Plastic-free alternative: How sustainable is using a bamboo toothbrush?

Bamboo toothbrushes are mostly free of harmful substances, can (at least partially) be recycled and conserve our natural resources.

Plastic-free alternative: How sustainable is using a bamboo toothbrush?

Bamboo toothbrushes are mostly free of harmful substances, can (at least partially) be recycled and conserve our natural resources. In contrast to toothbrushes made of plastic, the climate balance is significantly better, but the sustainable alternatives also have a weak point: According to the federal government of Hesse, bamboo has to cover long transport routes because the material mostly comes from China - and thus worsens the environmental balance. In addition, the brush head is not recyclable. Why this is and which manufacturers are recommended is revealed below.

The bamboo toothbrushes from the Hydrophil brand are available in packs of 4. Unlike other manufacturers, the models are available in different colors (red, green, blue) - these are made naturally, are biodegradable and free of synthetic substances. In addition, you can choose between different degrees of hardness of the bristles made of BPA-free nylon: These are made of castor oil, a renewable raw material. Another benefit is that Hydrophil ships its bamboo toothbrushes in eco-friendly packaging made from recycled material.

And how does it apply to children? According to Johanna Kant, Chairwoman of the Federal Association of Pediatric Dentists, there is nothing wrong with even the little ones brushing their teeth with bamboo brushes: "Regardless of what type of toothbrush is used, it is important that the teeth are clean afterwards and that neither tooth substance nor tooth structure is left behind Gums are damaged when brushing."

According to the manufacturer, the sustainable toothbrush from Bambusliebe does not contain any harmful substances. The wavy design is intended to feel good in the hand, but what makes this model special is its bristles: These are made of bamboo viscose - this means that the toothbrush can be disposed of in one piece with organic waste. Another plus is the packaging made from recycled cardboard, so it is also free of plastic and completely vegan. The model is available individually, but also as a set of 3.

According to the manufacturer, Nature Nerds toothbrushes are made from sustainably cultivated bamboo and are also vegan and BPA-free. The unique design on the body of the brushes is also striking: This is by no means a lacquer or color print, instead the motifs were engraved using a laser. Plastic waste is also completely avoided here, which of course also applies to the packaging.

This manufacturer also offers vegan bamboo toothbrushes that are completely biodegradable: the bristles are made of a BPA-free nylon variant and can be safely disposed of together with the body. Ecobamboo also attaches great importance to recyclable materials, including the packaging. Especially nice: Even the plastic film that is used for each brush is made from corn starch.

According to the Ökotest, there is another sensible alternative to toothbrushes made of plastic or bamboo - and that is wood. However, it is important that you make sure when you buy that the manufacturer has processed a local species. This information can be recognized by the so-called "Forest Stewardship Council" seal (FSC for short). Then you can be sure that the wooden toothbrush supports sustainable and socially responsible forestry.

While toothbrushes used to be equipped with pig bristles, all models are now vegan - but still not 100 percent recyclable. And there is a simple reason for this: Most toothbrushes have bristles made of nylon, castor oil or bamboo viscose. The latter is supposed to be completely compostable, but is often combined with other substances by many manufacturers and must therefore be disposed of in the residual waste or yellow sack. In other words, you break off the head of the toothbrush first and only throw the wooden or bamboo body in the organic waste or on the compost.

Sources: Utopia, Ökotest

This article contains so-called affiliate links. Further information are available here.