A Reason to Smile: The Environmental Toothbrush


A toothbrush is something we (hopefully) use every day.  With high frequency use comes high frequency wear and tear.  Professionals suggest that we replace a toothbrush every three months.  But what happens to our old toothbrush?  Send it to landfill?  Recycle it?  The Environmental Toothbrush gives us another option.  We can now compost a toothbrush!

About 50 million pounds of toothbrushes go to the landfill per year.  It’s unfortunate that so many used toothbrushes go from cradle to grave.  Traditional toothbrushes made of plastic are essentially wasted if sent to landfill.

Rather, a the Environmental Toothbrush can now serve as biological nutrients, going from cradle to cradle. From the Environmental Toothbrush website:

Invented by a Brisbane dentist, The Environmental Toothbrush is a simple solution. Made from bamboo, a natural cellulose fibre, they are 100% biodegradable, environmentally sustainable, and do not pollute the environment. The amazing growth and self-renewing ability of bamboo means that deforestation is not necessary either. Even our packaging is bio-degradable.

What about the bristles?  I am curious about the actual polymer contained in the toothbrush, but the company does state that the bristles are also biodegradable.

One thing caught my eye, and through me for a loop.  The website further states that the Environmental Toothbrush can go to “compost or landfill.”  Doesn’t a compostable toothbrush going to landfill defeat the purpose of creating a compostable toothbrush?

While the ideally solution would be to compost that which is compostable, sometimes, that is not possible.  At the very least, we can now have it biodegrade in a landfill, rather than a traditional plastic toothbrush remaining buried for eons.

If you are reading this from the land down under, a pack of 12 Environmental Toothbrushes will cost $36.00.  That is $3.00 per toothbrush.

If you are in the land of the stars and stripes, or any other international location with respect to Australia, you’ll need to tack on an additional $12 buckaroos for shipping.  That is a total of $48.00.  Per toothbrush, it comes to about $4.00 each.  That’s comparable to a premium set of plastic toothbrush at your local drugstore.

Yes, we will still have to change our toothbrushes every so often.  As the Environmental Toothbrush suggest with their rendition of the toothbrush, it needs to be changed every month.  But at the very least, our impact on the environment appears to be far less with a toothbrush that is biodegradable.  The Environmental Toothbrush gives us a reason to smile.

Jonathan Mariano is an MBA candidate with the Presidio Graduate School in San Francisco, CA. His interests include the convergence between lean & green and pursuing free-market based sustainable solutions.

3 responses

  1. Just wanted to let you know that the changing every month is a suggestion by the dentist who invented the toothbrush we have used a toothbrush for over 8 months and it was still going strong.
    So you can change it when ever you want.
    Cheers from Down Under
    The Environmental Toothbrush

    1. The recommendation for changing it more frequently, like say every 3 months at a minimum, is due to the bacteria on the brush that builds up. NOT about the biodegradable nature of the brush. So, YES you still have to change it when the bristles begin to show wear and / or the bacteria builds up.

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