Zero Waste Toothpaste


||The various components comprising the typical toothpaste tube can include any number of plastics, aluminium, steel and even nylon. For a toothpaste tube to be recycled it means each of these components must be processed separately. So on top of the CO2 pollution involved of the production of each individual tube, it then becomes a very complicated process for the recyclers.

By choosing to make your own toothpaste, or buy toothpaste with sustainable packaging you can reduce waste going to landfill and save both the water and energy involved in the production and disposal of these products.

About 1 billion toothpaste tubes are sent to landfills every year. [1]Toothpaste tubes are generally made of with aluminum or plastic. The process of converting raw bauxite (the source of aluminum that makes up 8 percent of the earth’s crust) into aluminum is an energy-consuming one, requiring roughly 7.5 kilowatt hours for each pound of virgin aluminum. Plastic is not biodegradable, taking up to 700 years before beginning to decompose. [2]|| 》《

So: While zero wasting our lifestyle we decided to switch to zero waste toiletry/hygiene alternatives when what we were using runs out. So when we ran out of toothpaste we were forced to find an alternative that would still keep our teeth clean and healthy.

So we are now brushing with tooth powder. This may sound crazy and ancient, but wow, who would’ve thought we’d prefer it to conventional toothpaste.

There are so many recipes on the internet. Our main aim is to eliminate the non-recyclable packaging, so we use a combination of baking soda and xylitol (this came in a plastic container, but it was gifted to us by a dentist before we switched to being plastic free, so we’ll use it until it’s finished, recycle the container and find another alternative).

Here is another recipe which uses bicarb and coconut oil:

We also use compostable wooden toothbrushes. Whe compost them when we are done (not the bristles). Visit faithful to nature to get your own. Also available at various health shops all over the country.

We visited the Two Oceans Aquarium in Cape Town yesterday, and I feel stronger than ever that waste reduction is the only way forward. It’s worth a try…


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