Every year in Australia, we throw away over 30 million plastic toothbrushes that never get recycled. These end up in landfill or the ocean, polluting the earth and posing a risk to marine life. If you’re looking to take on a more eco-friendly and zero waste lifestyle when it comes to cleaning your teeth, then you are in luck. Bamboo toothbrushes have blown up in popularity across the world because they are biodegradable.
A natural cellulose fibre, bamboo is one of the fastest growing plants on our beautiful planet, where the petroleum used to make plastic is a limited resource. Releasing 30% more oxygen into the atmosphere compared to other plants, the amazing ability of bamboo to self-renew also means that deforestation is unnecessary.
If you brush properly, bamboo toothbrushes are designed to be just as effective at cleaning your teeth as any manual toothbrush out there, without having to put plastic in your mouth twice a day.
With proper care, a bamboo toothbrush will last as long as any plastic toothbrush. It’s suggested you rinse your toothbrush after cleaning your teeth and keep it dry. Dentists recommend replacing your toothbrush every 2 to 3 months or when the bristles have frayed out of shape.
A biodegradable toothbrush made from bamboo is able to be composted and will return to organic matter in the earth, whereas plastic doesn’t disappear and will stay in the environment for thousands of years. Even though a toothbrush is a small item, with the average person using 300 in their lifetime, combined with the billions of other people on the planet, you can see why plastic toothbrushes are so harmful to the environment.
Choosing an eco-friendly toothbrush made from bamboo means one less plastic toothbrush polluting the ocean or taking up landfill but they still need to be recycled to maximise their green credentials. First remove the bristles with pliers and place them in your plastic recycling for collection and then compost the bamboo handle by putting it in your bio-waste bin, home composter or simply burying it in your garden.
If you’re ready to switch out your old plastic toothbrush for a zero waste living, choose one that’s made from sustainably sourced bamboo from a species that it is not food or habitat for pandas. For effective dental care, be on the lookout for BPA free polymer bristles as these are resistant to microbial growth during regular use, for optimal safety and durability. Natural or pig hair bristles retain moisture so they’re a breeding ground for bacteria and should be avoided for health reasons.
A simple step in the journey to becoming plastic-free and living zero waste, bamboo toothbrushes also look amazing in your bathroom!