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Zero Waste toothpaste – does it exist?

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zero waste toothpasteWelcome to the second of my ‘shopping list’ series. Tackling some of the everyday things we use (the remains of which end in our bin) and trying to find alternatives.

In the first edition we discussed 6 plastic free alternatives to deodorant.

This week we’re staying in the personal care realm and I want to talk about toothpaste.

I don’t know of any way to recycle toothpaste tubes in the UK – please get in touch if you do!

From surfing around the net I’ve found a couple of alternatives

Toothy Tabs

Cindy got in touch to tell me about LUSH, who make a product called “Toothy Tabs” – a solid alternative to toothpaste.

These are ‘tablets’ containing bicarbonate of soda, clay and essential oils which come in a cardboard box!

DIY toothpaste recipes

There are heaps of recipes available on the Internet for making your own toothpaste. Here’s a couple:

Homemade toothpaste recipe 1

  • 1 tbsp bicarbonate of soda
  • 1/8 tsp salt
  • 3 tbsp glycerin
  • 1-2 drops essential oil of your choice – peppermint, lemon or orange are good

Mix everything together in a blender and store in a screw top jar

Homemade toothpaste recipe 2

Quite a few people use coconut oil as follows:

  • 2 tbsp bicarbonate of soda
  • 4 tbsp coconut oil
  • 1-2 drops essential oil

As before, blitz everything together and store in a screw top jar

Colgate promise to recycle

In a press release Karen from The Rubbish Diet shared with me, Colgate have said they will make packaging for 3/4 of its product categories completely recyclable – woohoo!

The bad news?

Don’t expect to see it until 2020.

What about you – any ideas for zero waste toothpaste?

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Rachelle Strauss

9 Comments

  1. Avatar Zoe @ecothrifty on April 30, 2014 at 5:33 am

    I have been using bicarbonate of soda on it’s own recently. I sprinkle some on to my toothbrush and that is it. I buy it in large paper bags from a local Chinese shop. The rest of my family do use conventional toothpaste though.

  2. […] You can buy zero waste toothpaste for £4-£6 (😯) or can make your own https://www.zerowasteweek.co.uk/zero-waste-toothpaste/ […]

  3. Avatar Ian on March 16, 2018 at 11:59 am

    Hi there

    I was searching the net for toothpaste in a metal tube (like they used to be, and like, say, tomato puree is still sold in) but no luck. Then I found this recycling scheme:

    https://www.terracycle.co.uk/en-GB/zero_waste_boxes/oral-care-waste-and-packaging

    However, like so many recycling ideas they all cost so much money and these days it is all most of us can do just to afford a weekly shop. So once again, if you want to be Green you need loads of ‘green’.

    Why can’t toothpaste be sold in metal tubes? They are easy to recycle and cheep to manufacture (if the price of tomato puree is anything to go by).

  4. Avatar Rachel Smith on April 30, 2018 at 6:19 pm

    My dad has used Euthymol original for donkeys years, I noticed when I visited it is still in a metal tube. Bulk buying everyone?!

  5. Avatar Natalie on July 26, 2018 at 6:52 am

    I went to Lush yesterday to try and get some Toothy Tabs but they were in a plastic bottle not a cardboard box 🙁

  6. Avatar Christine Callender on August 1, 2018 at 10:47 pm

    What about Eucryl Tooth Powder? Haven’t seen it for a while. It used to come in a round tin, but maybe it’s in plastic now.

    • Avatar Rachelle Strauss on August 2, 2018 at 8:06 am

      I’ve not seen it in a tin for ages, either – I’m sure I last saw it in a plastic tube :/

  7. Avatar Susan Kay-Attwood on August 20, 2018 at 1:09 pm

    Found this link on recycling toothpast tubes – https://tipsforrecycling.com/2012/01/07/tips-for-recycling-in-the-bathroom-toothpaste-tubes/
    That the tubes are type 4 plastics specifically LDPE (Low Density Polyethylene), or #4 plastic. so councils should take them but I’m not convinced they will.

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