Wondering if bamboo toothbrushes are a better option than traditional plastic toothbrushes? And whether you should make the change or not? The answer is yes for the many reasons we get into.
With dental associations recommending to change your toothbrush every 3 months, the average person uses 4 toothbrushes per year and are most commonly made of plastic. It is estimated that in the U.S. alone, 1 billion toothbrushes are thrown away annually and that’s equivalent to 50 million pounds of waste. This excessive usage of plastic worldwide has to end up somewhere and unfortunately for Earth and its inhabitants, it ends up in landfills or even worse, our oceans.
We’ve started to see changes by companies being implemented to reduce usage of plastic straws and plastic bags, but there hasn’t been as much light shed on toothbrushes. In a recent study, it was found that 25% of the materials researchers found in the ocean were single-use plastics – straws, plastic bags, food packaging, and the one single-use item not mentioned often, toothbrushes. Let’s get into some more reasons bamboo toothbrushes are the better option for you and the Earth.
With landfills and oceans filling up with plastic toothbrushes, this is definitely not sustainable for the planet and future generations considering that it is believed that almost all of the plastic ever created over the past 60-70 years still exists in some form today and that is takes 500+ years for toothbrushes to decompose because they are made from polypropylene plastic and nylon.
Bamboo is the fastest growing plant on earth, biodegradable, and is naturally antibacterial.
Bamboo on the other hand has been used for several thousand years and is a sustainable option for the many reasons below:
- Grows rapidly and can be harvested in 3-5 years
- Approximately 6 months after harvesting, begins to regrow on its own
- Grown without pesticides and chemical fertilizers
- Requires a minimal amount of water to grow in comparison to other plants and trees
Plastic toothbrushes and their packaging today could be a combination of rubber, polypropylene derived from crude oil, and a mix of plastic and cardboard for the packaging making them a synthetic plastic product composed of inorganic raw materials. Bamboo in comparison is grown and cultivated with little to no fertilizer, pesticides, heavy harvesting machinery or irrigation.
Compostable and Biodegradable
Unlike plastic, bamboo toothbrush handles are compostable and biodegradable and it takes roughly 6 months to compost bamboo. Bristles are often plant-based or bio-based, but they are not biodegradable or compostable. Companies such as Brush With Bamboo also offer packaging that is compostable.
Let’s Do Better
Overall, we think it’s important to note that even if you may not think that bamboo toothbrushes are better (not sure how you could think that after reading this), we could all agree that to continue with plastic toothbrushes is not the right option for the future of the world and we need to look for alternative options if we want better for humanity and mother nature.