After using my old plastic toothbrush for over two years, I finally changed over to a reduced plastic version! According to Colgate et al, you should change your toothbrush every three months!!! I have never done this because it sounds like such a great waste to me! And looking at the statistics online backs up this belief.
A billion toothbrushes will be thrown away in the U.S. this year, most of them plastic.**
** Source: National Geographic
That’s the US alone – imagine what the numbers are once you account for the consumer habits of the whole world!
Change is hard… or is it?
I was worried about switching over because I read so many bad reviews about toothbrushes that lose bristles straightaway, as well as the cost.
SO, I waited and read and finally took the plunge on a toothbrush that cost me just under €4.
My Humble Brush is almost two months old now and still has all its bristles – which are still straight. The bamboo part dries easily. It was developed by dentists and designed in Sweden.
What I really like about this company, is that they provide dental healthcare products to children in need.
For me, this is as close as I’m going to get to a toothbrush that is aligned with my beliefs.
Humble also sells dental floss, made from thread and candelilla wax, as well as toothpaste tablets and toothpaste in a jar. These are all good moves away from producing waste.
My partner has the La Dubois bioseptyl toothbrush, but he started losing some bristles after the first few weeks. He does have a very different bushing style to me, and his toothbrushes always end up looking like they’ve been in a war!
The shape of the head on the bioseptyl brush is different to the Humble Brush, and it uses American Beech wood. The bioseptyl is entirely produced in France,which is great for local sustainability products, but perhaps they need a bit more work on improving the durability of their product.
My wish list
I hope that we can have biodegradable bristles one day… and more toothpaste tubes in metal OR returnable/ refillable options.
Colgate Palmolive has also introduced a bamboo toothbrush, and they have also committed to reducing their waste, which is good since they have a lot to answer for. You can read about their environmental proposals here. I hope that they will start recycling their toothbrushes, including the ones found on beaches. I also hope that they can invest in beach-clean and ocean clean-ups.
Of course, no sustainable product line will be successful unless it is affordable to as many people as possible. As we transition towards a circular economy, this is an important and worthwhile consideration.
I’ll do another post after 6 months to tell you how it holds up.
As for my old brush??!?? I use it to clean my bike chain!