How many toothbrushes do you use each year? Why don't you multiply that amount with the world population, 7.6 billion people (yes, I know unfortunately not everyone has access to a toothbrush, but I'm just trying to paint a picture here ;)). And then multiply that with the worldwide average life expectancy, which is around 70 years old. I'm not gonna do the math, but that's a lot of plastic toothbrushes lingering around on our big beautiful planet.
This weeks blogpost is short but to the point! Just one of the ways I choose to reduce the amount of plastic I consume. Less plastic equals happy me! Photo credit: Brush with Bamboo.
Why you should stop using plastic toothbrushes
- Plastic toothbrushes are made of polypropylene plastic and rubber (the body) and nylon (the bristles), which are non-renewable fossil fuels
- None of these materials are biodegradable, so they end up in landfill and stay there forever. If they're burnt, they release toxic gases!
- In the US alone, around 1 billion toothbrushes end up in landfill each year, which results in 50 million pounds of toothbrushes. Worldwide, that's about 4.7 billion brushes!
- A toothbrush is just one of those items that ends up in the ocean, where they're mistaken for food by marine creatures! They have even been found inside the stomachs of Albatross birds, can you imagine?
What's the alternative?
You read it in the title of course: bamboo toothbrushes!
Sustainably produced bamboo is the perfect alternative for plastic! It's the fastest growing plant in the world. It contains naturally-occurring antimicrobial agents, which means there is no need for using fertilizers or pesticides. Bamboo fiber can completely replace the body of the toothbrush. The body of the toothbrush can therefore be composted after use! Most of the bamboo toothbrushes come with a compostable packaging, instead of a plastic one.. Mine comes in a small paper box and has a biodegradable PLA (polylactic acid) protection bag, yay!
My toothbrush is from the Bam & Boo toothbrush and the thing that I love about it, is that you can subscribe to the toothbrushes. You choose how often you want a toothbrush to be sent (I chose every 4 months) and so it's automatically delivered to your door every couple of months. For lazy people like me, this is an awesome solution for making sure you get a new toothbrush every 3 to 4 months, since this is what dentists always recommend.
There is still room for improvement though. The Bam & Boo toothbrush still has the nylon bristles, which is the hardest part to replace! Although most bamboo toothbrushes on the market still have the nylon bristles, I recently found Brush with Bamboo, which has bristles made of 62% castor bean oil (this is vegetable oil) and 38% plastic. That's the closest you'll get to no plastic! You can also definitely get one at the nearest bulk/bio/package free shop (Bioplanet, Ohne (in Ghent) and so many more places!). I hope you're just as convinced as me, that if we all start using bamboo toothbrushes, we'll save tons of plastic waste from ending up in the ocean or in landfills! Anyways, bamboo is so much fancier than plastic, right?
To conclude, here's a random video of me brushing my teeth with my Bam & Boo toothbrush - just cause I felt like it. Hehe. (Excuse the quality!)
From the desert with love,