Approximately 400 million toothpaste tubes are discarded annually in the United States. That number is closer to 1.5 billion worldwide. As the demand for toothpaste increases, we’re likely to see that number increase – and it’s having devastating effects on our environment.
To help fight the environmentally detrimental effects of excess waste, many eco-friendly manufacturers have begun offering zero waste toothpaste alternatives to help consumers reduce their environmental impact through a direct reduction in waste.
To create zero waste toothpaste, essential oil or flavors (like peppermint) are combined with a binding agent that keeps the paste in a cohesive form, such as xanthan gum.
In general, zero waste toothpaste is packaged in little to no plastic packaging and uses biodegradable material which is 100% safe if accidentally spilled into oceans and waterways.
The goal of this article is to provide all the information on zero waste toothpaste – what it is, how it compares to conventional toothpaste, where you can buy it, and the benefits of using it daily.
What is Zero Waste Toothpaste?
To reduce the amount of plastic used in the process of brushing your teeth, both large companies and small, local suppliers alike are turning to zero waste methodologies.
A strong example of positive capitalism, zero waste toothpaste is a natural toothpaste that minimizes environmental impact by directly decreasing the amount of packaging waste involved in the production process.
If you’re looking to incorporate zero waste methodologies into your lifestyle, zero waste toothpaste is a great start towards reducing your environmental impact – and there are dozens of zero waste toothpaste brands that may be right for you.
As far as our health and the environment are concerned, plastic is not the only issue that we need to be worried about. The ingredients used in most of the zero waste toothpaste options are natural, unlike many toothpaste brands that contain many chemicals.
This list includes chemicals such as triclosan (a pesticide), sodium lauroyl sarcosinate (found in shampoos, soaps, and shaving creams), and potassium nitrate.
Note: We recognize that these chemicals are safe in small quantities. However, some consumers prefer to avoid them altogether, so it is worth mentioning.
On the other hand, zero waste toothpaste includes additional natural ingredients like coconut oil, essential oil like peppermint or spearmint, baking soda (sodium bicarbonate), and xylitol for its plaque-fighting properties.
In addition to traditional zero waste toothpaste options, there are plenty of alternatives available for individuals who wish to reduce their environmental impact, such as bars, tablets, liquid, tooth powder, and vegan toothpaste options.
9 Best Zero Waste Toothpaste Options
There are several different kinds of zero waste toothpaste to choose from. The ingredients in each one of them differ, and with each of them, there are advantages and disadvantages which must be considered.
Fluoride is present in some toothpaste, while it is not present in others; read carefully to determine the zero waste toothpaste that’s right for you!
Here are some of the most popular options.
Zero Waste Toothpaste with Fluoride
It's challenging to find zero waste toothpaste with fluoride, but there are a couple options out there.
1. Colgate Anywhere Travel Toothpaste Tablets
These tablets of Colgate Anywhere Travel Toothpaste contain fluoride to protect teeth from cavities. It’s made with a combination of natural ingredients like baking soda and calcium carbonate, plus xylitol and fluoride to prevent tooth decay.
Furthermore, this small glass jar of toothpaste is proudly made by Colgate as part of its commitment to sustainability and transparency. This product is recyclable, refillable, vegan, free of SLS, and comes with a child-resistant cap.
2. Pure Earth Toothpaste Tablets
Compared to squeezable toothpaste, Pure Earth Toothpaste tablets are significantly more hygienic and easier to use. Their toothpaste tablets feature an environmentally friendly formula that leaves your mouth feeling clean and your breath minty fresh that’s perfect for those with sensitive teeth.
Zero Waste Toothpaste without Fluoride
There are also many great options without fluoride. Let's take a look.
3. Nelson Naturals Spearmint Fluoride Free Toothpaste
With its 100% plastic-free glass jar packaging, Nelson Naturals Spearmint Fluoride Free Toothpaste is a minty plastic free toothpaste. Its alkaline formula facilitates natural enamel absorption of minerals and provides you with a "Dentist Clean" sensation after each use.
This natural toothpaste is cruelty-free too.
4. Lucky Teeth Activated Charcoal Toothpaste
In addition to balancing bacteria in your mouth, Lucky Teeth Charcoal Toothpaste nourishes your teeth and gums, removes stains from the teeth, and feeds them with minerals every day. Children will enjoy its taste because it has a hint of cinnamon, cloves, and mint.
5. Uncle Harry's Peppermint Remineralizing Toothpaste
Uncle Harry's Peppermint Remineralizing Toothpaste removes bad breath with fresh peppermint oil and refreshes your mouth all day long by using natural ingredients such as mineral clays, sea salt, and plant essences. Packaged in an Earth-friendly glass jar that is hand-labeled, this product comes in a zero-waste glass jar.
6. Chewtab Toothpaste Tablets
These Chewtab Toothpaste Tablets help to improve oral health in a gentle manner. In addition to its unique formula, it is rich in Xylitol and free of abrasives. This type of product is ideal for travel as well as everyday use. It also can be purchased in four different flavors: peppermint, cinnamon, bubble gum, and vanilla mint.
7. Hello Antiplaque + Whitening Toothpaste Tablets
Hello Antiplaque Toothpaste Tabs are whitening toothpaste tablets that are flavored with natural farm-grown peppermint. It gently removes surface stains and plaque while refreshing your breath and significantly improving tartar outcomes.
The tablets are also formulated with tea tree oil, coconut oil, and real peppermint, with no artificial ingredients. In addition to the tablets themselves, the metal tins they are packaged in are completely recyclable and reusable.
8. Chomp Toothpaste Tablets
With Chomp, you can enjoy delicious tooth tabs that are a teeth whitening product in an adorable, earth-friendly, adorable bottle. Say goodbye to the plastic toothpaste tube!
You will not find any artificial ingredients, a sticky paste, or a gritty, filmy texture in this product. The fact that it does not contain Xylitol means that it can be used in households with pets without concern.
9. Viva Doria Alkalizing Toothpaste
The Viva Doria Alkalizing Toothpaste is created with 100% natural ingredients. It polishes and whitens teeth while mineralizing tooth enamel. This product is free of fillers, foaming agents, SLS, fluoride, gluten, glycerin, and dairy.
DIY Homemade Toothpaste
If your budget is a little tight, you may also consider making your toothpaste at home using an easy, DIY process.
To begin, first prepare a small plastic jar or container and add water. Next, add baking soda, salt, peppermint extract, tea tree oil (optional essential oil), and coconut oil (if you find your toothpaste too sticky).
Mix well until it reaches the consistency of runny honey. Transfer to a sealed container, and you’re good to go.
Is Fluoride-Free Toothpaste Good?
Fluoride-free toothpaste is a major topic that's been rising in popularity with the general increase of consumer environmental awareness. It has a large impact on the choice of zero waste toothpaste brands.
Simply put, fluoride is an ingredient used for preventing dental cavities by inhibiting acid production on teeth and remineralizing enamel. Studies show it can effectively reduce plaque build-up, which has led to fluoride toothpaste being recommended by many dentists.
However, some people are wary about exposure to chemical additives like fluoride due to their link to cancer risk or other health problems. Xylitol has strong antibacterial properties that may help prevent cavities from forming but does not have the same effect on remineralization or protection against plaque buildup.
The benefits of fluoride-free toothpaste include fewer chemicals in your mouth, a better taste of toothpaste, and more environmentally friendly products. There are drawbacks, though.
Without fluoride protection, the toothpaste may be less effective at protecting your. You'll want to make sure you brush at least twice per day with an electric toothbrush to compensate for the lack of fluoride.
Other Zero Waste Dental Health Swaps
Let's take a look at some other dental health swaps.
Zero Waste Dental Floss
Zero waste dental floss is a type of dental string that can be reused and recycled by unraveling the end. It's made from natural, biodegradable, and vegan floss material like silk or cotton with no added chemicals.
A zero waste dental floss is an excellent option for those who want to reduce their plastic consumption in other parts of life too since it comes either completely without or with highly minimized plastic packaging.
Zero Waste Toothbrush
A zero waste toothbrush is another solution that goes hand-in-hand with zero-waste toothpaste. It's any kind of natural bristled or plant-bristled bamboo toothbrush that refrains from using plastics and other non-biodegradable materials in its production process.
Many companies even produce their packaging or products from ethically sourced recycled materials.
Zero Waste Mouthwash
Zero waste mouthwash is another eco-friendly solution to dental health.
Most of the time, zero waste mouthwash also contains natural ingredients and fully recyclable packaging, allowing you to minimize the environmental footprint created due to the usage of regular mouthwash while keeping your breath clean and smelling good all day long.
Refresh Your Breath with Zero Waste Toothpaste
Zero waste toothpaste has become a hot topic in the eco-friendly world, and it has taken a tremendous amount of thought and creativity to develop these products.
Several options are now available that will not only enable you to maintain healthy teeth but will let you reduce your plastic waste. We’re likely to see a significant increase in the quality and breadth of these products as consumer attitudes continue to change.