We use up to 4,7 billion toothbrushes per year. Yes, you read it well. And a part of them finish up in the environment. Not only are they a huge source of pollution, but they also threaten our health. Fortunately, an ecological alternative exists: bamboo toothbrushes. Let’s learn more about them.
The problem with plastic toothbrushes
It’s automatic. Each morning and evening, you go to the bathroom and brush your teeth. And for that purpose, you use a piece of plastic. But what’s the problem with that? Actually, a large part of plastic toothbrushes ends up in the ocean or in landfills. Problem is: it can take between 100 and 1.000 years before they completely degrade, depending on the type of plastic they are made of. During that time, a brush can travel thousands of kilometres and pollute the oceans and the lands.
Besides their enormous ecological impact, plastic toothbrushes can be a threat to your health. When plastic stays in the water, it starts to degrade. It then decomposes into smaller pieces of plastic, until they become what we call microplastics. Fish and other marine animals can thus easily mistaken plastic for food. And what animals eat can end up in their flesh, a flesh that humans eat. This is how plastic can enter our food chain. But human beings’ health is not the only one put at risk. If animals eat plastic instead of food, they can starve to death.
The ecological alternative: bamboo toothbrushes
You guessed it, the solution to all this plastic pollution due to toothbrushes is bamboo. Bamboo toothbrushes are now flooding the market, and for good reasons. They have tremendous ecological advantages and health benefits. Just one tip: always do some research about the brush you intend to buy. Actually, there are toothbrushes that are more ecological than others.
The advantages of bamboo toothbrushes
- Ecological: some brands only use Moso bamboo to make their brushes. Moso bamboo is a great species of bamboo since it is not part of pandas’ diet and because it can grow up to 1 metre a day. Moreover, it consumes more CO2 and releases more oxygen than any other vegetal species.
- Organic: Moso bamboo grows naturally fast and does not require any pesticides or fertiliser. Toothbrushes made of Moso bamboo are thus organic.
- Vegan: most of bamboo toothbrushes are vegan. If this value is important to you, make sure that the hairs are made of nylon or other vegan and biodegradable component, and that the ink on the packaging is from vegetal origin.
- Compostable and biodegradable: as bamboo is completely natural, toothbrushes are biodegradable. You can thus put them in your compost when you replace them. Make sure the hairs of your brush are also biodegradable and do not contain chemical colouring agents.
- Packaging: many brands make a lot of efforts to reduce their ecological impact. Some use ecological packagings, others are less careful. Always check that the packaging is made of recycled, recyclable, compostable or reusable materials and that the ink does not contain toxic chemicals.
- Safe: unlike plastic, bamboo does not contain potentially dangerous chemicals that can contaminate your body and the environment.
- Bamboo saves trees: trees take a lot of time to grow. As a result, men must wait decades before they can harvest their wood. However, bamboo only takes up to 5 years before we can exploit it.
- Antibacterial: bamboo is naturally antibacterial, which is great for your oral healthcare.