Why Choose a Bamboo Toothbrush?
Monday, 08 June 2020

 If you are interested in sustainability, you may have seen that many people are choosing to switch to a bamboo toothbrush. You may be wondering whether a bamboo toothbrush is right for you. Why choose a bamboo toothbrush? And which bamboo toothbrush should you choose?

 Why Avoid a Plastic Toothbrush?

Plastic is useful. We use it for its durable, flexible and cleanable characteristics. But it is a problematic material for a number of reasons. It is harmful to our planet and to people in a range of different ways. Plastic:

  • Is made from finite and polluting fossil fuels. (And takes even more of them to make.)
  • Involves a huge about of water waste during manufacture.
  • Poses a waste problem at the end of its useful life. (It will not decompose and remains for hundreds of years – often ending up despoiling ecosystems, harming wildlife and degrading natural environments.)
Where there is a plastic-free alternative, we should take it. A bamboo toothbrush is one potential solution for those who wish to move away from a reliance on plastic products. 

The Benefits of a Bamboo Toothbrush

Choosing bamboo as a material for a toothbrush handle is preferable to using plastic for a number of reasons. In addition to avoiding the problems with plastic, choosing bamboo also brings a number of additional benefits. Bamboo is a sustainable material. 
  • It can be grown on marginal land, not suitable for the production of many other crops.
  • It grows very quickly. The average yields of around 60 tonnes of bamboo per hectare, compare extremely favourably with the yields for most trees (20 tonnes) and so bamboo can be viewed as far more sustainable from a land-use perspective. 
  • Bamboo can sequester carbon – often more carbon than an equivalent stand of trees.
  • As a perennial crop, bamboo protects the soil, and avoids landscape degradation.
  • Bamboo takes less water to maintain than many other crops.
  • It also does not usually require the use of artificial fertilizers, pesticides, herbicides etc..
  • Since bamboo contains a substance called bamboo-kun, an anti-microbial agent that provides a natural source of pest and fungi resistance.
  • Bamboo is fully biodegradable, and even home-compostable. It will fully biodegrade at the end of its useful life. So it won't leave a waste problem for future generations to solve. 
Things To Consider When Choosing a Bamboo Toothbrush

A toothbrush with a bamboo handle can be a great choice, for all the reasons given above. But it is important to remember that even though you are replacing the plastic of the handle, most bamboo toothbrushes do still have nylon bristles. (Though there are occasional options with natural bristles, these are few and far between.) Still, though they may not be perfect, bamboo toothbrushes are still much better than the alternative. 

Another important thing to bear in mind is that you'll need to care for your bamboo toothbrush while it is in use. Let your brush dry out thoroughly each time you brush, to avoid any issues. But remember, though it may be a little bit different at first, and take a little getting used to, using a bamboo brush is better for the planet, and what it better for the planet is almost invariably 
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