LIKE many people I gave little thought to replacing my toothbrush with a plastic handled version every couple of months.
But as I became more aware of the impact of what I buy, I began to think of buying a bamboo handled toothbrush that was made in China.
Looking more into how a toothbrush is made from bamboo, I began to realise that the transportation of them is where the environmental cost is at its highest.
So I began to think more locally and searched for toothbrushes Made in France, because if there is one thing that France has a lot of it is wood.
Beech wood for handles
A quick Google search will soon provide you with sites such as Le Père Lucien and J'aime mes Dents who provide wooden handled toothbrushes made from beech.
Another website, Bioseptyl, is a manufacturer located in the north west of France and who source its beech wood from the same corner of the country.
The wood they use has been rejected by mills and other industries such as furniture manufacturers due to the colour or grain not being suitable.
One area of the makeup of the brushes that has to be considered is the brush head itself, usually made of nylon, but in the case of eco manufacturing the filaments are made of 70% vegetable origin, usually castor oil.
In Bioseptyl's case the brush heads are imported from Germany, as there is currently no manufacturer based in France.
Recycling wooden toothbrush
Clearly, one of the key plus points of a wooden handled toothbrush over a plastic equivalent is the possibility to recycle it and so save on filling up a local déchetterie.
The recommended way is to snap the head of the toothbrush off and put this in your regular waste bin, whilst placing the handle in the compost.
Bioseptyl also offers a postal service that sees them provide an envelope that you can place the handles in and then send them back to the factory to be recycled.
The packaging that the toothbrushes come in is also recyclable, so you can add a bit of carbon to your compost heap.
Cleaning your toothbrush
Caring for your wooden handled toothbrush, Made in France, is no different to others, you can leave them in a mix of bicarbonate of soda and water, or vinegar and water, for a couple of hours before rinsing them off.
Buying local is nearly always the best way forward if you want to reduce the carbon footprint of your purchases, and just making that decision for a toothbrush can be a start to being better informed about what you buy.
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