Reducing Your Plastic Use
Supporting International Mother Earth Day.
International Mother Earth Day is held on the 22nd of April. But what does that have to do with Abbey Road Dental you might wonder?
Well, we thought it was the perfect opportunity to talk about one aspect of dentistry that doesn’t get talked about much, and that is plastic toothbrush waste.
Abbey Road Dental recommend switching your toothbrush when it gets worn or after about 3 months (whichever comes first). That equals about 4 toothbrushes a year for every single person, which contributes to the billions of toothbrushes worldwide that end up in landfill every year.
Once in landfill, the plastic and nylon the toothbrush is made from will never break down and degrade and will instead sit there for years to come, and worse get into the seas and rivers. You only have to watch the Bali diver making his way through a sea of plastic (which made headlines earlier this year) to realise that we all need to be doing more to reduce the amount of plastic polluting the planet.
What Can You Do To Help?
If you’re not wanting to switch your toothbrush for alternatives just yet, there are lots of things you can do to cut down the amount of plastic you use. Avoiding plastic straws, using reusable water containers, using woven bags for shopping and opting for food that has minimum packing will all help towards reducing your plastic consumption. Greenpeace has some more ways for you to try out too. Alternatively, it could be worth considering alternatives to the plastic toothbrush. There aren’t many yet, but there are some available to try in the UK at the moment.
No, this doesn’t mean you use the toothbrush somebody else used thank goodness! It means the toothbrush used is made from recycled materials, and once used it gets melted down and turned into another toothbrush. This process does not get rid of the waste, but rather re-purposes it rather than sending it straight to landfill, where it will eventually end up, but at a lot slower pace compared to virgin toothbrushes.
Environmentally Friendly Toothbrushes
These types of toothbrushes are mostly made from compostable materials. That means they will biodegrade rather than need to go to landfill. Some of it is made from plastic so it isn’t entirely eco-friendly, but it is a lot better than your average toothbrush. A lot of the bamboo toothbrushes on sale are this type of toothbrush.
There are also completely plastic-free toothbrushes on the market. They are made from wood, and wrapped in biodegradable materials. The only issue is that the bristles are made from pig hair which renders them unsuitable for certain lifestyle choices and religions.
Here at your local NW8 dentist in St John’s Wood, we can’t recommend alternatives to plastic toothbrushes because we don’t know enough about their effectiveness yet. However, we support any of our patients action to support the planet, and if you would like to discuss the brushes you are using as an alternative to plastic toothbrushes, we will be happy to discuss that with you. In the meantime, we encourage everyone to try to reducing their plastic consumption in all areas of life, hopefully for a future with cleaner, less polluted land and oceans.