Support International Mother Earth Day

Support International Mother Earth Day

What can you change?

There is a lot in the news about plastic at the moment.

That footage of the man diving through the plastic filled sea in Bali made most of us feel a little bit sick in the pit of our stomachs, because you don’t realise how much of a problem there is when it isn’t in front of you. Most of us put our rubbish in the bin without thinking about where it ends up.

We’re all busy getting on with our lives and, it just isn’t something you think about when it doesn’t directly affect you. However, the evidence is clear that is does effect all of us. The problem of plastic is not going away and, what better event to think about it and how we can make better choices, than with International Mother Earth Day on the 22nd of April.

Here at your local Egham dentist we thought International Mother Earth Day was a great opportunity to talk about toothbrush pollution, and potential alternatives.

Billions of toothbrushes are discarded into landfills annually across the world. They are made up of plastic, rubber, nylon and paper/plastic packing. Unfortunately all of these materials are pollutants and will not degrade, so are always destined for landfill. Many will end up in the sea, and on the beach, hurting the animals and adding to that shocking plastic scenery on the Bali diving video we mentioned above.

Here at your Egham dentist we recommend switching your toothbrush whenever the bristles start to look worn, or every few months (whichever comes first). Just think about how many toothbrushes your family send off to landfill based on that advice? Obviously you need a toothbrush that often, but maybe there are alternatives that can be good for your oral health and the planet?

The Alternatives

Here at your Egham dentist we can’t endorse any particular toothbrush type, however, it is interesting to consider the alternatives to plastic toothbrushes, which may be much more common in the future.

Recyclable Plastic

Some companies offer toothbrushes made from recyclable plastic. You use the toothbrush and return it to them, where they turn it into a new toothbrush. So this type of product is slowing the brushes journey to landfill, not stopping it completely.

Environmental Toothbrush (usually made from bamboo.)

These types of toothbrush are usually ‘mostly’ biodegradable but usually have a little bit of plastic on them, whether that is part of the bristles or the packaging. So they aren’t entirely biodegradable.

Completely Plastic Free Toothbrush

There are toothbrushes available that are completely free from plastic. They are made from wood and the bristles are made from pigs hair from pigs raised for meat so they aren’t a vegetarian or vegan friendly toothbrush.

So, the alternatives for plastic toothbrushes are ‘in development’ but they aren’t yet perfect. Alternatives for toothbrushes are definitely an area worth exploring, and at the very least being aware of. But if you’re not ready to change your plastic toothbrushes for alternatives just yet, there are plenty of other ways to reduce your plastic consumption.

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