How to travel sustainably

How to travel sustainably

Toothbrushes

According to the British Dental Association and Sustainable Design Specialist Sophie Thomas we use one toothbrush every 3 months so effectively disposing of 200 million toothbrushes per year and it can take 400 years for a plastic toothbrush to degrade.

There are 2 problems:

1. If toothbrushes end up in the sea they float because of their density so end up in the stomach of birds.

2. The bristles and handles are made from different types of plastic which makes them difficult to recycle.

Despite being small, the environmental impact of the toothbrush is in its design – with a rechargeable toothbrush containing similar elements to a mobile phone, so is designed for manufacture not recovery. As we have seen from recycling plastic bottles, there is pressure on industry to create more of a circular economy, to take back products to repair, re-manufacture or recycle. But this will only happen if the design is right.

The Great Recovery, spearheaded by Sophie Thomas looks at the whole process, bringing together designers, manufacturers, policy makers, packaging and recycling firms to think about how to redesign products which can be dismantled and recycled easier rather than ending up in landfill.

The Ellen MacArthur Foundation also advocates that we need to go from a linear economy of Take – Make – Waste, to a circular economy, designing out waste and pollution, keeping products and materials in use and therefore regenerating our natural systems.

There are many bamboo toothbrushes on the market now, so have a think about swapping your electric toothbrush for a more sustainable bamboo one!

http://www.greatrecovery.org.uk/resources/deconstruction-1-sophies-toothbrush/

https://www.ellenmacarthurfoundation.org/circular-economy/what-is-the-circular-economy

https://www.ethicalsuperstore.com/search/?search=toothbrushes

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