Updated: Jan 30, 2020
Plastic toothbrushes are another part of our plastic waste story. According to research by Foreo, 1 billion toothbrushes are thrown away annually in the United States. This is 50 million pounds of waste added to landfills. The average person uses 300 toothbrushes in their lifetime. Now that's alot of plastic.
In addition, plastic toothbrushes takes 400 years to decompose! As they settle into the landfills, they release chemicals into the air. Plastic toothbrushes are made from a mix of plastic materials that combine elements of rubber, crude oil as well as some extra plastic and cardboard that goes into their packaging.
If you thought that was bad enough, the manufacturing process for these toothbrushes consist of dangerous plastic by-products, crude oil and petroleum. Yes, plastic toothbrush waste THAT bad! Yikes! Here's a breakdown of why plastic toothbrush shouldn't be an option for consumers.
They Drain Oil Supplies
Developing plastic toothbrushes uses plenty of oil resources. And because oil itself is non-renewable, it prompts the development of oil wells, which in turn harms plenty of ecosystems and ruins a lot of habitats. And all so that eventually, plastic toothbrushes are thrown away into landfills. A disastrous cycle indeed!
They Pollute Oceans
Plastic toothbrushes end up getting washed away into the ocean, effectively endangering marine life. This presents a danger for people who consume fishes because the plastic gets crushed into smaller pieces which are then consumed by fishes as a result. So they contaminate both the ocean and our food.
This is basically what the marine creatures are experiencing, and eventually for us. (An exaggeration, but still.)
They Can’t be Burnt for Fuel
It is hard to burn plastic and when they do get burnt, they end up releasing more hazardous chemicals. Plus, the smell of burnt plastic is so potently irritating that it forces one to leave the area where it’s being burned or find a gas mask. Developing plastic toothbrushes uses plenty of oil resources. And because oil itself is non-renewable, it prompts the development of oil wells, which in turn harms plenty of ecosystems and ruins a lot of habitats. And all so that eventually, plastic toothbrushes are thrown away into landfills.
So what can I do as a consumer of a good that is considered part and parcel of my life?
It's quite simple, switch to eco-friendly alternatives.
At Zero Yero, we believe that it's the small, consistent contributions that creates a more accountable difference on an individual level. Yes, the idea of trying to be an eco-superhero can be mind-paralyzing. But, what if we decide to swap regular toothbrush with friendlier alternatives, and thing scales up on a community level? That itself is a measurable contribution.