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Clean teeth, dirty planet?

December 08, 2017

Clean teeth, dirty planet?

Have you ever wondered what happens to your toothbrush at the end of its lifetime? Did you know that every toothbrush ever made, still exists somewhere on our planet?

We all know brushing our teeth is important to prevent tooth decay and for overall health and we should be doing it at least two times a day, but there's something most people never realize - our daily routine is causing great harm to the environment.

What is your toothbrush made of?

First of all, lets find out which materials are used in the process of making a toothbrush. Plastic toothbrush production, is anything but environment friendly. Toothbrush handles are usually made out of a moldable, recyclable thermoplastic material known as polypropylene and polyethylene. Polyethylene is the most commonly used plastic in the world. The annual global production is around 80 million tonnes.  It's used for plastic packaging, bags, bottles as well as toothbrushes... We know that plastic requires crude oil for its production, which is a non-renewable resource and that means, we are in a constant need of oil and non-biodegradable products are being made just to be thrown away. 

What about recycling?

If toothbrushes can be recycled, they will not cause any harm to the environment, right? Well, recycling is not a solution actually, because our recycling facilities just can't keep up with new plastic production. Plastic that was once considered to be the material of the future, now presents the biggest threat to our environment. Only 8% of what goes into recycling bin, actually gets recycled and less than 20% of people actually put their used toothbrush in the recycling bin. An estimated 12 billion plastic toothbrushes that will never biodegrade, are dumped in landfills and oceans every year worldwide.

What I really don't understand is this: If a toothbrush is supposed to be replaced every three months, why is it made to last forever?

Plastic toothbrush washed up on beach
One of billions of plastic toothbrushes existing on our planet, washed up on Kuta beach in Lombok.

I had a chance to visit Lombok island recently and I have to say I never really expected it to be clean before getting there, but I was still shocked by the amount of waste everywhere. There is one beach named Kuta, which is a nice beautiful sand beach, but when walking there, I found so many washed up plastic toothbrushes and toothpaste tubes I couldn't believe my eyes. There was literally one every two meters. Same story on nearly every other beach on the island of course.

Plastic Waste Lombok Island
Lombok island - Empty trash bin with waste all around - many toothbrushes as well. This one was one of the rare trash bins I saw there. I really like the text on it saying "Keep Kuta Clean". Well, I hope someday that wish comes true.

I also tried to talk to the locals a bit about this problem, which was hard for two reasons:

  1. It's hard to find somebody that speaks English well.
  2. Most people don't think of it as a problem. It's become so normal to them, they don't even notice the trash.

So what's the alternative?

There is a better and sustainable way to brush your teeth. It's called the Bamboo Toothbrush
Using a bamboo toothbrush is awesome. Here is why:

  • it's eco-friendly,
  • it's made of bamboo, one of the world's most sustainable materials,
  • at the end of its lifetime, you can simply compost it and it will return to nature,
  • because it looks amazing,
  • bristles are infused with bamboo charcoal in order to take advantage of charcoal's anti-bacterial and cleansing properties,
  • perfect for sensitive teeth & gums.


Natural Bamboo Toothbrush
Keep your teeth clean and the planet green with the bamboo toothbrush.

Now bamboo toothbrushes have been around for a while, but nobody really paid that much attention to them. The only bad thing about it, was that it used to be kind of difficult to find an eco toothbrush for children and I see a lot of people wondering, if bamboo toothbrush is even good enough for kids? I do understand that in some way, because we only want the best for our children right? After all they are the future. So what kind of future do we want them to have? A plastic future? Probably not, right? Bamboo toothbrush for kids that you will find at One Planet Zero shop, has been dentist approved and will brush your child's teeth just as good as a classic store bought toothbrush, while causing no harm to our planet. That's it! Now your entire family can go zero waste! 

Bamboo Toothbrush For Kids
A bamboo toothbrush for children.

Remember: little changes can make a big difference for our planet. Get your bamboo toothbrush now and vote against plastic. 

OK, so now you have your bamboo toothbrush. Now you just need your eco-friendly toothpaste and you're good to go. Believe it or not, you can make that yourself, using this very simple and dentist approved recipe, you can find here.


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