Each year, around 50 million pounds of plastic toothbrushes end up in landfill sites. This plastic can take as long as 1,000 years to decompose. In these years, it leaks contaminants into the surrounding earth, polluting the planet. Choosing a toothbrush that is eco-friendly means that you can help to reduce the amount of plastic that exists, and turn the planet into a greener place to live.
Bamboo is naturally anti-microbial, very durable, biodegradable, water resistant, and it looks better than any other toothbrush out there!
Bamboo grows very fast, almost 3 feet per day. It requires very little space from other bamboo and regenerates from its own roots.
Almost 50 million pounds of plastic toothbrushes make it to landfills every year. All of that plastic will take 1,000 years to decompose.
You may ask “why bamboo toothbrushes have nylon bristles? Isn’t nylon bad for the environment?” That’s true. The Eco-Friendly Natural Bamboo Toothbrush is made with biodegradable and compostable bamboo, and non-recyclable nylon. But sometimes, green alternatives just don’t cut it.
Many companies work hard to offer green alternatives to common, everyday items, but even going green means sacrificing something. In this article, we want to talk about why we use nylon bristles for our toothbrushes, what kinds of natural alternatives exist, and some tips for making your own decisions on the ways you want to go green.
Why do bamboo toothbrushes choose nylon for bristles?
Nylon is a strong, flexible material, ideal for products that can withstand a lot of friction, and the first choice for many household goods. As one of the earliest discovered plastics that could be made into fibers, nylon quickly became a staple for toothbrush manufacturers everywhere. Nylon holds up for weeks against even the most aggressive toothbrushers, and can easily be rinsed and dried without risking redistribution of bacteria from use to use. Nylon is, as of now, the most durable options for toothbrush bristles, and can be manufactured to be softer or firmer depending upon the preferences of the brusher.
Other plastics cannot be formed into the same durable fibers nylon naturally forms, and would not be able to withstand continued use. Before nylon was discovered, toothbrush bristles were made from natural animal hair, but this practice was quickly abandoned in favor of the more durable nylon.
Though nylon has become the accepted material used for toothbrush bristles, there are several alternatives. Here are the pros and cons of the various nylon alternatives currently available in the world of toothbrush bristles:
What are toothbrush bristles made from?
Sisal is a natural fiber derived from the agave plant, and is most commonly used in the making of fabric, rope, hats, rugs, and other textiles. Recently, Sisal has gained popularity as the fiber most commonly used as bristles on dry brushes. Dry brushing is a practice said to help reduce inflammation and improve lymph drainage throughout the body. Typically too rough for comfortable tooth brushing, sisal should primarily be reserved for textiles and tools.
Sisal is natural and biodegradable
Sisal bristles are often too hard and unyielding, scratching the enamel surface of the teeth
Sisal bristles can cause gum and skin irritation
Sisal bristles bend and break with continued use, and rarely last more than a few uses before needing replacing
Jute is yet another natural fiber derived from a plant. In this case, Jute is the fiber and the plant, and is the second most affordable natural fiber, second only to cotton. Soft, silky, and easy to produce, Jute fibers are ideal for the production of textiles like curtains, chair coverings, and linoleum backing.
Jute is natural and biodegradable
Jute fibers are too soft to hold up to the vigorous job of brushing, and bend far more quickly than nylon or even sisal fibers. This can leave the toothbrush fibers frayed and useless
Lacking the structure of nylon, jute does not clean or remove plaque as effectively when used for toothbrush bristles
Boar have thick, bristly hair that was commonly used for toothbrushes, hair brushes, and paint brushes prior to the invention of synthetic fibers. Boar bristles are durable, and comparable in feel to nylon bristles, but they come with some serious down-sides.
Natural and biodegradable
Stiff and effective at removing plaque and bacteria buildup
Boar bristles are a direct byproduct of the meat industry. All boar bristles are harvested from dead boar, killed either to be eaten, or purely for the use of their hair. This may not pose a problem for some, but the major negative side effects of the meat industry and the ethics of using boar bristles are enough to make this an unpopular option
Boar bristles can be too stiff, scratching or causing irritation to the teeth or gums
Boar bristles do not last very long, and after a few uses become useless, meaning you have to buy more toothbrushes over time
Some users report a foul odor accompanying their boar hair bristles.
So choose nylon for toothbrush bristle for two simple reasons:
Nylon is the best option for toothbrush bristles. Nylon cleans better and lasts longer than any alternatives, and we wanted our customers to brush their teeth without worrying about toothbrush bristles falling out or their teeth not getting clean enough.
Using natural toothbrush bristles would result in our customers needing to purchase toothbrushes more often. More toothbrush purchases means more waste, more toothbrushes thrown away, more wasted products, and a higher demand for manufacturing.
Essentially, the choice by Wowe Lifestyle to opt for a nylon bristle on our bamboo toothbrush was to help save customers money, and reduce the overall amount of waste produced by consumers. With the nylon bristles, our toothbrushes can be used longer than those with natural bristles, meaning fewer toothbrushes are ultimately used and manufactured.
So compared with other toothbrushes, bamboo toothbrushes are still the most environmentally friendly.