Brushing your teeth with a Bamboo Toothbrush
Welcome to day 23 of the zero waste challenge. Today we want to dive into the bamboo toothbrush and why it is a sustainable way to brush your teeth.
5 trillion pieces of plastic are floating in our oceans, and this number is set to rise if we don’t change anything.
I know the scale of this problem is so massive that it feels unimaginable for you to have an impact. But one of the simplest ways for you to contribute is with something that you (hopefully) use every day: your toothbrush.
Over 99 % of the toothbrushes used worldwide are made from plastic. The kind of plastic that is not recycled and ends up in either landfills or the ocean and never breaks down.
Bamboo is one of the fastest-growing plants in the world due to a unique rhizome-dependent system. Certain species of bamboo can grow 910 mm (36 in) within 24 hours, at a rate of almost 40 mm (1.6 in) an hour (a growth around 1 mm every 90 seconds, or 1 inch every 40 minutes)~wikipedia
That allows for a lot of toothbrushes. Don’t you think?
The plastic toothbrush is often being overlooked in the global plastic pollution crisis. Still, since you are supposed to change it every 3 months, you throw 4 toothbrushes out per year. There is a simple solution to this problem. Bamboo.
Bamboo toothbrush. The benefits of bamboo toothbrushes are easy to understand.
Less waste goes to landfill. The handle is fully biodegradable and, therefore, does not harm the environment.
Bamboo is a highly sustainable plant and doesn’t take much to grow.
How do you dispose of your bamboo toothbrush?
If you are thinking, great, I throw mine into the compost. I have to stop you. The bristles are, in most cases, still made from nylon, which is not biodegradable. What you could do is pull out the nylon bristles with some tweezers and then compost the handle.
I have found one company (not affiliated) that made bristles from corn and tapioca, which is 100% biodegradable. The downside was when my wife and I used this toothbrush, the bristles were really tough, and after a week or two, they already looked like they were 3 months old.
So a no on our side. However, the company brush-naked makes some other really lovely bamboo toothbrushes with nylon bristles.
One thing I have noticed is when you keep your bamboo brush in a glass next to your sink, they can often get soggy on the bottom and even rot.
There are plenty of companies that, for that reason, paint the bottom half of the toothbrush. Otherwise, you just don’t put it in a glass. Instead, lay it next to your sink.
There you have it. If you are on the market for a new toothbrush, then perhaps try a bamboo toothbrush this time and help the environment stay clear from this small yet harmful polluter.
Where to buy? Bamboo toothbrush