Denmark alone has a consumption of toothbrushes that corresponds to 600 tons of plastic. And I can or don´t have to contribute to that.
The plastic crisis is currently popping up on us from everywhere, and rightfully. I believe that you know how plastics and natural environment do not go well together, and if not, watch this short video.
How does the toothbrush fit into this problem? Or what even is the problem with a plastic toothbrush, may you ask. When it comes to production, the production of plastic requires petroleum and there will be a day in time where we can only use so much fossil fuel to create products before we run dry. Besides that, the production also consumes a lot of energy and still, toothbrushes are one of the most abundant items ending up in a landfill and there is a limit to how much plastics can be dumped into landfills. How about recycling? Well, it is possible and some companies initiatives here and there organize collecting for recycling, but it is a complicated process.
The plastic toothbrush usually consists of 3 materials, the plastic handle, the nylon bristles and a metal staple that holds the bristles in place. That is why the vast majority ends up among other trash, in a landfill, waiting for thousands of years to degrade, while the toxic chemicals from the plastic may be released into the ground. And that is said, if our toothbrushes don´t end up in the ocean where they can suffocate marine life that can mistake it for a food.
There has to be a better option. And there is! You can invest in your new best friend- a bamboo toothbrush. Bamboo is a fast-growing and resistant plant, which means it consumes less water until it reaches its desirable height and does not require pesticides.
It is fully biodegradable, which means that you can compost it or stick it in a pot with your flowers. The bristles are made of nylon, which by itself is not biodegradable, but some bristles are made of nylon-4, which is compostable as well.
I bought my bamboo toothbrush in Normal (a shop in Denmark), for around 22 Dkk. It is from a Swedish company called Suztain (https://dk.suztain.com/da/) and the handle is made of ecological bamboo, the bristles are made of BPA-free nylon and the packaging is compostable. It took me two days to get used to the wooden handle, it is just a different feeling than the plastic, but it´s fine now and I like it.
Another alternative is to buy a small wooden stick called miswak, that is basically a branch from the Salvadora persica tree.
As a matter of fact, I purchased miswak stick one year ago in a local bio shop in Bratislava and I really loved using it. I used it as an addition to my toothbrush, it is practical for travelling, but it is hard to reach your back teeth. That´s why I am not sure if I will repurchase it.
So, there you have it. Yours is the choice and I hope that now you can make a better- informed choice 😊