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There are Plenty of … Toothbrushes in the Sea?

Author: Katie MacMillan

Toothbrushes bring us plenty of health benefits by helping improve our oral health. But what about the health of the planet? Over one billion toothbrushes (you read that right! Billion!) end up in the landfill every year in North America alone (BamBrush, 2017)! Of those toothbrushes, electric ones cause the most damage, with batteries degrading and leaking - harming the environment (BamBrush, 2017). Another haunting fact is that every toothbrush manufactured since the 1930s still exists on this planet!

Plastic toothbrushes also cause problems. Not only do they take 400 years to decompose, but they also end up polluting the ocean, as plastic can get into waterways and oceans (BamBrush, 2017). Plastic then breaks up into smaller bits and pieces, which are then consumed by animals in the ocean. This is very harmful as marine life can choke on plastic, and sharper plastic bits can slice open their internal organs (Erskine, 2019).

What can we do? Luckily, there are many alternatives to electronic and plastic toothbrushes. Bamboo toothbrushes are on the rise as they are more eco friendly. Unlike plastic toothbrushes, bamboo toothbrushes can be composted and decomposed within 6 months (Erskine, 2019). So, if you are able to make the switch to a plastic free toothbrush, the earth and marine life will thank you!

BamBrush. (2019, December 7). 7 Ways Your Plastic Toothbrush Is Evil. BamBrush.

Erskine, E. (2019, December 4). Plastic Toothbrushes Add 50 Million Pounds of Waste to Landfills Every Year! One Green Planet.


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