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Health & Beauty, Life & Style

The Best Eco-Friendly Toothpaste in 2021

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

Image of two wooden toothbrushes with a blue text box that says 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!

This post contains affiliate links denoted by *.

Ben and Anna

ben and anna eco-friendly toothpaste

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

boca plastic-free toothpaste

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 plastic free dental care

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

DENTtabs toothpaste tablets

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

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 plastic free toothpaste in tubes

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

Parla zero-waste toothpaste tablets

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

truthpaste palm oil free toothpaste

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

Truthtabs

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.

Enjoyed this post? Do also check out my posts on the best fluoride-free toothpaste and how to reduce plastic in the bathroom.

Health & Beauty, Life & Style

The Ultimate Eco-Friendly Period Products Guide

eco period products

Green your time of the month, with this ultimate guide to eco-friendly period products.

I’d like to talk about something that I feel isn’t talked about enough – periods.  And specifically, eco-friendly period products.

Before you roll your eyes and click off the page, I want to make it clear that when it comes to periods (and most aspects of life to be honest) I’m firm in the belief that people with periods should do whatever works best for them. There is no judgement at all in this post if none of these ideas are for you.  I just wanted to put some ideas out there that you may or may not have heard of with no expectation that you have to give them a go, and with no shame if these options don’t work for you or your circumstances.

I’ve also put together another post on accessible eco-friendly period products for those that struggle with conventional alternatives.

The Ultimate Guide to Eco-Friendly Period Products

Image of white knickers on a yellow background with a blue text box that says the ultimate guide to eco-friendly period products

In this guide, I’ve tried to cover as many sustainable period options as possible. I’ve tried a few different options and it’s definitely a case of trial and error. Hopefully, you can find something that works for you. If not, there’s no shame in using disposable products if none of these work for you or are suitable for your circumstances.

To help support the running costs of the blog any links marked with a * after them are affiliate links.  These don’t affect the price you pay for items or your consumer rights, such as your right to return items.  It just means that I get a very tiny percentage of the sale price if you buy anything via the link.  This helps cover the blog’s running costs, such as my web hosting.

Menstrual Cups

reusable menstrual cup

To be honest, and perhaps to your surprise, I was never really on board with the idea of a menstrual cup.  I would go as far as to say I was a bit grossed out by the idea.  So I understand if you are too.  It wasn’t until after I had my first child that I became a lot more relaxed about the idea.

It does take a bit of practice.  First to insert and remove a menstrual cup properly.  And also to start to feel comfortable using it (much like the learning curve when you first start to use tampons).  However, once it’s in the cup can stay there for 12 hours.  Therefore, for the most part, there’s no need to take it out when you’re not at home.  It’s easily cleaned, and there’s no risk of Toxic Shock Syndrome, even if you forget to take it out.

There are quite a few suppliers of menstrual cups in the UK.  The most popular one is Moon Cup*.  Moon Cup comes in two sizes – one if you’re under 30, and one if you’re over 30 and/or have had a child (which makes you feel really good about yourself and your body!).  However, there are heaps of other brands available at &Keep*, including cups from TOTM and Nudie.

Period Pants

eco-friendly period products

Period Pants are a relatively new eco-friendly period product concept to me and something I have only recently tried.  Essentially they are absorbent pants you wear during your period, without the need for any other sanitary protection.   You then pop in the wash and re-use time and again.

I have a pair of period pants from Wuka*, which I love.  I was worried they might feel like wearing a nappy.  However, they aren’t at all bulky, so it feels like you are wearing regular pants.  In fact, you can pop them on and almost forget that you have your period. I love wearing mine at nighttime, it’s so much more comfortable than wearing a sanitary towel.

There are a couple of drawbacks to period pants.  It can be slightly awkward or annoying having to remove trousers or tights in order to change your pants, especially when you’re not at home.  For that reason, I prefer to wear mine at night or on lighter flow days.  Period pants are also not the cheapest, so it may get expensive having to buy multiple pairs of pants.

Washable Sanitary Towels

washable sanitary towels

Washable sanitary towels are exactly as the name implies.  If you’re akin with washable nappies then these will be a walk in the park to you.  You just need to carry around a wet bag* with you to place your towels in when you’re done using them and then pop them in the washing machine.

I’m used to carrying soiled/wet washable nappies in a zipped wet bag in my nappy bag so personally don’t have a problem with carrying washable sanitary towels in a similar fashion.  However, I know not everyone is into the idea.

UK stockists of washable sanitary towels include &Keep*, Ethical Superstore*, and Amazon*.

Meanwhile, there are more sellers on Etsy*  than you could shake a stick at.  My favourite is LilahPads*, pictured above.  I’ve bought a few reusable sanitary towels from here over the last few years, and love them.

Sea Sponges

sponges eco-friendly products

Sea sponges are essentially a natural tampon.  In our modern world, this is probably considered the most ‘out-there’ option in terms of eco-friendly period products.  It’s also not one that I’ve tried.  However, I’m keen to hear from readers who have tried or do use sea sponges about their experiences with them.

From what I’ve read sponges are fairly straightforward.  Simply wet the sponge and insert, like you would with a tampon.  You’ll know when they need changing when you feel it drop down a bit.  Here, you can just remove, rinse in clean water, and re-insert.  At the end of your period, your sponge can be washed in the washing machine and then stored for the following month.  With care, it should last roughly a year.

The drawback with sea sponges is that you would need to rinse them on a regular basis (as much as you would need to change a tampon or a pad).  Therefore, it may be difficult to use when you’re not at home.  And as they are natural sponge rather than synthetic then if you’re vegan, sea sponge probably isn’t for you.

If you’re interested in sea sponges there are a few UK stockists.  The rather ethereal-sounding Moon Sponges; the rather cringe-worthy named Jam Sponge; and the fun-sounding Tom&Pat*.

Disposable Yet Eco-Friendly Period Products

natracare eco-friendly sanitary towels

If you’re not convinced by any of the options above, or can’t find an option that will work for you, then an alternative eco-friendly period product option would be switching to organic tampons or sanitary towels.

Conventional tampons are typically bleached with chlorine, and conventional tampons and sanitary towels have been reported to contain traces of pesticides and insecticides.

If you are looking for organic alternatives try Natracare* or Eco by Naty* – both available at Ethical Superstore. I’ve used both, and really rate them.

I’d be interested to hear about your experiences with eco-friendly period products.  What have you tried and what do you swear by?  And what pain relief methods do you use?  I’m a hot water kind of person myself!  You can also check out my guide on how to reduce plastic in the bathroom.