Best Bamboo Toothbrushes in the UK

Best Bamboo toothbrush UK

The toothbrush has often be described as one of the best inventions of all time. For centuries, we used natural brushes to clean our teeth before the huge plastic boom in the 1930s essentially took over the toothbrush industry.

However, with awareness on the rise about the damaging effect plastic is having in our seas and on our environment, we need to think more about how we can eliminate plastics from our daily lives.

Our aim at goBambu is to bring the best bamboo toothbrushes to the UK and make them widely available at a reasonable price - making bamboo toothbrushes a viable alternative to their plastic counterparts in the UK.

We acknowledge that simply changing to bamboo brushes instead of plastic isn’t going to fix the problem entirely but it’s an available, immediate option for positive change.

Why bamboo for toothbrushes in UK?

With over 3.5bn plastic toothbrushes being used around the world every year and an estimated 80% of those brushes ending up in our oceans, it’s clear that something must be done.

The sheer amount of plastic waste from toothbrushes ending up in our oceans is posing a massive problem for marine life and habitats and is something we have the power to change.

The issue we currently have with plastic toothbrushes is the time it takes to fully decompose. If William the Conqueror had a plastic toothbrush back in 1020AD and threw it in the bin, it would only now be fully decomposed. It’s for this reason that most brushes end up in the ocean - out of sight, out of mind.

Step in: bamboo.

Bamboo being grown

Described by many as a ‘miracle’ material, bamboo is gaining a reputation around the world for being a sustainable, practical alternative to plastics.

With properties such as immense tensile strength, being naturally antimicrobial and resistant to water absorption, bamboo toothbrushes are the next logical evolution for our daily brushing routine.

How are bamboo toothbrushes made?

Much like most bamboo toothbrushes currently available, it should come as no surprise that goBambu’s manufacturers are based in China. Not just out of convenience and price - we deliberately chose our manufacturers as they source our bamboo from one of the world’s most sustainable and organic FSC certified moso bamboo forests. Why moso bamboo? Simply put, moso bamboo is the type of bamboo pandas DON’T eat.

It’s in this forest that our bamboo starts its life. Bamboo grows at at an incredible rate (around 3ft per week) and has the unique ability of replenishing itself ensuring very little soil erosion.

Once harvested, the bamboo begins its journey to our manufacturers’ factory. The amazing thing about our manufacturers is how forward thinking they are in terms of the environment. Dedicated to creating a greener future, all of the products they create are either made out of bamboo or are plastic free (you can find other products in our store created by them).

A safe, ethical factory where workers are paid a fair wage, our skilled manufacturers begin crafting our toothbrushes from the harvested bamboo. They utilise innovative machinery to create brushes with a high degree of precision. Once trimmed and shaped, the brushes are tufted with either our soft or medium bristles. At this point, the bamboo toothbrush is fully functional but in order to render it fully water-resistant and thus prevent the growth of mould in steamy bathrooms, great care is taken to heat-treat it.

With the final product completed, they are then packaged in biodegradable Kraft paper boxes, ready for shipment to the UK. In order to keep our carbon footprint as low as possible, we make sure to group all of our products in to one order, saving on multiple journeys. We also donate 10% of our profits to organisations active in reforesting which has a positive impact on absorption of CO2.

Whilst we offer the option to purchase a single brush on our website, we’ve vastly decreased the cost of our 4-packs - this ensures enough brushes to last a year and results in only 1 delivery per year. We’ve seen many companies offering a single brush on subscription models but we don’t (and very likely won’t) offer this as it doesn’t seem to be very eco-friendly. We do however offer a subscription on our 4-packs.

bamboo ready for production

What happens to bamboo toothbrushes when they reach the end of their lives? 

Bamboo toothbrushes are built to last at least 3 months (the British Dental Association recommend you change toothbrush every 2/3 months) but what do you do when you’re ready to move on to a new brush?

The issue with plastic brushes is that it’s not widely recycled. The complex mix of materials that create the brush simply doesn’t make recycling them viable. The only real option you have is to bin them - perpetuating the issue of plastic contamination in our oceans.

So what makes bamboo toothbrushes easier to dispose of?

Because bamboo is a natural material, it’s 100% biodegradable. This means if you simply put it in compost, it’ll absorb back in to the soil in a matter of months. Coincidentally, by the time you’ve finished your second brush, your first brush will likely already be fully decomposed.

But just because you can compost them it doesn’t mean you have to. Whilst the bristles will decrease in quality over time and be less efficient at cleaning your teeth, you can still upcycle the brushes and use them for things like cleaning your bathroom, cleaning bike chains, cleaning chopping boards and removing clothes stains. The list of uses is only limited by your imagination! 

The packaging can also be recycled or composted - depending on convenience.

bamboo in the rain

Conclusion

Whilst a higher prevalence of bamboo toothbrushes in the UK isn’t going to totally solve the issue at hand, it’s certainly a more immediate, positive change every one of us can make. If you’re interested in purchasing one of the best bamboo toothbrushes in the UK, feel free to browse our online store where we offer convenient eco swaps such as toothbrushes, straws, beeswax food wraps, cotton buds and bamboo coffee mugs.

Ditch plastic, goBambu.