Many of us have grown up using Colgate toothpaste and plastic toothbrushes. We used these without thinking, never considering that toothpaste can be tested on animals and the environmental impact of plastic toothbrushes.
Colgate is not cruelty free. It is currently listed as “working toward regulatory changes to reduce the number of animals used for testing”, but this does not mean that it will become cruelty free in the near future. The other well-known dental care brands Macleans, Oral-B, Listerine & Sensodyne are also not cruelty free.
I will provide some examples of toothpastes & toothbrushes that are kinder to animals and the environment.
- Natural toothpaste and oral care products. The mild mint toothpaste is available at Coles & Woolworths supermarkets. It is affordable at around $3-4 dollars and has a pleasant taste.
- Cruelty free and vegan except for the propolis toothpaste. Available at supermarkets
- Vegan and cruelty free. Available at supermarkets
Zero Waste Beauty Australia (ZWBA)
- One of their products is an activated charcoal & peppermint toothpaste. Activated charcoal is a natural whitening agent. This is more expensive at $16 for 65mL. It is in a glass jar with a biodegradable label and is available online.
Plastic toothbrushes contain no animal products, but plastic is polluting the environment. It is recommended to change your toothbrush every 3 months. In Australia, more than 30 million plastic toothbrushes are disposed of in a single year. And unfortunately most toothbrushes are made of plastic. Some prolong the lives of toothbrushes for cleaning which is good, but it is still plastic which is likely to end up in landfill or in the ocean…
Bamboo toothbrushes are a better option.
MOSO (or Mao) bamboo is sustainably sourced. It is fast growing, abundant and does not require pesticides. It can grow up to 1 metre a day!
At the end of its life, the handle can be thrown into the compost as it is biodegradable. The bristles which are made of polymer or nylon don’t degrade as well and can be removed and disposed of separately.
Usually there is a choice between a soft bristle or a medium bristle toothbrush, and there are toothbrushes with charcoal enhanced polymer bristles.
Thank you for reading this post.