We’d like to start this article about plastic-free toothpaste by asking you not to panic.
When we say “plastic-free toothpaste”, we are referring to the packaging, not the toothpaste itself.
Some toothpastes sold in the UK used to contain plastic microbeads, but these were banned from being sold in July 2018.
However, most toothpaste still comes in a plastic tube which needs to change.
Plastic can be bad for our health and the environment, and we all need to start taking steps to reduce the amount of plastic we use.
Reducing the amount of plastic you use isn’t difficult and doesn’t have to be expensive.
Old plastic toothbrushes have been adding to the global problem of plastic waste getting into our oceans, but toothpaste tubes and caps have a lot to answer for too.
Since toothpaste is something we can’t really avoid, what options do we have to make sure our dental health routine doesn’t add to the ocean’s already huge plastic problem?
One solution is to make your own toothpaste (see the recipe at the end of this article).
If you don’t fancy concocting your own, then check out our list of some of the best plastic-free toothpaste choices below so you can make a start on your plastic use reduction.
Best Plastic-Free Toothpaste in the UK
1. Denttabs Toothpaste Tablets
Contains fluoride? Yes
Brushing our teeth is sometimes one of the last things we do before we leave the house, so it can often be a rushed affair, resulting in toothpaste splatters on our freshly cleaned top.
But with this toothpaste from Denttabs, you don’t have to worry since these solid tabs won’t foam as much as regular toothpaste.
All you need to do is pop one of these in your mouth with a bit of water or use your saliva) and crunch them a bit before brushing like normal.
Although fluoride is an ingredient that many people are removing from their dental routines, these toothpaste tablets do contain fluoride.
There are many benefits to using fluoride within your oral health care, so if this is not an issue with you, these tabs might be something you could consider in your plastic waste reduction journey.
These toothpaste tablets work great, and use great packaging too.
They come in a cardboard box, so they don’t create any plastic waste.
- Work out cheaper than tubed toothpaste
- Mint flavouring
- Handy to have toothpaste amount regulated
- Great for big families
- Perfect for travel (no liquid)
- Comes in recyclable packaging
- Contains fluoride (may be positive for some, but many are choosing to avoid fluoride)
- The larger packages of Denttabs come in a small (recyclable) plastic bag
- Could be hard to get used to
2. Dentifrice Solid Toothpaste
Contains fluoride? No
This may sound a little odd, but there is such a thing as solid toothpaste.
Dentifrice has produced a sort of toothpaste lollipop which is handmade in France and comes on a compostable wooden stick.
So how does the solid toothpaste concept work? All you need to do is rub your wet toothbrush with the solid paste and brush as you usually would.
The one downside to the application process does mean you might want to have one of your own, which could get expensive if you need one for each of your large household.
All of the ingredients are 100% vegan and come from natural sources: organic coconut oil, calcium carbonate and peppermint oil make up some of these natural ingredients.
Due to the essential oil used in this product, it isn’t suitable for children under 3 or for pregnant women.
You get 20g of this solid toothpaste which lasts up to twice as long as normal toothpaste.
So, not only are you getting some awesome plastic-free toothpaste, but you can save yourself a few pennies a month on toothpaste.
It’s eco-friendly, refreshing, slightly odd-looking but awesome.
- Zero plastic packaging
- Compostable stick
- Longer lasting than conventional toothpaste in a tube
- Minty flavour
- Relatively expensive purchase (but long lasting)
- Not super hygienic to share this toothpaste
- Will need to find a way to store it in between uses
3. Georganics Natural Toothpaste
Contains fluoride? No
If tabs or solid toothpaste don’t float your boat, you might want to try out Georganics Natural Toothpaste, which comes in a neat jar.
This natural toothpaste from Georganics is a great toothpaste for anyone looking to go natural with all of their daily-use products.
It is vegan and PETA certified. So, this ticks all the boxes, it is free from all the bad stuff and also plastic-free.
This peppermint flavoured toothpaste is formulated to help re-mineralise your teeth and keep the pH levels in your mouth balanced for improved oral health.
With an organic virgin coconut oil base, this toothpaste is suitable for those with sensitive teeth and suitable for all ages. Sodium Bicarbonate is antibacterial and acts as a disinfectant to help keep your teeth and entire mouth clean.
Not much is needed to clean your teeth, just use the bamboo spatula to scoop out a pea-sized amount of this toothpaste onto your brush, then brush your teeth as normal.
Because there is no SLS in this toothpaste, you won’t get the same foaming you get from a conventional toothpaste, but this is something people tend to get used to over time.
This toothpaste comes in a glass jar with a bamboo spatula inside a compostable box.
It is made from coconut oil and has a lovely peppermint taste to it. It tastes great and leaves your teeth feeling nice and clean.
This is truly the best toothpaste on this list for those looking for a natural alternative and for those that are looking for a toothpaste that is free from all plastic.
- Fully recyclable packaging
- Made in the UK
- Quite pricey
- Consistency may not suit all
- Taste might not be suited to everyone
Contains fluoride: No
This plastic-free toothpaste by Truthpaste is handmade using aloe vera, neem, myrrh and essential oils.
The peppermint and wintergreen flavouring of Truthpaste is super refreshing and the formulation has strong antibacterial, antiseptic and anti-inflammatory properties – helping to fight decay and bacterial diseases in your mouth.
It’s free from palm oil, glycerin, fluoride, SLS and all the other chemical nasties.
Oh, and it also doesn’t contain any foaming agents or colourings or anything like it. This toothpaste is just a combination of natural ingredients that combine to form a great toothpaste.
In a similar way to the Georganics paste, it works just like your usual tubed toothpaste.
To apply it, you will need to keep your brush dry before dipping it into the jar and scooping a little bit out (you could use a wooden spatula if you have one – there isn’t one provided with the jar).
Again, because this paste is SLS-free, you won’t get the same foaming effect you might be used to.
This toothpaste comes in a 40 g or 120 g glass jar so it will last you and your family a good amount of time.
This is a wonderfully natural product that just happens to be plastic-free too.
- Recyclable packaging
- Certified organic
- A little expensive
- Could be slightly messy/awkward to use
- Texture and consistency might not suit all
- Taste may not suit all palates
Other Ways to Reduce Your Dental Care Plastic Waste
There are quite a few products which utilise plastic when it comes to dental hygiene, so if you want to get serious about reducing your environmental impact, you may want to reconsider some of your product choices.
Plastic toothbrushes are produced at an alarming rate and with dentists recommending you change your toothbrush at least every 3 to 4 months, it’s safe to say there is a lot of plastic waste being produced by toothbrushes alone.
On average, a plastic toothbrush will take over 400 years to decompose and the UK alone produces millions each year (and this expands to an annual estimate of 3.6 billion worldwide)!
So what can we do about it?
You could change your plastic toothbrush to a bamboo toothbrush instead.
Bamboo can take about 6 months to compost, which is a vast improvement on plastic, however one downside to this option is the use of plastic bristles.
Unfortunately, a natural bristle would retain moisture too easily and your toothbrush would become a breeding ground for bacteria, which isn’t great for your oral health, so plastic is the only option at the moment.
These bristles need to be removed before the bamboo handle is put into the compost.
Electric toothbrushes are also made from plastic, and unfortunately zero-waste electric toothbrushes don’t exist yet.
Since flossing your teeth can be pretty beneficial to your oral health, many people opt to use dental floss as a part of their tooth cleaning routine.
Most popular brands of dental floss are packaged in plastic containers and many are made using plastic.
So why not swap to a more friendly option – eco-friendly floss does in fact exist, usually packaged in glass or biodegradable packaging, with the floss itself made from biodegradable bamboo or silk.
Many people are also turning to water flossers like this one, which shoot a jet of concentrated water that loosens debris from between the teeth and keeps your mouth clean.
These products are made from plastic, but can be reused every day.
Making Your Own Toothpaste
As we mentioned before, toothpaste tubes and caps contribute to the growing problem of plastic in our oceans – by 2050, it is predicted that there will be more plastic than fish in the sea.
But fret not, there are plastic-free toothpastes available and you could even make your own toothpaste if you wanted.
There are lots of different recipes. Here are just two:
Homemade Toothpaste Recipe 1
- 2 tbsp coconut oil
- 1 tbsp baking soda
- 15-20 drops peppermint oil (or whichever oil you prefer)
Once mixed together, you can just scoop a little out each time you brush your teeth and store it in a glass container or tin. This won’t froth up like your usual toothpaste, but it will still clean your teeth!
Homemade Toothpaste Recipe 2
- ½ a cup of coconut oil
- 2 small packets of stevia powder
- 2-3 tablespoons of baking soda
- 15-20 drops of peppermint oil (other tasty essential oils can be used for different flavours)
All you have to make this toothpaste is melt the coconut oil slightly and add the rest of the ingredients to it.
Stir this up, pop it in a glass jar and keep stirring it every so often as the mixture cools. Once the mixture has cooled, you have toothpaste!
Now you can just scrape off a small amount with your toothbrush and get to brushing!
If we had to pick just one of these products to recommend it would be Denttabs Toothpaste Tablets as they’re affordable and come in very simple cardboard packaging.
However, they do contain fluoride, so if you want something fluoride-free we’d recommend Georganics Natural Toothpaste instead.
There are a few choices for going plastic-free with your toothpaste, so hopefully you will find something above that suits your routine and tastes.
Some people even use natural bars of soap to clean their teeth… but we’re not so sure the taste would be all that great… please, let us know if you’ve ever tried it!
If you can’t pull yourself away from your regular tubes of toothpaste, you might want to try reducing your plastic waste in other areas of your life.
There are plenty of ways to do so!
Naturaler is a UK website full of tips and recommendations for living a more eco-friendly, chemical-free and natural lifestyle.