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The impact of plastic oral care products

Did you know that your seemingly harmless plastic toothpaste tube and toothbrush are actually wreaking havoc on the environment? It may not be something you think about when you toss your 3-month-old toothbrush or empty toothpaste tube into the trash bin. 

Next stop: landfill, or ocean (eek!). 

Plastic oral care products make up a huge portion of the single-use plastics that reside in landfills and oceans. They take hundreds of years to break down fully, and once they end up in landfills and oceans, they harm wildlife and humans alike.  

It’s not your fault for buying plastic oral care products–plastic is, unfortunately, the norm. At Change Toothpaste, we’re determined to bring you a truly sustainable alternative (no, skipping your oral hygiene routine is not sustainable!). If the plastic problem is making you feel powerless, opting for sustainable alternatives can empower you and truly make a difference. 

Colourful plastic toothbrushes in jar in bathroom

The plastic problem

Plastic is filling up our landfills and our oceans and at an alarming and unforeseen rate. People throw out approximately 900 million toothpaste tubes globally every year. More shocking is that Americans toss 1 billion toothbrushes annually.

Not only is all that plastic unsightly. It’s harming our wildlife and marine life, displacing ecosystems, and poisoning our water and soil that we rely on. 

When wildlife encounter plastic, they mistake it for food and eat it. This poses a number of harms. Animals can easily choke on plastic, and it can seriously injure them. If it does make it to their stomachs, they have a false sense of fullness, which ultimately causes them to starve to death.

Plastic doesn’t biodegrade–instead, it breaks down into millions of tiny pieces, called microplastics. Microplastics poison waterways and soil. Humans and living creatures alike drink the water which contains microplastics. Plastic contains chemicals, like phthalates and BPA, which have been linked to disease in humans.

Landfill site with piles of plastic trash and birds flying overhead

But some plastic is recyclable, so I’m in the clear, right?

Yes, a lot of plastic is said to be recyclable. Hard, sturdy plastics can be reused if they’re processed correctly. But plastics in general are hard to recycle. Did you know that only 8% of plastics actually get recycled in Canada? The rest of it ends up in the landfill, where it becomes problematic. 

What are toothpaste tubes made of?

The material that’s used to make toothpaste tubes is several layers of plastic laminate over a layer of aluminum. This makes the tube squeezable while holding its shape. 

Some toothpaste tubes are made of aluminum, which are better for the environment, but not biodegradable. They, too, will most likely end up in the landfill, though they won’t wreak havoc in the same way that plastic tubes will. 

Are toothpaste tubes recyclable?

Yes, a lot of toothpaste tubes are technically recyclable. A lot of generic oral care companies are touting their recyclable plastic toothpaste tubes, but most plastics that we recycle generally end up in the landfill. 

What is dental floss made of?

Most dental floss is made of spun nylon and coated in synthetic wax. Nylon is essentially plastic, which leaches chemicals, and thus, causes harm in the environment. Synthetic paraffin wax is a derivative of petroleum, and extracting petroleum from the earth is far from eco friendly. 

Underwater blue ocean with plastic trash and fish swimming around it

What can I do about the plastic problem?

Changing up your oral care products can have a huge impact on the plastic problem. Change Toothpaste offers sustainably packaged oral care essentials made with all-natural ingredients. Nothing in Change Toothpaste products will hang around in the environment for hundreds of years. In fact, our toothpaste tablet packaging breaks down faster than a banana peel in a composting facility!

We have everything you need for an oral health routine that’s healthier for you and the planet. Let’s break down our products and their impact.

Toothpaste tablets

When you buy a pack of our toothpaste tablets, you save a plastic toothpaste tube from the landfill. The tablets come in a compostable zipper bag that’s waterproof, protecting your tablets from the moisture in your bathroom.

In addition, toothpaste tablets contain no liquid, cutting down on water use so we can ship more of them and reduce emissions. And, since they’re dry, they’re incredibly easy to refill. Head to your local refillery and scoop them into your jar. 

We offer fluoride and fluoride-free options to give you the option. Our tablets feature all-natural flavours and create a luxurious foam that makes it easy to ditch those generic plastic tubes!

Bamboo toothbrushes

Toothbrushes made of bamboo are far more eco friendly than their plastic counterparts. Bamboo is biodegradable and durable, and it’s one of the most abundant materials on the planet. Bamboo chutes grow quickly, requiring very little water and light to grow, growing as fast as 1 metre per day. It’s also naturally antimicrobial, reducing bacterial growth. 

Vegan flossers

The main reason our floss picks are eco friendly is that their handles are made of biodegradable corn starch. The floss itself is made of synthetic bamboo silk instead of plastic, and it’s vegan, containing no beeswax. Floss picks make flossing a breeze, and the strong fibres work on tight teeth and prevent shredding.

Compost pile with dead leaves and kitchen scraps

Time for Change

While it may seem like a small action for you to switch over to eco friendly oral hygiene products, little actions add up. 

Single use plastics are one of the biggest problems of our time. They’re affecting ecosystems and poisoning our waterways, which puts the whole planet in jeopardy.

You’ll be pleasantly surprised to find that switching from your generic toothpaste to Change Toothpaste tablets is the upgrade you never knew you needed. With real spearmint flavour, healthy ingredients, and a luxurious foam, you’ll never want to go back!

Shop our eco friendly oral care essentials today! Choose between toothpaste tablets in fluoride and fluoride free, our compostable floss picks, and our bamboo toothbrushes.