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A Simple Guide To Zero Waste Toothpaste

Updated: Oct 16, 2019



EACH YEAR, 1.5 BILLION PLASTIC TOOTHPASTE TUBES END UP IN LANDFILLS.


A standard size toothpaste tube lasts about 2 months, resulting a usage of around 6 toothpaste tubes annually. This might not seem like a large number, but the quantities quickly add up considering how many people around the world follow dental hygiene.


Toothpaste comes in convenient and easy-to-use plastic tubes, which unfortunately can’t be recycled. Therefore, non-recyclable toothpaste tubes keep pilling up in the landfills or get dumped into the oceans.


Why is toothpaste tube made out of plastic?

For centuries toothpaste has been made in a solid form, until 1866 when a London based doctor Washington Sheffield manufactured a squeezable tin and lead tube. His idea came from artists paint tubes and revolutionized toothpaste industry. During World War II there was shortage of metal due to military usage, which resulted a restriction to manufacture household products made out of metals. Toothpaste tube manufacturers had to switch to aluminum and plastics.


Why can't toothpaste tube be recycled?

Modern toothpaste tube hasn’t changed much from the original design of 1966. However, the materials evolved into complex layered plastics including aluminum, steel, and nylon. Mostly all toothpaste tubes on the market are made out of ABL (Aluminum Barrier Laminate with several layers of PE) and PBL (Plastic Barrier Laminate with several layers of EVOH), the cap is made out of mix of other plastics. The blended plastic materials and leftovers of toothpaste make recycling of toothpaste tubes almost impossible. Dumped into landfills, toothpaste tubes take around 500-700 years to decompose.


Plastic-Free natural TOOTHPASTEs


Glass and aluminum are great alternative packaging solutions to plastic toothpaste tubes. However, there are still only very few dental care brands that package toothpaste in aluminum or glass jars. These brands use natural and organic ingredients to make paste, powder, or tablets toothpaste. Natural ingredients such as coconut, bentonite clay, baking soda, peppermint oil, and charcoal are proven to have great benefits in dental care. Read More > for detailed guide covering natural toothpaste ingredients backed by scientific studies.


Below is a simple break down of zero waste dental care brands by origin, covering their products, flavours, prices, packaging, etc.


North AMERICA


Nelson Naturals



Established: 2012 - Nelson, CANADA

Dental Products: toothpaste, tooth-tablets. Also silk floss, toothbrushes

Price: CA$ 10-14 / for about 1-1.5 months

Flavours: 9 Mint, Mint Charcoal, Activated Charcoal, Cinnamon, Spearmint, Citrus Spice, Fennel, Moringa Forest Fresh

Shipping: free to Canada and USA on orders above $50

Claims: cruelty-free, vegan, toxin-free, Fluoride-free. no: SLS, glycerin, toxic chemicals, fillers or artificial colourings

Packaging: glass jars with metal lids

Manufacturing: made in Nelson (BC) Canada, 100% food grade ingredients

Giving back: 5% on all profits go to animal charities and animal shelters


DAVIDS




Established: 2015 - California, USA

Dental Products: toothpaste

Price: US$ 10 / for about 1-1.5 months

Flavours: 2 Peppermint, Peppermint & Charcoal

Shipping: free to USA on above $25

Claims: cruelty-free, vegan, toxin-free, Fluoride-free. no: SLS, sodium, sulfate

artificial flavours, preservatives, sweeteners

Packaging: recyclable metal tube, recyclable roller key, FSC cardboard box

Manufacturing: made in USA, premium local natural ingredients



BITE




Established: 2016 - Los Angeles, USA

Dental Products: tooth-tablets

Flavours: 2 Mint, Activated Charcoal

Price: US$12 (62pc) lasts 2 months, subscription US$30 (248pc) lasts 4 months

Shipping: free USA, Can $15, Au $22

Claims: cruelty-free, vegan, Fluoride-free. no: sodium lauryl sulfate, triclosan, artificial dyes

Packaging: glass jars, metal caps, compostable pouch refills

Manufacturing: made in the USA, local natural ingredients




EUROPE


DENTTABS




Established: 2009 - Berlin, Germany

Dental Products: tooth tablets. Also bamboo toothbrushes

Flavours: 1 Mint with/without fluoride

Price: €6 (125pc) / lasts 2 months

Shipping: free to Germany on above €15, or €5, EU €15

Claims: cruelty-free, vegan, BDIH Certified controlled natural cosmetics. no: builders, bleach, preservatives, glutamate, gluten

Packaging: fully compostable bags

Manufacturing: made in Germany, 100% natural ingredients

Giving back: supporting Fridays for Future, clean-ups, teaching about plastic waste in schools. Sending 1000 bamboo brushes to children German charities


Ben & Anna




Established: 2016 - Berlin, Germany

Dental Products: toothpaste, tooth powder, mouth wash

Flavours: 4 White, Black, Sensitive, Cinnamon

Price: € 9 (100ml) / lasts 2 months

Claims: cruelty-free, vegan, Fluoride-free, ICADA Certified. no: SLS, EDTAN, parabens, phthalates, triclosan, formaldehyde, peroxide, gluten

Packaging: glass jar, metal lid

Manufacturing: made in Germany, natural quality ingredients

Giving back: supporting One Earth – One Ocean e.V. ocean clean-up organization.




LAMAZUNA




Established: 2010 - FRANCE

Dental Products: solid toothpaste. Also bamboo toothbrushes

Flavours: 3 Cinnamon, Peppermint, Sage & amp; Lemon

Price: € 8.5 (17g) / lasts 3-4 months

Shipping: free to France. EU €8, worldwide €10

Claims: cruelty-free, vegan, Peta Certified

Packaging: compostable stick

Manufacturing: made in France, natural quality ingredients

Giving back: 2% of sales donated to reforestation, waste collection initiatives



United Kingdom


Georganics



Established: 2015 - United Kingdom

Dental Products: toothpaste, toothpowder, tooth-tablets, tooth-soap. Also mouthwash (tablets), oil pulling mouthwash, biodegradable silk floss, beech toothbrushes and sonic toothbrush

Flavours: 7, kids-friendly

Price: £7 (60ml) £9 (120pc) lasts 1-2 months

Shipping: UK £2.5, outside UK €12

Claims: cruelty-free, vegan, Fluoride free. no: SLS, Triclosan, gluten, glycerin, synthetic ingredients

Packaging: recycled paper tubes, glass bottles and jars, metal lids

Manufacturing: make in UK. Hand-crafted in small batches, locally sourced ingredients

Giving back: supporting The Ocean Cleanup, personal recycling system – mail back. Donations to Sail To The COP, Cradle (early pregnancy loss bereavement support charity), sending independent dental professionals to volunteer in Kenya.


*Please note that supporting local dental care brands reduces carbon footprint and CO2 emissions of shipping. Choose to shop locally and support zero waste toothpaste brands based in your country or continent.




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