Do you need to brush up on the best plastic-free and eco-friendly toothpaste in 2021 in the UK? You’re in luck! I’ve got you covered with my pick of the ten best brands.
Looking for a more sustainable and eco-friendly toothpaste? Perhaps one that’s plastic-free, and packaged in a glass jar? Perhaps some eco-friendly toothpaste tablets? Or maybe you’d prefer toothpaste that comes in a recyclable metal tube? Or maybe even toothpaste that comes in a refillable tube?
You are in luck! The good news is that the eco-friendly toothpaste market has expanded massively in the last year or so. Now, in 2021, there’s an option for almost every sustainable dental care variable.
What’s Wrong With Conventional Toothpaste Tubes?
You might be wondering what exactly is wrong with standard toothpaste tubes? Well, toothpaste tubes and other types of squeezable tubes are difficult to recycle because they combine different materials. Toothpaste tubes in particular often contain a thin layer of aluminium, sandwiched between various types of plastic. It’s too tricky and too costly for recycling centres to separate and process these layers, so instead the empty tubes get sent to landfill.
Terracycle does collect conventional toothpaste tubes for recycling. However, you do need to have a collection point near you. Depending on where you live, this may or may not be accessible to you, so you may prefer to bypass these tubes of toothpaste completely.
Ten of The Best Eco-Friendly Toothpaste Brands
The good news is that I’ve been doing some digging and found the best green toothpaste brands in the UK right now. These brands should be fully recyclable in most parts of the UK. However, do check with your local council on anything you are not sure about.
I’ve also specifically looked for the brands that offer fluoride and fluoride-free eco-friendly toothpaste options, to cater to a range of dental needs. In my search, I’ve even found palm oil-free toothpaste brands, and eco-friendly brands that cater to sensitive teeth. Let’s dive in, and brush up on my favourite toothpaste brands!
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Ben and Anna
Ben and Anna* make a range of different flavoured eco-friendly toothpaste, catering for a range of differing dental needs. From toothpaste with fluoride to toothpaste without fluoride. They even have whitening toothpaste, and toothpaste designed for sensitive teeth. What’s more, each is packaged in a recyclable glass jar and cardboard box.
Their effective cruelty-free formulas are made from natural ingredients, such as sea-buckthorn, chamomile, activated charcoal, cinnamon, and calcium for strong, shiny teeth and healthy gums. And even better, all of their toothpaste is free from nasties, such as phthalates, parabens, microplastics, SLS, and formaldehyde.
Ben and Anna also make a natural mouthwash (that’s not made from coconut oil) that is also packaged in a glass bottle.
Prices start from £8.95.
BOCA has produced day and night tubes of toothpaste crafted from organic and vegan ingredients. You can even choose from fluoride or fluoride-free options, depending on your preferences. What’s more, the toothpaste features the world’s first refill and reuse tube system. This is currently on trial in the UK only.
Wondering how it works? Every 8 weeks BOCA sends you replacement compostable tube refill cartridges. All you have to do is pop the empty tube in the dishwasher or clean it with hot water. Then refill your tubes and reseal them with the BOCA system, before composting your empty refill cartridges.
If you don’t get on with toothpaste in a glass jar or toothpaste tablets then this could be one to try. Sometimes eco-friendly swaps are easier to make if they’re similar to what you’ve been used to.
Prices start from £9.99.
Brushd Eco-Friendly Toothpaste
Brushd* makes a great range of plastic-free dental hygiene products, including toothpaste tablets, that come in fluoride or fluoride-free varieties. They also have a range of mouthwash tablets and plastic-free dental floss. When your toothpaste or mouthwash jar is empty, there’s no need to put it in the glass recycling. Instead buy a refill that comes in a cardboard container for a lower carbon footprint.
Brushd also makes bamboo interdental brushes*. To be honest, I’m on the fence about bamboo interdental brushes. They’re made of mixed materials. This means they will have to be sent to landfill, where biodegradable materials do not break down. Bamboo isn’t native to Europe so it has to be shipped from abroad. This possibly gives it a heavier carbon footprint than a plastic interdental brush. It’s a more expensive “eco” swap that may not make a discernible difference to the environment. It’s certainly something to think about. If you want to read more you can read about why plastic-free isn’t always better for the environment.
Toothpaste tablets start from £4.99.
DENTtabs* teeth cleaning tablets with fluoride are a great eco-friendly alternative to toothpaste. These tablets are 100% plastic-free, with no preservatives. They come in a fully home compostable bag made from cornstarch and carry the official home composting certification. When the bag arrives in the post, simply rip it open and pop the toothpaste tablets into one of your own reused jars. Then pop the bag in your composter – no waste!
One bag is equivalent to 2 tubes of toothpaste, and kid’s versions are available too.
Priced at £5.55.
Georganics* specialise in natural, sustainable, and ethical dental care. As such, they create plastic-free products that promote good oral health. Made by hand in the UK, each formula includes locally sourced, organic natural ingredients that are kind to you, your teeth, and the planet.
From refillable jars of toothpaste tablets to tooth soap and toothpowder, their environmentally friendly teeth cleaning range is extensive. Meanwhile, their mouthwash tablets and plastic-free dental floss also promotes good oral hygiene, not at the expense of the planet.
What’s more, their vegan-friendly products are free from fluoride, parabens, SLS, SLES, mineral oil, microbeads, phthalates, triclosan, palm oil, and synthetic fragrances.
Prices start from £6.90 for toothpaste.
Happier Eco-Friendly Toothpaste
Happier* is another plastic-free toothpaste that comes in a tube if dental tablets are not your thing. This toothpaste has been specially formulated for sensitive teeth. What’s to really love about it is that the Happier eco-friendly toothpaste comes in an old-school aluminium tube. This tube can be recycled with your metal recycling. It also looks incredibly stylish sitting on your bathroom shelf!
To help you squeeze out every last drop of toothpaste, you can buy a reusable “Squeeze Key” from Happier. Conveniently, this can also be used on all aluminium tubes, such as my favourite Weleda Skin Food, or even your tomato puree!
This fluoride toothpaste is free from SLS, triclosan, parabens, petrochemicals, colours, artificial flavours, or artificial sweeteners. What’s more, it’s cruelty-free and vegan-friendly.
Priced from £12, with discounts available for repeat subscriptions.
Parla’s eco-friendly toothpaste tablets* was founded by three award-winning cosmetic dentists from London. As dentists, they believe toothpaste should first and foremost protect people’s smiles but not harm people, animals, or the planet in the process.
Their tablets are available in two different-sized glass jars – either as 62 tablets or 248 tablets. And when you need a refill, you can buy a 248 tablet refill that comes in a cardboard box for lower carbon shipping. Not sure what size would suit you? 62 Tabs is a 1 month supply for 1 person brushing twice daily. Meanwhile, 248 Tabs is a 4 month supply for 1 person brushing twice daily.
Prices start at £6.95.
Truthpaste* is a palm oil-free toothpaste, that’s also free from fluoride, SLS/SLES, triclosan, and glycerin. Nor does it doesn’t contain any foaming agents, bleaching agents, colourants, or artificial ingredients. Even better, Truthpaste is 100% vegan and cruelty-free too.
This eco-friendly toothpaste comes in a glass jar with a metal lid, making it fully recyclable when you’re done.
Priced at £8.95
Not to be confused with Truthpaste, Truthtabs* are a different company!
Simply pop one UK-made Truthtab into your mouth, bite and brush. Truthtabs foam and clean just like toothpaste. Meanwhile, the fresh Wild Mint flavour leaves your teeth sparkling and your breath fresh.
These come in a cardboard box, which can be decanted into your own glass jar, for lower carbon shipping.
Prices start at £4.50
Weleda Eco-Friendly Toothpaste
Finally, Weleda* offers this plant-based formulation in a metal tube. This toothpaste is especially good for those with delicate gums.
This toothpaste is vegan-friendly and not tested on animals. What’s more, it’s free from sugar, artificial sweeteners, surfactants, synthetic preservatives, flavours, colourants, and raw materials derived from mineral oils. Do note that Weleda’s toothpaste is only available in a fluoride-free option.
Priced at £4.95.
Didn’t You Forget About Lush?
So, yes, Lush does make toothpaste tablets. Ane no, I’m not recommending them. Personally, I am not a fan of Lush. I dislike their intensely pushy sales tactics. The last time I was in their store, they used some pretty problematic sales tactics on my kids who were just 3 and 7 at the time. As such, I’ve not bought any of their products since.
Whilst that’s my own personal grudge against Lush, there are bigger reasons that make Lush one to avoid. In December it was reported that Lush donated a four-figure sum to an anti-trans group. They have since apologised, but I personally feel uneasy supporting this company.
What If I Can’t Afford These Eco-Friendly Toothpaste Brands?
All of these eco-friendly toothpaste brands do come at a much higher price point than your average £1 tube of toothpaste. If they’re out of reach, then you can try to buy toothpaste that comes in a pump, rather than a tube, if this is accessible to you. Recycle Now says that pump action toothpaste tubes are easier to recycle. Pump tubes can be placed in your recycling bin if your local authority also collects plastic pots, tubs, and trays, so do make for a more affordable eco-friendly swap.
How Can We As Consumers Bring About Change?
Something that is important for us all to do, whether we can afford to buy these eco alternatives or not, is to write to toothpaste manufacturers via email or social media, to ask them to switch to recyclable packaging.
In terms of accessibility, I don’t know if toothpaste tubes or pumps are more accessible to people with mobility problems. Do see the plastic straw ban conversation if you are new to these issues. I would therefore be loath to suggest that all manufacturers switch to toothpaste pumps without fully understanding any potential impacts.
Colgate has, however, introduced a fully recyclable toothpaste tube. This shows the technology and materials are there. More manufacturers should therefore be encouraged to adopt this packaging.
Frustratingly, Colgate hasn’t introduced this recyclable tube across their whole range, and the price point is much higher for this toothpaste. I smell greenwashing. Having one recyclable product amongst a sea of non-recyclable products does not make for an eco-friendly toothpaste brand. Colgate should be encouraged to roll this packaging out across their whole range. In the absence of strong Governmental actions on plastic packaging, they will only do this with consumer pressure from us.