August 12

Eco-Friendly Toothpaste: Our Favorite Zero-Waste, Sustainable Options


Few things are more frustrating than realizing that the item you just threw away could have been recycled or composted. Toothpaste is one of those pesky items that often end up in the trash, but it doesn’t have to be that way! There are many eco-friendly toothpaste options that are zero waste and sustainable. Check out our favorite options and start making the switch today!

What’s wrong with conventional toothpaste tubes?

eco-friendly toothpaste

You would be thinking “Wait, isn’t toothpaste an essential item that I need in order to maintain good oral hygiene? Why would I want to switch to an eco-friendly option?” Well, the answer is simple: conventional toothpaste tubes are not recyclable or compostable.

In fact, they’re made from a type of plastic packaging that can only be downcycled, meaning that they can only be turned into something of lower quality (like packaging or single-use straws).

So what’s the big deal with downcycling?

The problem with downcycling is that it creates mountains of waste. Every year, billions of pounds of plastic are downcycled into products that will eventually end up in landfills or the ocean. And because downcycled products are of lower quality, they don’t last as long as their virgin counterparts. This means that we’re constantly producing more and more plastic, without any end in sight.

Difference between recycling and downcycling

It’s important to understand the difference between recycling and downcycling. Recycling refers to the process of breaking down a material (like glass or metal) and turning it into something new. Downcycling, on the other hand, is when a material is turned into something of lower quality.

For example, when you recycle a can, it can be turned into a new can. But when you downcycle a plastic bottle, it can only be turned into something like packaging or single-use straws.

Although we should encourage all forms of recycling, it’s important to keep in mind that downcycling is not a sustainable solution to the plastic pollution problem.

5 reasons why traditional toothpaste isn’t eco-friendly

We talked about toothpaste tubes, justifying how plastic-free packaging of eco-friendly toothpaste can remove waste, but now it’s time to dive a little deeper and see what’s really wrong with traditional toothpaste. Here are 5 reasons why it’s not eco-friendly:

Testing on animals

Unfortunately, many conventional toothpaste brands test on animals in order to ensure the safety of their products. The animals subject to these tests include rabbits, guinea pigs, and mice, and often suffer from irritation, organ damage, and even death in rare cases. Testing on animals itself should justify the need for cruelty-free toothpaste alternates.


Microbeads are tiny pieces of plastic (usually less than 1 mm in diameter) that are added to personal care products like toothpaste for their exfoliating properties. However, these microbeads eventually end up in our waterways where they are ingested by fish and other marine animals. This can cause intestinal blockages, reduced feeding, and even death.

Not Vegan

Conventional toothpaste contains glycerine, a by-product of soap production that is often derived from animal fats. This means that many conventional kinds of toothpaste are not vegan.

This is especially concerning because many people today are choosing to live a vegan lifestyle for ethical reasons.

Fortunately, most eco-friendly toothpaste manufacturers also brand their product as vegan toothpaste, as they do not use animal products in any part of the creation process.


Triclosan is an antimicrobial chemical that is often added to personal care products like toothpaste and hand soap. Unfortunately, triclosan has been linked to a variety of health concerns, including hormone disruption, cancer, and immune system damage.

Sodium lauryl sulphate (SLS)

Sodium lauryl sulphate (SLS) is a detergent and emulsifier that is often used in personal care products like toothpaste. SLS can cause skin irritation, eye irritation, and gastrointestinal issues.

Why switch to eco-friendly toothpaste?

Now that we’ve seen what’s wrong with traditional toothpaste, let’s take a look at why you should switch to an eco-friendly option. Here are 4 reasons:

You’ll be helping the environment

By switching to eco-friendly toothpaste, you’ll be helping to reduce the amount of plastic waste that ends up in landfills and our waterways. We already have a ton of plastic pollution, and every little bit helps!

You’ll be helping to end animal testing

As we mentioned before, many conventional toothpaste brands test on animals in order to ensure the safety of their products. However, you can help to end this cruel practice by switching to cruelty-free eco-friendly toothpaste.

You’ll be helping to end microbead pollution

Microbeads are tiny pieces of plastic that end up in our waterways, where they are ingested by fish and other marine animals. This can cause intestinal blockages, reduced feeding, and even death. By switching to eco-friendly toothpaste, you’ll be helping to reduce microbead pollution and protect our marine life.

You’ll be choosing a healthier option for yourself

Eco-friendly toothpaste is not only better for the environment, but it’s also better for your health! Many conventional kinds of toothpaste contain harmful chemicals like triclosan, SLS, and microbeads. Switching to an eco-friendly toothpaste will help you avoid these harmful chemicals and choose a healthier option for yourself.

Nine of the best eco-friendly toothpaste brands

Tom’s of Maine

Tom’s of Maine is one of the most popular natural toothpaste brands on the market. Their toothpaste is fluoride-free and comes in a recyclable tube. Plus, their commitment to sustainability extends beyond their products – they also donate 10% of their profits to charities such as the National Recreation Foundation (NRF) which dedicates to improving access to nature.

Burt’s Bees

Another well-known name, Burt’s Bees is a natural personal care company that offers a variety of eco-friendly products, including toothpaste. Their toothpaste is fluoride-free and manufactured without the use of chemicals such as SLS and Artificial sweeteners. Plus, it comes in a recyclable tube. Plus, they use recycled materials in their packaging and have a commitment to zero waste.

Hello Activated Charcoal Tabs

These toothpaste tablets from Hello are a great option for those who travel often. They’re made with natural ingredients such as baking soda and calcium carbonate and are free of fluoride, SLS, and artificial flavors. Plus, they come in a recyclable metal jar. The best part is that these are also vegan-friendly and gluten-free, perfect for those with dietary restrictions.

Superbee Dentos Tablets

A different yet great product from the SuperBee Wax Wraps store, these Dentos tablets are a zero-waste toothpaste alternative. Manufactured using sustainable means and packed in a reusable, plastic-free tin, these tablets will help you ditch the toothpaste tube for good! Simply chew one up and brush as normal – they’re even gentle enough to use on sensitive teeth.

Simply Sooney Zero Waste Tooth Powder

Although it’s not technically toothpaste, this tooth powder from Simply Sooney is a great eco-friendly alternative. It comes in a compostable and recyclable bag, and it’s free of fluoride, SLS, artificial flavors, and colors.

Being vegan-friendly, this tooth powder is a great choice for those with dietary restrictions. The company prides itself on handcrafting each batch in small quantities to ensure quality and freshness, making this small business increasingly popular among consumers.

Davids Natural Whitening Toothpaste

A newer brand on the market, David’s Natural toothpaste is quickly becoming a favorite among eco-conscious consumers. As with other contenders on this list, their toothpaste is also fluoride-free, SLS-free, and vegan-friendly.

Not only does the toothpaste come in a recyclable metal tube, but you also receive a tube roller to help reduce waste even further. The company claims the toothpaste to be 98% made in the US, with the remaining 2% consisting of ingredients that cannot be sourced domestically.

Traveling Panda Tablets

A small business with a big ambition, Traveling Panda offers toothpaste tablets that are perfect for those on the go. These tablets are vegan-friendly, gluten-free, and completely SLS-free. They also come in a recyclable glass container, which is great for those who are trying to reduce their plastic waste. The travel-friendly design allows for up to 60 uses, which is perfect for those traveling with their families.

Colgate Anywhere

When talking about anything related to oral hygiene, you can’t go past Colgate. A household name for many, this company offers an eco-friendly toothpaste option in the form of their Anywhere toothpaste tablets.

These tablets are free of SLS, fluoride, and artificial flavors, and they come in a recyclable tin. Simply chew one up and brush as normal – it’s that easy! The best part, the tablets come in a refillable, recyclable glass jar to easily carry anywhere.

Himalaya Botanique Complete Care

Another household name, Himalaya Botanique is a company that’s known for its sustainable and ayurvedic products. Their toothpaste is no different, and it’s made with only natural ingredients derived from plant-based sources such as papaya, pineapple, and pomegranate.

The toothpaste is free of chemicals, and artificial flavors and is 100% cruelty-free. Even the box is made from recycled materials, making this product as eco-friendly as possible.

What’s the best toothpaste for the environment from this list?

There is no definitive answer, as it depends on your personal preferences. However, we think David’s Natural Whitening Toothpaste is a great choice for those who are looking for an eco-friendly and sustainable option. The uniqueness of the tube roller to reduce waste, plus the fact that everything from the packaging to even the roller itself is 100% recyclable, makes this vegan-friendly, cruelty-free, plastic-free toothpaste a winner in our eyes.

However, it does come down to personal preference, so be sure to try out a few of these options and see which one works best for you!

Final Thoughts

Making the switch to eco-friendly toothpaste doesn’t have to be difficult. There are many great options on the market that are sustainable, zero-waste, and vegan-friendly. Plus, most of them come in recyclable packaging, which is always a bonus.

So next time you’re at the store, be sure to pick up one of these eco-friendly toothpastes and help make a difference in the environment. Every little bit counts!


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