Sustainability starts at the source (materials, that is!). In our product breakdowns, we’ll break down what some of our favorite products are made of, why we love them, and how they got the EarthHero seal of approval. Join us as we break down the world’s first plant-based toothbrush below!
100% Organic Bamboo Handle
Did you know that over 4.7 billion non-biodegradable plastic toothbrushes are dumped in our landfills and oceans every year worldwide? Brush with Bamboo brushes are different–using natural bamboo, instead of toxic plastic, to create their innovative plant-based brushes. But this groundbreaking brush didn’t happen overnight. It took years of prototypes, trials, and tests to perfect the easy-to-grip curved handle that is the foundation of every brush!
But this bamboo handle isn’t just any panda food. Brush with Bamboo goes a step above, using CERES Certified 100% Organic wild Moso Bamboo, grown on Chinese mountain ranges without pesticides or fertilizers. Their sustainably grown bamboo is never watered by people, and uses only naturally occurring mountain rain for the most efficient watering experience. To protect the beautiful bamboo forests that Brush with Bamboo sources from, they’ve made a commitment to harvest less than 1% of the possible bamboo trees available to ensure healthy forests for generations to come.
But–why bamboo? How is it better than wood? As you may know, bamboo is the fastest growing plant on earth, growing 3-5 feet in height per year. Plus, it contains naturally-occurring antimicrobial agents, requiring no added chemicals to grow strong and tall. After Brush with Bamboo harvests a bamboo stalk for their brushes, another stalk takes its place and regrows to full size within just 2 years, keeping the bamboo forests a lush landscape for animals and local communities. Plus, the wild giant Moso bamboo they harvest isn’t consumed or lived in by pandas–so your brush protects the biodiversity and habitats of these endangered animals.
When it comes to the bristles, there’s more than meets the eye. Traditional plastic toothbrushes use (you guessed it!) plastic bristles that aren’t biodegradable either, and often wear out faster than you’d like. Brush with Bamboo’s plant-based bristles are made from 62% Castor Bean Oil and 38% Nylon, making it the latest and most advanced biobased (but not biodegradable) bristle on the market.
Prior to the invention of nylon in the 1930s, pig hair was used for all bristles, and remains the only biodegradable option to plastic bristles to this day. While it may seem great because it’s biodegradable, pig hair is a by-product of the meat industry, and is hard to source sustainably. Not only that, but this style of bristle can fall out easily, resulting in pig hairs floating around your mouth (no thank you!).
A leader in sustainable oral care, Brush with Bamboo is actively pushing bristle manufacturers to develop new alternatives to nylon. While no truly biodegradable bristle exists on the market today (that we’ve found!), plant-based bristles are a step in the right direction! When you’re done with your bamboo toothbrush, just use pliers to pull the bristles before composting the handle. Bonus points: check with your local speciality recycling center, some will be able to recycle the bristles!
While a sustainable product is important, we know that packaging is just as impactful. We love Brush with Bamboo because they’ve committed themselves to a waste-less product, from start to finish. The bamboo toothbrush itself is wrapped in a compostable wrapper made from plants, with a biodegradable outer-box made from 100% paper, constructed without tape or glue. The plant-based wrapper is made from cellophane, made from plant cellulose naturally found in wood and wood pulp. Designed almost 120 years ago, this time-tested material is compliant with European and American compostability standards, and can be composted in your home compost or municipal facility. The biodegradable cardboard box can be repurposed, or simply tossed into your home recycling bin!
Care + End of Life
- Store your brush in a dry area: bamboo is a natural material that will last longest when kept in a dry area. We recommend an open-air toothbrush holder, or any dry surface!
- Cleaning: you can wash and care for the plant-based bristles just like any toothbrush!
- Handle: because bamboo is a natural wood, it will fade over time. The handle at the top portion of your brush (the part that goes into your mouth) may begin to appear lighter and faded with use. Don’t panic though–this won’t affect your brushing experience and is solely due to the properties of the untouched bamboo!
- Lifespan: with some TLC this eco-friendly brush will last just as long as your plastic toothbrush (or longer!). We recommend you update your brush & bristles ever 3-4 months, or whenever the bristles begin to fray.
- End of life: once you’ve removed the plant-based bristles, the bamboo toothbrush handle can be reused or commercially composted to return to the soil within 6 months. Not ready to compost? The handles are great plant markers, letting you organize your garden and keep track of what you’re growing!
- Vegan & Cruelty Free: no animal testing, no animal parts. Just plant-based, from bristles to handle.
- BPA-Free: every Brush with Bamboo toothbrush is verified chemical-free and BPA-free by independent US testing agencies.
- CERES Certified Organic Bamboo Handle
- Family Business: the Kumar family in California still owns and operates Brush with Bamboo, bringing their family values into every step of the process.
- USDA Certified Biobased Bristles
- Sustainably Harvested: the organic bamboo is grown wild in the Chinese mountains, and is sustainably harvested to ensure years of strong, healthy forests.
- Made in the USA: the plant-based bristles are made right here in the United States, supporting local businesses and reducing greenhouse gas emissions from transportation costs.
P.S. All Brush with Bamboo is 20% off for a limited time (they have bamboo straws, too!) Start brushing sustainably here!