5 Characteristics of eco-friendly toothbrushes?

Posted by Paul Williamson on

Toothbrushes in plastic. We can replace them at least every three months if we listen to our dentists. That implies that every year we chuck 4 plastic toothbrushes into the landfill because they're not recycled. That amounts to 40 toothbrushes a decade. Say that the average age at which we live in the UK is 80 or so.

Tooth brush pollution on beach

That's approximately 320 plastic toothbrushes each, and then 66 million times that. Always getting queasy and not just because your head hurts from math? There aren't any disposable toothbrushes going anywhere. They're not sitting and decaying, just sitting. I'm sure we can all accept that these are crazy levels of waste.

Why should our dental health come at the expense of the planet?

What is a bamboo toothbrush?

Manual toothbrushes, similar in style to what you would find on any store shelf, are bamboo toothbrushes. To remove food particles and plaque from your teeth, a bamboo toothbrush has a long handle and bristles. The crucial distinction is that, instead of plastic, the long handle is constructed from more natural bamboo.

One of the older forms of toothbrushes is bamboo toothbrushes. Using bamboo and other natural materials, such as using boar fur for the bristles, the first toothbrushes were manufactured in China. Like other toothbrushes today, today's bamboo toothbrushes use nylon for the bristles. Some manufacturers also use boar hair for the bristles or infuse activated charcoal into the bristles.

Biodegradable Handle

The handle is made of bamboo MOSO, which is an environmentally friendly wood. The brush features an easy-to-grip curved handle of high quality, made entirely of bamboo. When held in your hand and mouth, it feels light and provides a great natural look to complement any bathroom décor.

BPA-Free Soft Bristles

The bristles are certified BPA (bisphenol) free and are produced from nylon. They can be recycled, but they are not biodegradable. Nylon is used because there is no plant-based alternative available that would allow you to use 2 to 4 months of your toothbrush.

Infographic on the characteristics of reusable toothbrushes

Compostable Packaging

The product as a whole, including the packaging, is ecological. In a compostable wrapper made from plants, the toothbrush comes in. The outer box is made from 100% paper and is biodegradable as well.

For as long as traditional toothbrushes or electric toothbrush heads, recycled toothbrushes will last

The eco-friendly bamboo toothbrush is said to last as long as a traditional plastic toothbrush.


The fastest growing plant on earth is bamboo. As it contains naturally occurring antimicrobial agents, the use of fertilisers or pesticides during cultivation is not essential.

If you plan to buy a bamboo brush, after using it, make sure you rinse and dry your toothbrush to keep it clean. These environmentally friendly brushes are also available in three sizes, namely Soft Bristle, Medium Bristle and Hard bristle toothbrush.

Plastic Free 

These bamboo multicoloured toothbrushes have are made without the use of plastic which means that you can decompose them without worrying if they will harm the environment or wildlife. 

What's bad about plastic toothbrushes?

They end up in our seas and are washed up or eaten by marine life on our beaches, destroying them and eventually killing them. The extra business is certainly not enjoyed by our little fish buddies. A lot of this plastic is cut into smaller parts. These tiny bits end up being eaten by aquatic animals nearby. One could even end up within your lunch...

They cannot be burnt for FUEL.

They can't be scorched for food. Plastics do not burn quickly, but they emit some very nasty chemicals when they finally burn. It is a nasty business to burn plastic. It stinks; it spews strange coloured flames, and you want to reach for the nearest gas mask with the smoke. Plastic burning leads to acid rain... yeah, not cool.

An Alternative Is Available!!!

There is an alternative that will help minimise the damage done, but plastic toothbrushes can be very harmful to the environment. A renewable option that has the added advantage of being 100% biodegradable is toothbrushes made of bamboo.

They are made out of bamboo from Moso. Moso Bamboo is one of the world's fastest growing bamboo plants and is a renewable resource because of how quickly it grows. It isn't harmful to the panda population either! Pandas do not eat Moso bamboo.

Bamboo toothbrushes are also antimicrobial, so your toothbrush is not at risk of all sorts of nasty bacteria developing.

Buy a bamboo toothbrush right away if you think plastic toothbrushes are a thing of the past and want to move to a greener future.


Electric toothbrushes are often usually made of plastic and rubber, but they also have the additional negativity of having batteries that cause horrific environmental harm when not properly disposed of. And rechargeable batteries need to be replaced over time, and these batteries are frequently discarded in landfills where the battery acid spills into surrounding oceans and rivers that damage them as well as wildlife and the environment


A blend of plastic material derived from crude oil, rubber and a mixture of plastic and cardboard for the packaging is used to produce plastic toothbrushes. The problem is not just the disposal of the brushes. There is a variety of damaging plastic by-products as well as petroleum and palm oil in the production process for plastic toothbrushes!


Oil is a non-renewable resource, which means that for it to be produced, oil wells are constantly being created, harming ecosystems and destroying habitats just so that the product can be thrown away.


They remain in landfills indefinitely. Plastic toothbrushes stain the landfills with their presence! As they settle into the landfill, they release chemicals into the air. This results in even more damage to the environment.


Are bamboo toothbrushes better for the environment?

Bamboo has a smaller ecological footprint than plastic as bamboo plants grow rapidly, regrowing what was taken for the toothbrush to be made. If used in its raw form, such as for toothbrush handles, bamboo is biodegradable as well.


Bamboo toothbrush handles can be composted, reused as garden plant markers, or other household applications when the nylon bristles are removed! However, they can take up space in a landfill if they are just thrown away, just like plastic toothbrush handles.


There are fully biodegradable toothbrushes, with natural fibres for the bristles. Bear in mind that these natural bristles appear to be rougher than nylon bristles, potentially causing the enamel to wear and leading to gum recurrence. Speak about biodegradable toothbrushes or environmentally-friendly toothbrushes with your dental hygienist, and they might have suggestions.


Are bamboo toothbrushes good for my teeth?

Like plastic toothbrushes, bamboo toothbrushes can be just as good for your teeth. Consider the size of the head, the shape of the handle, and the bristles when selecting any sort of toothbrush. The best are toothbrushes that can comfortably fit into your mouth's small areas with soft bristles and a comfortable handle.


Your toothbrush should be replaced every three to four months or if the bristles are clearly damaged. Replacing a new one with your old toothbrush will help keep your teeth clean. Suppose you have further concerns about moving to a toothbrush made of bamboo. In that scenario, when contemplating plastic waste, your dental hygienist will make other suggestions that will keep your mouth safe.

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