Why I quit toothpaste

The packaging used for oral care products is manufactured to last forever, and yet a typical household will throw away one or more empty tubes every month.

The various components compirsing the typical toothpaste tube can include any number of plastics, aluminium, steel and even nylon. For a toothpaste tube to be recycled it means each of these components must be processed separately. So on top of the CO2 pollution involved of the production of each individual tube, it then becomes a very complicated process for the recyclers.

By choosing to make your own toothpaste, or buy toothpaste with sustainable packaging you can reduce waste going to landfill and save both the water and energy involved in the production and disposal of these products.

About 1 billion toothpaste tubes are sent to landfills every year. [1] Toothpaste tubes are generally made of with aluminum or plastic. The process of converting raw bauxite (the source of aluminum that makes up 8 percent of the earth's crust) into aluminum is an energy-consuming one, requiring roughly 7.5 kilowatt hours for each pound of virgin aluminum. Plastic is not biodegradable, taking up to 700 years before beginning to decompose. [2]

It's not just the packaging- the chemical, parabens and triclosan that go down the drain also wreak havoc with animal hormones and the environment. Imagine every person, in every household spitting these chemicals down the drain and them washing into our natural water systems.

So what can you do?

Here's a recipe to make your own toothpaste at home - just store in an airtight, upcycled glass jar.


  • 3 ounces sea salt
  • 6 ounces baking soda
  • 5 drops of peppermint and/or clove oil (optional)


Mix all ingredients together. That's it!

For hygiene reasons it's sensible to make each member of the household their own jar of toothpaste. To use, just dip your toothbrush in the toothpaste.

You may also consider purchasing-

Toothy Tabs from Lush

Don't have time to make your own? Ditch the tube and brush with Lush preservative-free solid toothpaste tabs for a fresh, sparkling smile.

The Bamboo toothbrush

In Australia, over 30 million toothbrushes are used and disposed of by Australians each year, amounting to approximately 1000 tonnes of landfill each year. The plastic they're made of won't break down in our lifetime. Nor within the lifetime of our children. Imagine that on a global scale.

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