Why make the switch to a (almost) zero waste toothbrush?
National Geographic reports that a billion toothbrushes are thrown away each year just in the U.S. — the majority of which are made of, you guessed it… plastic.
But the good news is that switching from a plastic toothbrush is a really easy swap. No DIYs, no learning curve, no risks (like there may be with say, testing natural deodorants!!)
However, there could be some cost barriers with certain sustainable toothbrushes, so this guide makes note of the prices with each option, so you can make a choice that works for you.
What are the different types of zero waste toothbrushes in this guide?
- Natural, Compostable Toothbrushes (made from bamboo or beechwood)
- Toothbrushes Made From Recycled Materials (like aluminum or BPA-free plastic)
Let’s dive in!
Note that this guide includes affiliate links. As always, brands and products featured meet strict standards for sustainability and responsibility.
Bamboo and Wooden Toothbrushes
A bamboo toothbrush is the most popular eco alternative to plastic toothbrushes in the eco-lifestyle community, as there are many benefits of bamboo toothbrushes. Bamboo is one of the fastest renewing plants in the world, it can be a powerful natural source of carbon sequestration, and it’s compostable at the end of its life! Here are some bamboo toothbrushes (plus one beechwood option) if you’re looking for plastic-free or nearly plastic-free toothbrushes.
EcoRoots’ bamboo toothbrush handles are compostable (as with all bamboo toothbrushes) and the nylon bristles are reportedly recyclable (though check with your local recycler). I have this set of toothbrushes from EcoRoots, and am happy to confirm that they ship totally plastic-free! With a price of $14.90 for a 4-pack, it breaks down to about $3.70 per toothbrush, so more expensive than a cheap toothbrush but on par with a more ‘premium’ plastic toothbrush.
Price: $14.90 for 4
Brush with Bamboo’s zero waste toothbrushes are made from 100% Certified Organic Giant Moso bamboo. What really sets these toothbrushes apart though is that the company uses plant-based bristles made from 100% Castor Bean Oil. Most bamboo toothbrushes either use nylon (synthetic materials) or boar hair (natural and biodegradable, but not vegan). Note that although the bristles are 100% bio-based, they are not certified compostable.
Price: $19.99 for a 4
3. Eco Serein
Eco Serein is another bamboo toothbrush brand I’ve tried! (In fact, I wrote all about Eco Serein in this post!)
The brand’s high-quality eco-friendly toothbrush also comes with a sleek minimalistic bamboo case, making it easy to transport or store your toothbrush as well.
Price: $9.99 for toothbrush + toothbrush case
Another bamboo toothbrush brand, The Humble Co. creates their eco-friendly toothbrushes from sustainably-harvested ‘panda-friendly’ Moso bamboo leaves. To ensure they’re not harvesting potential panda food, The Humble Co. only sources their bamboo from leaves that are higher than 5 meters and up (since pandas only eat the leaves that they can reach).
Price: $4.99 per toothbrush
Potentially the most cost-effective option on this list, Zero Waste Cartel has a 10-pack of bamboo toothbrushes for about $30. They have also had multiple 50% off sales where they offer their 10-pack for just under $15, or about $1.50 per toothbrush. If you can get this deal, you’d be paying less for a near zero-waste toothbrush than for a plastic toothbrush!
Price: $29.99 for 10
6. Brush Naked
Brush Naked’s low/zero waste bamboo toothbrushes have some toothbrushes with bristles made from 35% Castor Bean Oil to reduce the portion of nylon (and associated carbon emissions) to produce their bristles. These eco-friendly toothbrushes also come in completely biodegradable and compostable packaging. Kid-size toothbrushes are available as well!
Price: $5.99 per toothbrush; $24 for 4
Living up to their name, Life Without Plastic has created plastic-free toothbrushes made from responsibly-harvested beechwood preserved with linseed oil. The bristles are made from (disinfected) boar hair that is sourced as a byproduct of the meat industry, meaning their totally compostable.
Price: $74.95 for 10
Recycled Zero Waste Toothbrushes
Another way to reduce the waste and resource-use associated with toothbrushes is to choose brushes made from recycled content. While not completely zero waste, many of these toothbrushes offer replaceable heads so that you can keep using the same toothbrush handle for many years.
RADIUS is offering something truly different with their low waste toothbrushes. The handles are made with upcycled wood, paper, and even dollar bills and the bristles are made out of vegetable-based nylon. And when it’s time to change toothbrushes, you can keep the handle and just swap out the bristle head with one of RADIUS’ replacement packs.
More to love about RADIUS? Their toothbrushes are made in a women-run solar-powered factory!
Price: $9.99 per toothbrush
Use code CONSCIOUSLIFE for 10% off
Preserve’s zero waste toothbrushes are designed with circularity in mind. Each toothbrush is made from 100% recycled plastic from yogurt cups and once you’re done with the toothbrush, you can recycle it through Preserve’s take-back program!
Price: $6 – $8 for 2
Use code CONSCIOUSLIFE for 10% off
Plastic-free toothbrushes are getting a serious upgrade with Goodwell. The brand’s toothbrush handles are made with recycled aluminum and the brush heads are made from PLA, which is industrially compostable. The brush heads are replaceable and since aluminum is extremely durable, the aluminum handles could be used for decades! The bristles are currently made of nylon, though Goodwell does say they’re actively looking for a natural vegan option.
Price: $25 for the handle; $7 for each replacement head
BONUS: For electric toothbrush users…
Another interesting option is quite different from the rest. Goodwell’s Be. Brush is an electric toothbrush that doesn’t require any batteries or any charging in an outlet. So no battery waste and no extra energy use. You simply twist the handle a few times and it’s powered up.
*This brush is not made from recycled materials
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