How you can get into a plastic free mindset!

  • Mar, 17 , 19
  • Kevin Coyle

What's the first tool that you use when you wake up? If you're like most people this will surely be your toothbrush. You're starting your day with plastic, and we believe this should change.

Plastic Toothbrushes

Dentists recommend that you change your toothbrush every 3 months. For most people this means more plastic being thrown away. Quick bit of maths, if only 50% of people in the UK followed this advice that means that there are over 130 million toothbrushes or toothbrush heads added to landfill per year. 

That's no small amount. But what are the alternatives?

One of the earliest toothbrushes (that we'd recognise) ever created was made in China during the Tang Dynasty. This consisted of a bamboo handle with bristles made out of hog hair.

Later, when this technology came to Europe it was changed to use horsehair and oxbone for the handle. 

Fast forward to modern times and we get what we get now: Nylon bristles and a thermoplastic handle. The nylon takes about 30 years to decompose and the handle takes over 400 years! 

Let's take a look at how we can make a more environmentally conscious toothbrush, with inspirations from what came before but with a more modern twist. 

Firstly, let's get rid of that plastic handle and replace it with solid, sustainable bamboo. Next let's take a look at the bristles. 

As I said just before these are typically made from Nylon. Nylon is a composite material invented in the 20th century. It can't be recycled currently but it does decompose reasonably quickly. So we can still keep that as the head, or we can use charcoal infused bristles bristles (more on that later). Doing so we'll end up with something that looks like this:

Bamboo Toothbrush

A cheap and effective solution which will decompose back into the earth within 2 years. Bamboo toothbrushes aren't the silver bullet to solve our plastic addiction, but if everyday you wake up and use the brush perhaps it will help you get into the mindset of being plastic free!