bristles using a multi V design, perfect for a good dental clean.
Bioplastics are an interesting material made from corn starch and castor bean oil, these plastics are set to break down in industrial composting facilities. So we wouldn’t recommend adding it to your domestic composter as it’s not likely to break down that way.
These toothbrush heads are a viable alternative to the branded plastic version and will give you a good clean. From experience, dentists do recommend electric toothbrushes because they provide a better level of cleanliness, with these brush heads you can keep your gums and teeth healthy as well as the planet.
Georganics make a range of sustainable oral care products, including toothbrushes that are good for you and the planet. With this zero waste toothbrush, they have tried to make it easier for us to live more sustainably while keeping our teeth and gums healthy.
Only available in the UK currently, this eco-friendly electric toothbrush by Georganics uses sonic technology and high-frequency vibrations to help remove tartar build-up and plaque.
To make it a zero-waste toothbrush Georganics runs a zero to landfill scheme that allows you to return your used toothbrush heads to the company to be recycled. Unfortunately, these toothbrushes use a Lithium-ion battery so it isn’t squeaky clean when it comes to environmental credentials. The charge will last you up to 5 weeks as a consolation and you can make use of the zero to landfill scheme that Georganics offer which is a plus.
Using an electric toothbrush improves oral health, prevents gingivitis and bleeding or swollen gums so it could be a viable option. The Georganics toothbrush has 3-speed adjustments and comes with 2 replacement heads.
Similar to option 4 if you’ve already invested in an Oral-B toothbrush like many other people have – all is not lost. You can swap out the branded heads for these recyclable ones by LiveCoco. So no need to replace the entire toothbrush before the end of its lifespan as that will just create more waste right?
The company offers its own closed-loop recycling system so you can send the used brush heads and packaging back to them for recycling, this helps them to guarantee that their products are actually recycled as in reality most plastics do not get recycled.
LiveCoco’s company name referred to the glorious coconut. The company promoted the benefits of coconut in their product range but became aware of the negative impact they were having on the environment. They soon found it impossible to justify using single-use plastics and decided to make a change.
After a re-brand and re-think the company now takes full responsibility for the waste they produce and try to minimise waste as much as possible – with their products and packaging. This is a wonderful example of a business changing for good – if you know better you can do better right?
Launching later this year Be.Brush is an amazing concept currently in development.
Made by Goodwell this brush uses no cords or batteries, so you’ll have the power of an electric toothbrush without the waste. You’ll be able to swap out their degradable brush head made from bio-resin every three months. We think this could be an incredible zero-waste toothbrush option if it does what it says on the tin! It’s definitely one to watch.
It’s surely is an impressive looking toothbrush and will be available in Black or White. You can pre-order for a limited-time price of $85. Visit the Goodwell website for more information.
More on Zero Waste Toothbrush Bristles
As far as sustainable, zero waste toothbrush bristles go the choices are limited.
Many bamboo toothbrushes come with Nylon bristles that are made using fossil fuels and will break down into microplastics which isn’t ideal at all. So keep an eye out for this potential obstacle when you buy one.
Currently, the most viable vegan alternative is bristles made from 100% castor oil, these do take longer to break down so they’re not generally seen as compostable and can’t be labelled as such in most cases. But when they do break down they won’t turn into microplastics which is a massive plus. These bristles are a big talking point at the moment.
Lastly, you also have the option of boar hair bristles. Not everyone will feel comfortable using boar bristles as they’re not vegan obviously and the practice of keeping animals can become unsustainable when mass farming gets involved. So if you do feel comfortable using animal hair then always double-check where and how these are farmed.
When it comes to switching dental products for more sustainable options there can be a tradeoff. Some bamboo toothbrushes, for example, might be more eco friendly but it doesn’t necessarily clean as well as you’d need them to. For that reason, it may be a good idea to speak to your dentist about the best options for you and regularly check back with them to ensure you don’t cause any damage over the long term.
It’s also worth testing different eco friendly toothbrushes to see what works best for you. Hopefully, we’ll see more sustainable electric toothbrushes come on stream over the next few years so that we have a wider range to choose from.
Losing a tooth is not a particularly fun experience so keeping the health of your teeth and gums as a priority and balancing that with reducing environmental impact needs careful consideration.