Don't Brush Me Off!
With the average person replacing a toothbrush every 3 to 4 months, over 1 billion toothbrushes are discarded every year in the U.S. alone! Most of those will end up in a landfill permanently, as typical toothbrushes are made of plastic with nylon bristles (also a type of plastic). But thanks to recent trends of reducing plastic waste, some alternative choices are available!
“Signal” produces a recycled plastic toothbrush called the “Ecolo Clean” toothbrush that’s made in France. Currently available through Amazon, they offer a recycling program that invites you to send the brush back to be recycled by global recycling company terracycle.com. Many other types of plastics, including some toothbrush brands like Colgate, can also be recycled through TerraCycle!
An even better alternative is a bamboo toothbrush! These are becoming increasingly popular and are made by a variety of manufacturers, even some bigger brands like Colgate. Bamboo is a natural resource that is quick growing and easily replenished. Many bamboo toothbrushes can be composted after the bristles are removed to reduce landfill waste - like these from swissco.com. If you’d like a completely plastic-free toothbrush, you can even find some that replace nylon with natural boar’s hair bristles.
Another way we can help reduce our environmental impact while brushing our teeth is to avoid letting the water run continuously while brushing. Easy and painless tricks like turning off the faucet while brushing benefit the environment AND also help us save money in the long run! The next time you visit your dentist, ask about ecofriendly toothbrushes they would recommend for your specific oral care needs!