The problems…


It is estimated that 1 BILLION TOOTHBRUSHES end up in US landfills every year. That’s about 30 MILLION POUNDS OF WASTE.


We don't all do it…but we should!

If everyone in the U.S. flossed their teeth according to ADA recommendations, every year our empty containers alone would fill a landfill the size of a football field that's six stories high. Just for the empty floss dispensers.

And the floss itself? You could circle the Earth with it 1,246 times : that’s 31 MILLION MILES OF PLASTIC FLOSS.

Toothpaste tubes

Here’s an estimate for plastic toothpaste tubes in the US: there are approximately 300 million people brushing their teeth everyday. If each person only buys 2 toothpaste tubes every year, that would make 600 MILLION TUBES annually. They weigh 0.7 oz each, which means 26.2 MILLION POUNDS of additional plastic waste every year!

Since these products are made from a variety of materials, some parts of each may be recyclable, IF your recycling center takes them and IF you separate out the recyclable parts from the non and IF you actually put them into the recycling bin and IF and IF and IF…

The solutions…

Bamboo toothbrushes.

Handles are fully compostable.

Unless they are made of boar's hair, the bristles go in the trash. It's complicated to make bristles out of compostable material, so they are still nylon. Sometimes it’s a plant based nylon, which is better than oil-based but still not compostable.

So when your toothbrush is used, cut the head or remove the bristles with a plier. Throw the handle in compost and put the bristles in the trash.


Silk, bamboo, or corn fiber floss coated with candelilla wax. Sold in glass, bamboo, or metal containers with refills available. Plus, it looks nice on your bathroom counter.


There are lots of good options here.

Toothpaste tablets have no packaging at all which makes them a perfect zero waste swap.

Tooth powders are also good as long as it comes in a glass or metal container with a metal lid.

Or, you can make your own. Here is a simple recipe to try:

2-3 tsp. baking soda

1/4 cup organic coconut oil

1-2 tsp. organic arrowroot powder (optional thickener)

pinch of stevia

1-2 drops peppermint oil

Mix all ingredients together and adjust for flavor. You may need to keep this in the fridge during the summer as coconut oil will melt.