At least 1.5 billion toothpaste tubes are discarded globally every year. That’s a lot of landfill space! Making the change from regular toothpaste to a zero waste toothpaste alternative is a great way to reduce both your carbon footprint and your global landfill contribution.
It’s often said that changing the little things can make a big difference. There are so many daily activities in our lives that, however small, still produce waste. Even something as innocent as brushing your teeth–which dentists politely remind us we should be doing 3 times a day–can make a big impact on the environment.
So here are some of the best plastic free toothpaste options available to add to your zero waste lifestyle.
Please note: Several of the zero waste toothpastes listed use activated charcoal. This should not be used every day, as it can be very abrasive on your teeth. It is a natural whitener, and recommended use is between 1-4 times weekly depending on your teeth and gums! Use it in conjunction with fluoride-free toothpastes for best results.
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Why switch to zero waste toothpaste?
Zero waste toothpaste isn’t just better for the planet–it’s better for your teeth, too! Because they tend to be all-natural, zero waste toothpaste products are often free of chemicals found in regular toothpaste such as parabens, dyes, artificial flavors, glycerin, SLS and sulfates.
Switching will be an adjustment, especially if you use a fluoride-free option as they tend to double up on the baking soda which can be strange. But I was so glad I made this zero waste bathroom swap, and my teeth are whiter and stronger than ever now!
Please note that some of these toothpastes don’t contain fluoride. Thus, I really recommend you speak to a dentist before cutting it out for yourself personally. Depending on where you live, the amount of fluoride in the water supply may not be enough to protect your teeth.
If you find your teeth feeling more sensitive or painful, I would suggest trying out a zero waste toothpaste with fluoride, or adding activated charcoal to your routine.
Best Zero Waste Toothpaste Tablets
When I was first introduced to toothpaste tablets, I was so confused. But it turns out that using them couldn’t be simpler, and now they are a permanent fixture in my zero waste travel kit.
Simply pop one tablet in your mouth, chew (don’t swallow!), wet your toothbrush and then proceed as normal.
The nice thing about tablets is that they’re individual servings, so you always know exactly how long they’ll last for. Plus, you never have to worry about putting so much toothpaste on your brush it accidentally falls off in the sink!
hello Antiplaque & Whitening Toothpaste Tablets
hello is a New Jersey based company that’s all about naturally whitening your smile, and keeping your teeth clean and healthy while doing so.
Their plastic free toothpaste tablets are also cruelty free, fluoride-free, and extra minty! They come in 100% recyclable (or reusable) metal tins.
hello is an eco friendly, transparent company. The founder, Craig Dubitsky, even encourages people to Skype him, and he is happy to have an open dialogue about the company’s products and practices.
Georganics Natural Toothpaste Tablets
When it comes to tooth care, Georganics is one of the best companies out there (in fact, you’ll see them mentioned again further down). They make plastic free toothpaste, mouthwash and dental floss.
Their zero waste toothpaste tablets were some of the first I ever tried, and I often still bring them with me when I travel.
Georganics is committed to plastic free alternatives. All of their products are shipped in 100% recyclable packaging with zero plastic, and are made using all-natural, vegan ingredients. You can also directly send them back any of their products and they will reuse or recycled accordingly.
Denttabs Tablets for Teeth Cleaning
If you’re keen to find some zero waste toothpaste tablets WITH fluoride, Denttabs is a great option.
The company was founded by German doctors dedicated to reducing their impact on the environment – and having a great smile while they do so. That’s why these German made tablets come in 100% biodegradable bags made from corn starch, and are EU certified for home composting.
While they do contain fluoride, they are vegan and cruelty free and do not contain any preservatives. These 100% plastic free toothpaste tablets are incredibly sustainable. Unlike regular toothpaste which is made of up to 50% water, these tablets use NO water, which is an extra win for the environment.
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Best zero waste toothpaste powders
Toothpaste powder might seem like something new and groundbreaking, but it actually predates toothpaste gel and cream by centuries. It is believed to date back as far as 5000 BC when the ancient Egyptians made a version using crushed eggshells, pumice, animal bone ash, and myrrh.
Luckily, the powders available today are much fresher and more appealing than those of ancient Egypt!
To use your zero waste toothpaste powder, simply put the amount recommended on the container (usually around ⅛ teaspoon – I like to keep a small scoop spoon nearby) onto your wet toothbrush and then brush as you normally would. You can also repeat if needed.
Bestowed Essentials Charcoal & Mint Tooth Powder
Looking for a plastic free toothpaste powder to better whiten your teeth? Bestowed Essentials has a great charcoal and minty fresh option!
Their fluoride-free, triclosan-free, and BPA-free powder is one of the best all-natural whiteners I’ve used. It also leaves my teeth feeling extra clean thanks to the bentonite clay that remove toxins from my teeth and gums.
Bestowed Essentials is one of my top eco brands. They thoroughly vet every ingredient and supplier, and only work with the best. All their products are all-natural and organic, and never ever use any artificial preservatives, chemicals or dyes, fragrances, sulphates, parabens, or anything else questionable goes into their products.
This tooth powder comes in a 50% post-consumer recycled glass container with a 100% recycled cork top. Plus, for every order, Bestowed Essentials partner with Ocean Blue Project to pick up 1lb of beach trash.
The Dirt Toothpowder
Although they make toothpaste, I always opt for The Dirt’s tooth powder because there is a plastic free option AND they are vegan (their toothpastes contain beeswax). This all-natural powder is a great everyday alternative to charcoal that will clean and whiten your teeth almost as well thanks to the bentonite clay, but less abrasively.
For a totally plastic free experience, make sure you get the 6 month supply that comes in a cute mini glass container, as the other containers are plastic.
The Dirt uses all-natural ingredients with the intent that everything they make could also technically be edible (so don’t worry if you accidentally swallow some!). Because of this, all of their products are free of soy, corn, and gluten, and most of them are also vegan (they are all cruelty-free).
Although they could definitely work on their plastic free game, The Dirt makes great, eco friendly products that work, and all their products are made in the USA, so you don’t have to worry about sweatshop labor.
Simply Sooney Vegan Fluoride-Free Tooth Powder
If you have a spare mason jar–or any sealable jar–laying around, I can definitely recommend Simply Sooney’s zero waste toothpaste powder. The powder is shipped in a plastic free envelope, which you can then pour into the jar of your choice (just make sure it’s airtight).
Simply Sooney is a woman owned tooth care business out of Texas run by Cynthia, a mother of three who poured her heart and soul into her hobby after her husband was diagnosed with Hashimoto’s Thyroiditis.
All of her products are gluten free, vegan and use certified organic ingredients. They are free of fluoride, SLS, glycerin, artificial colors, flavors, or fragrances.
Best Zero Waste Toothpaste Creams
Toothpaste cream works just like your typical toothpaste. Rather than squeeze the cream out of a tube, you simply scrape it out of a jar. While the cleaning action is the same as regular toothpaste, I recommend using a little bit of water for a better foam.
If you share your zero waste toothpaste cream with another person and are worried about germs, I recommend using little stainless steel spoons to get the cream out and onto your toothbrush.
Georganics Natural Toothpaste
I previously mentioned Georganics toothpaste tablets, but their cream is also fantastic.
Similar to their tablets the cream can take some getting used to, but after a brief adjustment period your teeth will feel healthier and happier!
Their products are all-natural and vegan and 100% plastic free. The ingredients are biodegradable and the packaging is completely recyclable.
Lucky Teeth Organic Toothpaste
Lucky Teeth is a family run, kid-friendly zero waste organic toothpaste. Their fluoride-free cinnamon flavor toothpaste is perfect for anyone with sensitive teeth or gums, and even directly targets bleeding gums.
Their products are all USA made using organic and all-natural ingredients. Because the toothpaste is fluoride-free, they also made a whitening toothpaste with activated charcoal that they recommend using once a week with the regular toothpaste (which they suggest using twice daily).
For a 100% plastic free toothpaste experience, make sure you get the glass containers NOT the plastic ones. They even come with a little wooden taster spoon so that you can easily remove the paste for each use.
David’s Fluoride-Free Toothpaste
David’s is SO CLOSE to being plastic free toothpaste. Even though it isn’t 100% there, it is currently the only brand I’m aware of that comes in a tube and is this close to plastic free. And let’s be real–some people just like what they like and toothpaste tubes are familiar and easy to use.
Plus, I love that you can purchase a metal turnkey with David’s fluoride-free toothpaste that helps you squeeze out every last drop to get your money’s worth. After all, did you know that up to 14% of every toothpaste tube goes unused? David’s is dedicated to fixing that.
Their toothpaste is made from 98% all-natural ingredients, and comes inside a recyclable aluminum tube with BPA-free lining. This plastic free toothpaste is vegan, and free of SLS and sulfates.
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