The environmental problem with toothpaste tubes is a huge one. If you’re like most people, you might squeeze the last bit of toothpaste out of your tube and throw it in the trash.
It’s bad enough that we are wasting our food by tossing it into landfills, but we are also wasting other things that have larger consequences on our environment. Yet with one simple switch, we can easily reduce waste from toothpaste tubes and other dental care products and save the environment!
How many tubes of toothpaste have you used in your life? Did you realise every single one is just sitting right now in a landfill!
That’s a lot of waste! It’s estimated that over 10 million tons of toothpaste tubes end up in landfills each year, and although some brands have tried to make their packaging more environmentally friendly, most still use plastic as the main ingredient in their tube containers.
Why toothpaste tubes are bad for the environment?
The main problem with toothpaste tubes is the packaging that it comes in. The tube that the toothpaste is stored in is made of plastic.
This plastic can’t be recycled and is often tossed into landfills.
They never break down, ever! They are also super inefficient, have you actually ever managed to squeeze that last bit of paste out of the bottom?
Is a toothpaste tube recyclable?
The answer is no. Toothpaste tubes are not recyclable because the plastic in them can’t be recycled with other plastics. The tube itself contains a thin layer of aluminium foil to cover up the product and prevent it from drying out, which also means that both materials can’t go into recycling plants together.
To make matters worse, toothpaste tubes are often thrown away in a trash can, which means that they aren’t being recycled at all.
The problem is compounded by the toothpaste tube’s shape and size – it’s not easy to recycle them because of their design. Recycling plant employees have to take each tube apart before recycling them, which takes up time and costs money.
How to reduce waste from toothpaste tubes and save the environment:
The first step in reducing your environmental impact is by choosing recycled materials. Most companies will make their plastic containers out of recyclable material, so look for those when you are purchasing a tube of toothpaste. But be aware, this is not the best option.
One of the easiest ways to reduce waste from toothpaste tubes is by using a refillable container for your toothpaste that you can put in the shower or on your counter.
These containers come with their own separate caps and when they are empty, rinse them out and fill them up again! Again, not the easiest option unless you are making your own toothpaste (go you!)
The future of toothpaste
So what can you do? Switch to either toothpaste in a glass jar or toothpaste tablets. You’re probably thinking of toothpaste tablets? Eh?
But if you think back to washing powder, not long ago we were used to lugging big boxes of detergent home. Now we can opt to buy small tablets in a box with a greatly reduced carbon footprint.
Toothpaste tablets are the same concept, just taking the paste and turning it into tab form, with biodegradable packaging so a win: win all around. We just have to get used to using tabs rather than paste!
It’s never too late to start thinking about our impact on the environment. The simplest way you can reduce your environmental footprint is by switching from a toothpaste tube to either toothpaste in a glass jar or toothpaste tablets.
While these options might seem unfamiliar at first, they are actually much more efficient and won’t end up sitting in landfills for years as tubes do! So why not give them a try? Your mouth and your great great great great grandchildren will thank you!