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Sustainable Living Blog

Plastic Free Shave

Plastic Free Shave

Just like toothbrushes, every razor you have ever used probably still exists. Wether they are single use or ones with interchangeable heads you will have created some long lasting plastic waste. Not to mention all the plastic packing they came in. Luckily  I have a solution for you: the safety razor.

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Bottles To Bars

Bottles To Bars

In this time of social distancing and corona virus I have found myself washing my hair a lot more often, and every time I do, I am so glad I changed to a shampoo bar. 


Shampoo (& Conditioner) bars at a great swap to reduce you plastic waste, carbon footprint and the amount synthetic chemicals you putting on / into your body. 

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Zero Waste Toothpaste

Zero Waste Toothpaste
When people tell me they want to start reducing plastic in their life, I always recommend starting with the bathroom, because for me it was the easiest place to start making swaps that were not only plastic free, but also low (sometimes even zero) waste. 

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Toothbrush VS Toothbrushes!?

Toothbrush VS Toothbrushes!?

 

 

Every toothbrush you have ever used still exists today. At best it is in a landfill, at worst its being fed to a baby Albatross. Not the most comfortable thing to think about I know but true I am afraid.

 

On average people will replace around 300 toothbrushes during their lifetime, which is why getting a bamboo toothbrush is normally the first thing I would recommend to some who wants to be more sustainable. This one small swap could make a huge difference over a lifetime. 

 

Why Bamboo?

 

Toothbrushes have only been made out of plastic since 1930. Prior to that they were made out of natural materials like boar bristles with bone handles or sticks chewed at one end to create a fluffy scrubber. Don’t worry I am not suggesting you go into the garden and pick up a twig, just to pick up a bamboo toothbrush next time you need to change your toothbrush. 

 

They work just like normal toothbrushes, but the handles are made out of, you guessed it, bamboo. So instead of being thrown away at the end of their life, bamboo toothbrushes can be composted. Bamboo is one of the fastest growing plants in the world and requires zero chemicals or pesticides meaning it is a very sustainable option. It is also naturally antibacterial

 

The only thing you need to remember is to remove the bristles before you compost, as they are still made from plastic unfortunately. Some bamboo toothbrushes claim to 100% plastic free, but still contain nylon bristles.  A quick way to test this is to burn the bristles, if they turn black and emit a bad smell you can pretty much guarantee they contain plastic. 

 

Which Bamboo toothbrush should I use?

 

Luckily the call for Bamboo Toothbrushes has been answered by many companies, I haven’t tried them all but here are some of my favourites and why. 

 

(Left to right – Truthbrush, Hydrophil, Humble Brush)

 

Humble Brush by The Humble Co

 

The humble brush is the most sold bamboo toothbrush

 

How much does it cost - £3.40 (€3.99)

 

What is it made from – It has a sustainably grown bamboo handle and nylon bristles. 

 

What are the bristles like - There is a choice between soft and medium bristles. The bristles come in many different colours so you can get a bunch of colours for your family with no risk of a mix up. 

 

Are they available for kids – yes, there are both adult and children brushes available. The kid’s brushes are smaller with softer bristles.

 

What is the packaging like - It comes in cardboard packaging which can be easily recycled.

 

Where to find them - I found mine in Morrisons UK but you can also order them online. 

 

My personal opinion - I liked the Humble Brush as I like a toothbrush with medium to soft bristles however it had quite a large brush head which I found difficult to manoeuvre. 

 

Sustainable Toothbrush by Hydrophil (Wasser Neutral) 

 

Hydrophil are a German company who aim to make all their products water neutral, their Toothbrush is the first climate neutral toothbrush in Europe

 

How much does it cost - £3.30 (€3.90)

 

What is it made from – The handle is made from Moso bamboo, grown without pesticides or artificial irrigation. The handles are painted with solvent-free coloured lacquers so you can tell them apart. The biobased bristles are made from castor oil meaning they are BPA and petroleum free. 

 

What are the bristles like - There is a choice between medium bristles or extra soft bristles.  

 

Are they available for kids – yes, there are both adult and children brushes available. The kids brushes are smaller with softer bristles.

 

What is the packaging like - It comes in recycled cardboard packaging which can be easily recycled again.

 

Where to find them - You can also order them directly from the hydrophil website.

 

My personal opinion - I liked the Hydrophil brush, however I found the bristles were quite firm. 



The Truthbursh from Truthbrush

 

The Truthbrush won the first prize at both the Eco Excellence and Veggie Awards. They offer carbon neutral shipping.

How much does it cost - £4.00 - £4.50

 

What is it made from – The handle is made from organic bamboo and is rounded to be more ergonomic. The ends of the handle come in a range of colours. The bristles are made from 62% castor oil and 38% nylon.

 

What are the bristles like - There is a choice between soft or medium.  

 

Are they available for kids – yes, there are both adult and children brushes available. The kids brushes are smaller with softer bristles.

 

What is the packaging like – It comes wrapped in tissue paper in a cardboard tube or with zero packaging at plasticfreedom.com

 

Where to find them - You can also order them online direct from their website or packaging free from Plastic Freedom 

 

My personal opinion – Truthbrush is my favourite of all the bamboo toothbrushes I have tried, the brush head is small so I can reach all my teeth and the bristles are nice and soft.  

 

What do I do with my current plastic toothbrush?

 

First of all, if it still has life in it keep using it. There is nothing sustainable about throwing away something plastic that still works to replace it with a plastic-free alternative. However, don’t worry if you still have some plastic toothbrushes or toothbrush heads for electric toothbrushes that need changing you can now recycle toothbrushes at Terracycling points.

 

References

 

 https://oceana.org/blog/remote-island-baby-albatrosses-suffer-diet-plastic-trash

https://www.nationalgeographic.com/environment/2019/06/story-of-plastic-toothbrushes/

 https://householdwonders.com/why-is-bamboo-a-sustainable-material/

 https://thehumble.co/humble-brush/

 https://hydrophil.com/en/toothbrush/371/sustainable-toothbrush-green?c=84

 https://www.thetruthbrush.com/the-truthbrush

 https://www.plasticfreedom.co.uk/product-page/zero-waste-toothbrush-medium-bristles-truthbrush

 https://www.terracycle.com/en-GB/brigades/colgate-uk#how-it-works




 

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