We can make small changes in our daily routine to live more sustainably and help heal the planet. One way to do this is to swap out your plastic toothbrush for a bamboo one.
Roughly 8 million tonnes of plastic end up in our oceans each year (which will then get eaten by wildlife and us)
Floating plastic in our oceans becomes a catch-all for toxic chemicals which for us, lead to endocrine disorders such as cancers, birth defects and developmental problems in younger children
The plastic in our oceans break down into smaller 'microplastics'. As a result, the average person consumes around 50,000 pieces (or about 250g) of this microplastic every year
1 billion plastic toothbrushes will be thrown out this year in the USA alone.
As you can see, that's a lot of plastic. When you combine high production and consumption rates with the fact that toothbrushes (amongst other plastic goods) are made using non-renewable fossil fuels, you now have a recipe for an environmental disaster.
And yet, the solution is so simple and it won't compromise your oral health. By swapping to a bamboo toothbrush, you're not only using an item that comes from a sustainable and renewable source, you're helping to eliminate the plastic products that will end up in our landfills and oceans. Bamboo toothbrushes are also often charcoal-infused making them anti-microbial. The best bit? They're biodegradable.
How to dispose of your bamboo toothbrush:
Ok, so you've become a fully-fledged eco-warrior, bamboo toothbrush in hand, but you need to get rid of it. Now what?
First thing's first - most bamboo toothbrushes have Nylon bristles. These aren't biodegradable but they can be recycled. Remove them with pliers and recycle them.
The handle itself can be composted. It's fast, with decomposition taking place in a matter of weeks. If you don't have a compost heap, throw it into the bio waste bin. Don't throw the bamboo handle into the regular trash.
It's easy to become overwhelmed by the millions of choices or lifestyle changes you think you have to make in order to 'live sustainably'. Simple changes over time make a huge impact.
We've found some great options for all budgets. While these are based in the UK / Europe, Bamboo toothbrushes aren't hard to find. You can buy online or at your supermarket.
The big brand: Colgate bamboo toothbrush - £4.00
The wild card: Humble toothbrush - £3.47
If you're feelin' bougie: Zero Waste Club - £3.99
The economical: Bamboogaloo - £13.99 for a 5 pack
Note: You should always try to buy locally where possible to cut down on emissions - buy online if you can't buy in-store.