Hygiene and staying healthy often come hand-in-hand with significant amounts of waste. For example, during the Covid-19 pandemic, PPE was a lifesaver – but it also resulted in record amounts of plastic piling up in a world suffering from a significant waste problem already. However, there are many ways to reduce our impact without compromise.
Keeping our mouths, teeth and gums cared for is a daily routine that has become smothered in plastic over the last few decades. With staying hygienic comes replacing and disposing of key items regularly, and plastic offered a cheap, convenient solution. Our daily routines are having a devastating impact on the world we live in, with toothbrushes designed to last us six weeks adding waste to the world for many decades to come. The good news is that it is easy for us all as individuals to make positive changes to our routines which will make a difference to plastic waste across the globe. Here, we take a look at some of the solutions.
1. Switch to bamboo
Bamboo toothbrushes have been available to buy for a few years, and are growing in popularity every year. The quality of these biodegradable heroes is improving all the time, and there is a lot of choice in the market to find your perfect plastic-free brush. There are other health benefits to removing your plastic toothbrush too, like plastic containing BPA which may have negative impacts on our hormones and bodies. Major brands are now offering bamboo alternatives, making the earth-friendly option easy to get your hands on without looking further than your regular supermarket visits.
2. Ditch the single-use plastic dental floss sticks
Dental floss sticks, used once and disposed of, have a huge impact on the amount of plastic waste we produce. Flossing is really important, so having an easy alternative to the convenience of plastic floss sticks is a must. Very simply, you can change the handle to a biodegradable alternative with very minimal impact on the floss experience for the user. Bamboo offers another great solution to our oral care plastic problem here. Also, bamboo sticks are much nicer to look at than their white plastic alternatives.
3. Swap out the plastic tube
Switching your brush and floss to bamboo seems like a no-brainer, but to go the extra mile on reducing plastic waste you can even ditch the plastic toothpaste tube, as some small businesses are venturing into packaging toothpaste in glass pots. There are new ways to alter your oral care preferences too with options like tooth powder or tablets on the market. These up-and-coming alternatives could help us cut down on over 6 tubes of toothpaste per person per year. Most toothpaste alternatives use natural ingredients like charcoal too, another bonus of switching.
It has never been easier to swap plastic for friendlier alternatives when it comes to oral care. With the daily routine requiring regular replacements, it is a great way to make a difference and significantly reduce our impact on the world.
By guest author, Emery Walsh