I have been searching for the answer to the toothpaste tube conundrum for a while. I know that the packaging free alternatives to toothpaste are endless, for eg; charcoal dust in a jar, homemade bicarb soda paste etc. But ultimately I have faith in the current formula that is recommended by Dentists and I wanted a packaging free option that included fluoride.
I can’t find a good source to tell me exactly how many toothpaste tubes go into landfill, but I have created a basic formula to get an estimate below.
I’m going to assume that all people in Australia are using toothpaste;
According to recommendation, you should use a pea sized blob that is approximately 0.25g. A medium sized tube of toothpaste is 110g which contains 440 pea sized blobs. I know it is recommended that you brush your teeth 3 time a day (!) but I’m going to assume that everyone is only doing that 2 times a day. So by that formula, one tube of toothpaste will last you 220 days, which means you would need 1.6 tubes per year. (Personally I think that number is a bit low from personal experience, but at least we’ll know this formula is not too generous.) Times that 1.6 tubes by Australia’s current population of 25,121,953 = 40,195,124.8 PER YEAR!
Over 40 million tubes of toothpaste go to landfill every year in Australia alone.
Using that same formula, If it were in the U.S., it would mean over 500 million per year.
Thankfully I’ve found a company that produces toothpaste tablets with fluoride in Australia called Eco Teeth. Their mission, ‘Sustainable choices without compromising the health of your teeth.’ You can choose your quantity and their packaging is made from recycled paper, so it’s completely biodegradable. When I received this it in the post I almost had tantrum at the plastic bag it came delivered in, but it to was also compostable. A+ marks.
Also it’s a great option when travelling on planes.
So whatever toothpaste you believe in, if you can just ditch the tube, you’re doing this planet a massive favour.
Eco Teeth: Denttabs