Using eco-friendly dental care products
Globally, we now produce around 300 million tonnes of plastic waste each year, and much of this ends up in the oceans, killing marine life and damaging ecosystems. The scale of this problem can seem overwhelming, but there are steps you can take as an individual consumer to make sure you’re doing your bit to protect the planet.
For example, you can pay attention to the dental care products you buy. For decades, traditional plastics were the main materials used to manufacture everything from toothbrushes to floss picks. Now though, you have other, greener, options – ranging from birch wood to bio-based plastics. Keep reading to discover more.
Birch wood interdental brushes
Using an interdental brush can help you to remove food and plaque from the gaps between your teeth and your gumline, improving your oral hygiene. You might be used to using interdental brushes with plastic handles, but how about making the switch to birch wood? This hard-wearing material is kinder to the planet than plastic and it’s a practical, convenient choice for consumers too. For example, it is hard-wearing and absorbs less moisture than various other plastic substitutes, including bamboo, meaning the bristles are less likely to split from the handles.
Is birch wood sustainable?
Birch wood is a material renowned for its impressive environmental credentials. This sustainable, fast-growing wood is described as ‘climate positive’ because while it is being cultivated, it removes carbon dioxide from the atmosphere.
Can you reuse birch wood interdental brushes?
As mentioned before, birch wood is a robust material. This means that you can indeed reuse birch wood interdental brushes at least three times or until worn.
Bio-based plastics floss picks
Like interdental brushes, floss picks can be a very important part of your oral hygiene regime. Instead of choosing regular floss picks, why not consider alternatives with handles made from bio-based plastics? These materials can help to protect finite fossil fuel resources and reduce carbon emissions by up to 80 per cent.
What is bio-based plastic?
Put simply, bio-based plastics are plastics that are made from plant or other biological materials rather than petroleum. The bio-based plastic used in our Eco Cross Flosser is created using sugar extracted from sugarcane. There are a number of important advantages associated with using bio-based plastics. For example, during the growth of the sugarcane, carbon is actively captured. This means that in its initial stages, the process of creating bio-based plastics is actually carbon negative. During the manufacturing and transportation stages, carbon is generated – but it is possible to create bio-based plastics that are carbon neutral overall. In fact, the Carbon Trust has accredited certain bio-based plastic products as being officially carbon neutral.
It’s also important to note that unlike fossil fuels, sugarcane is a renewable resource. Currently, around eight per cent of the world’s oil is used to produce plastic. Switching to bioplastics could help to reduce this.
From old toothbrushes and floss picks to toothpaste tubes, looking after your teeth inevitably produces some rubbish. To be a responsible consumer, you should always look to recycle items where possible.
Can you recycle toothpaste tubes?
Unfortunately, you may not be able to recycle toothpaste tubes when you’ve finished with them. These items tend to combine different materials, making them difficult to recycle. For example, they might feature a thin layer of aluminium and a variety of plastics. Some are suitable for recycling though, so before throwing these tubes into your household waste, check in case they have a recycling symbol on the packaging.
You might also want to switch to plastic-free toothpastes. For example, it’s now possible to get toothpaste in tablet form that is provided in glass jars or cardboard boxes.
Can you recycle bio-based plastics?
Bio-based plastics can sometimes be recycled, depending on the type of polymer used. You should always check the packaging for details on recyclability. By making sure you choose eco-friendly dental care products, and paying attention to how you dispose of them, you can help to minimise your household’s waste and reduce pollution.