Brushing your teeth should never be a bad thing, but when you think of how many plastic toothbrushes go into landfill every single year (close to 30 billion worldwide!), it’s about time that we made a change.
Switching to electric toothbrushes might seem like the answer, but in a recent study published in the British Dental Journal that compared the electric toothbrush, standard plastic brush, plastic brush with replaceable head and bamboo brush, the electric toothbrush was actually found to be the most harmful for the planet.
Bamboo brushes were also not the answer, as “using them just stops land from being put to better use such as helping biodiversity or in growing forests to offset carbon emissions,” according to Brett Duane, co-author of the study. “We need a system where plastic toothbrushes can be collected like batteries and then recycled into new products.”
Enter Reswirl, a UK company that has just introduced the world’s first zero-waste, fully recyclable toothbrush. Made from Bio-PBS, a biodegradable and industrially compostable material mixed with calcium carbonate, Reswirl’s brushes are available via subscription and sent out quarterly to customers. You can even return used brushes in their provided biodegradable packaging for the company to recycle.
The circular process goes like this: used Reswirl brushes are washed and then separated by materials. Handles are shredded and blended with new materials to make new ones, while bristles and boxes are recycled. Sleeves and any unusable handles are then composted.
Although there is some carbon footprint that comes from the shipping of Reswirl brushes, their “infinite brush” solution is definitely a step in the right direction to keep billions of plastic toothbrushes out of our landfills (and lives). They currently ship to and from the UK, and we hope to see them on our side of the world soon!
Learn more at reswirl.eco
Make the 8Shades Switch:
While we await a circular toothbrush option in Asia, why not try switching first to a bamboo toothbrush, as they still have a smaller ecological footprint than plastic toothbrushes and are made from a naturally renewable and sustainable source?
Shop the 8Shades Bamboo Toothbrush here:
Sign up for the 8Shades weekly newsletter to get our top stories in your inbox!