Doing my best every day to be as eco-friendly as possible makes me smile.
Choosing the right toothbrush is only half of the equation, though. What you put on that toothbrush also needs to be as eco-friendly as possible.
Luckily for you...and the planet…I’ve done the leg work and scoured the market to find the best environmentally friendly toothpaste available in the U.S. right now.
Later in this article, I’ll discuss what makes a truly eco-friendly and zero waste toothpaste.
I’ll even let you in on a neat ‘home hack’ that will help you save a few bucks and the planet simultaneously.
Before I get to that, though, I would like to run down the best eco-friendly toothpaste options I’ve tested and approved.
*environmentally speaking...not literally...obviously!
They Say: Kick that plastic toothpaste tube to the curb and make the switch to sustainability with the Natural Mineral-Rich Toothpaste from Georganics! Made from high-quality natural and organic ingredients free of fluoride, SLS, and glycerin, this product kills bacteria and promotes fresh breath and healthy teeth, and gums. With a vegan and certified cruelty-free formula, plus plastic-free packaging, this toothpaste is the perfect addition to your natural oral care routine.
We Say: The biggest compliment I can pay this toothpowder is that after all my research and testing, this is now what I use to clean my teeth every day.
I mix it up between the English Peppermint and Spearmint flavors.
Georganics is a UK company and an active member of the 1% For The Planet movement.
Their Natural Mineral-Rich Toothpaste is made from an organic formula and is certified vegan and cruelty-free.
This zero waste toothpaste comes in a reusable and recyclable glass jar. A biodegradable bamboo spatula is also included for ease of application.
Simply apply a pea-sized amount of paste to your toothbrush and brush for two minutes, twice a day.
The zero waste mission also extends to the packaging. This zero waste toothpaste is shipped in compostable craft paper boxes printed with biodegradable vegetable ink.
The Georgancis oral care range doesn’t stop at toothpaste. They also do toothbrushes, toothpowder, toothpaste tablets, natural mouthwash tablets, natural floss, and more.
When it comes to zero waste toothpaste, Georganics has the edge for me.
However, if you feel Georganics is not quite right for you, there are plenty of other zero waste toothpaste options from eco-friendly brands.
They Say: Fight tooth decay without the plastic. Etee's fluoride Chewpaste is the perfect combination of scientifically proven - cavity fighting - fluoride, with the natural benefits of Canadian Glacial clay, (detoxifying and anti-bacterial), natural mint, and vanilla flavours. No sulphates, no parabens, no plastic.
We Say: If you’re sharing your zero waste toothpaste with others in your house and don’t like the thought of dipping your toothbrush into ‘communal’ powder or paste, then maybe toothpaste tablets are the best option for you.
They’re easy to use. Simply pop a tablet in your mouth, chew it to a paste, and then brush your teeth as usual.
I found I didn’t produce enough saliva to make a decent amount of paste and needed a few drops of water in my mouth before starting. That might just be me, though.
Etee is on a mission to help us all live plastic-free lives, and this zero waste toothpaste option is no exception.
The tablets are sent to you in a glass jar with a steel lid. When you need a refill, it’s sent to you in a compostable pouch.
Etee has supported many charitable enterprises in the past. Their currently charitable partner is Hue Man Race.
I feel these tablets would be a good option when traveling. You can count out the exact amount you need for your trip and save space in your luggage.
We Say: This product is exactly the same as the one above… just without the fluoride.
Not sure if you should get your zero waste toothpaste with or without fluoride? I have a section towards the end of this article that should help point you in the right direction.
They Say: These natural toothpaste tablets with fluoride are BDIH Certified, sustainable and ecological. They contain no unnecessary ingredients, are preservative free, and they are dry so are excellent for travelling. They protect against tartar and caries and are good for sensitive teeth. Discolorations of tea, coffee, red wine and nicotine "disappear" because the coloured pigments cannot adhere to the smooth surface created by the Denttabs.
We Say: These toothpaste tablets work in the same way as the Etee tables but cost a couple of bucks less for around twice the quantity.
Denttabs is a German company. It was founded by doctors focused on plastic-free products to reduce their impact on the environment.
These zero waste toothpaste tablets come in compostable corn starch pouches. Simply open the pouch, store the tablets in any reusable jar you have around the house, and toss the pouch in your compost bin.
There is a strawberry flavored option for kids aged 3+.
They Say: Toothpowder is an all-natural and fun alternative to toothpaste! Our powder is made with ingredients so safe you could eat them. To use, simply tap a damp toothbrush into a jar of The Dirt and watch it stick to your brush like magic! Then brush as you normally would for healthy, clean teeth - naturally!
We Say: The Dirt might not sound like a range of products that would keep your teeth clean… but that’s precisely what you get here.
The six-month supply of plastic-free tooth powder is packaged in a reusable mason jar (Mrs. M already has her eye on it for her coffee beans!).
The Sweet Spice flavor of this tooth powder was my favorite of all the products I tested for this article. It reminded me of Christmas candy for some reason. I think it must be the combination of cinnamon and orange.
The Dirt has a full range of products, and they only ever use ingredients that are safe to eat.
I chose their tooth powder over the toothpaste because the toothpaste contains beeswax and comes in a plastic tube.
The tooth powder, on the other hand, is plastic-free and completely vegan.
The bentonite clay used in the tooth powder is softer than the enamel on your teeth and prevents scratching, making it ideal for those with sensitive teeth.
The Dirt sent me a free Tongue Scraper with my order (I think there was a mix-up), and it’s been a bit of a game-changer. The combination of the antibacterial properties of copper and a gunk-free tongue has made my mouth feel cleaner and my breath smell fresher than ever.
They Say: Incorporate the zero-waste lifestyle into your morning routine with these toothpaste tablets from UNPASTE! Ditching single-use plastic toothpaste tubes is just one reason to make the switch. These tablets are also less abrasive than most toothpastes and they polish your teeth, leaving bacteria with less places to go and reducing the ability for plaque and tartar to build up.
We Say: These plastic-free toothpaste tablets are made in Germany without preservatives, SLS, sodium saccharin, artificial colors, aluminum, or nanoparticles.
One of the main ingredients, microcrystalline cellulose, did a fantastic job polishing my teeth to what Unpaste says is a “smooth post-dentist feeling”.
You get 125 plastic-free toothpaste tablets per pack. Enough to last one person two months.
As with the Denttabs, I recommend opening the pack and storing the tablets in a reusable jar to keep them clean, dry, and fresh.
You can then simply tear up the pack and compost it.
Unpaste also does plastic-free toothpaste tables without fluoride if that’s more your thing.
They Say: Davids Toothpaste is made using the highest quality naturally sourced and naturally derived ingredients to safely & effectively whiten teeth, fight plaque, and freshen breath. This zero waste toothpaste is free of artificial flavors, artificial preservatives, artificial colors, and artificial sweeteners.
We Say: To misquote Spock from the 1987 ‘hit’ Star Trekkin’...this is toothpaste in a tube, Jim, but not as we know it!
Davids has not gone down the powder/paste/tablets in a jar/pouch route.
This all-natural plastic-free toothpaste comes in a recyclable metal tube with a recyclable metal key.
Not a single plastic tube in sight!
The key is pretty neat. It allows you to effortlessly get every last bit of paste out of the tube. Zero waste in every sense!
The tube comes packaged in a cardboard box that’s 100% recyclable with your standard paper waste.
I went for the peppermint flavor, and it was pretty nice. Subtle and refreshing. There is also an option with added charcoal if you prefer.
They Say: The classic toothpaste flavor for the ultimate fresh breath! No funny business here. Slightly less sweet than our other formulas, the Spearmint toothpaste packs a punch. Does not contain glycerin, SLS, or Fluoride.
We Say: Nelson Naturals is a Canada-based company with plastic-free ethics front and center of everything they do.
Their zero waste plastic-free toothpaste comes in a reusable and recyclable glass jar with a metal lid.
As an animal lover, I wanted to test out Nelson Naturals because they donate 5% of their profits to animal charities! 😍
After testing their zero waste toothpaste for myself, I can report that it’s as good as their animal-friendly ethics.
There are many recipes online for homemade zero waste toothpaste.
I’ve tried out the most popular ones, and this is my favorite:
That’s all there is to it. Homemade, zero waste, plastic-free toothpaste. All-natural ingredients. Zero plastic packaging. Cost less than a buck. Lovely stuff!
If the glass jar has a tight-fitting lid, your toothpaste will last a long time before spoiling.
I can’t say for sure how good this toothpaste would be for your teeth long-term, but they felt clean, and the taste was pretty nice.
Don’t like the taste of peppermint? Swap it out for an essential oil you do like. Orange oil, or tea tree oil, for example.
Want 100% organic toothpaste? Use 100% organic ingredients.
As reported by the Guardian, 20 billion packs of toothpaste are used every year.
Most of which are non-recyclable due to the mix of plastics used or the thin layer of metal used to keep the toothpaste fresh.
Pump action toothpaste tubes are usually easier to recycle, but they use more plastic to produce them in the first place.
Big brands, such as Colegate, are making some effort to produce fully recyclable toothpaste tubes on selected ranges. However, until fully recyclable options exist across all ranges, it feels a bit like greenwashing to me.
Fluoride is a naturally occurring mineral that is often added to water, food, and other products.
It’s added to most municipal water supplies in the U.S. and, according to the ADA, prevents tooth decay by around 25%.
So, surely using toothpaste with added fluorine is a no-brainer way to further boost your tooth decay protection?
Too much fluoride can lead to dental fluorosis, resulting in a change in the color of tooth enamel. Usually white or sometimes brown spots.
Toothpaste is essential for good oral hygiene, but whether you go fluoride-free or not is a personal choice, based on your unique individual circumstances.
I’m not a trained medical professional and will not offer an opinion one way or the other.
My best advice would be to discuss with your dentist if fluoride toothpaste is right for you or if you should be looking at fluoride-free options.
Xylitol is found in many products, including some toothpaste, and is poisonous for dogs.
Please ensure that your toothpaste is stored well away from our four-legged friends.
According to Healthline, brushing your teeth with activated charcoal toothpaste products is safe. However, the abrasive nature of the product might wear down your tooth enamel over time. This can lead to sensitive teeth.
I don’t feel that Colgate can be classified as an eco-friendly toothpaste brand yet, but they’re making steps in the right direction.
For example, according to Business Wire, “Colgate has reduced absolute greenhouse gas emissions by approximately 37.5% from 2002-2020 and its water use per ton of production by 52%”.
Oil pulling is the practice of using oil (usually coconut oil) like you would traditional mouthwash to improve overall oral health.
According to Healthline, there are many benefits of oil pulling, including:
When I refer to plastic-free toothpaste in this article, I’m referring to the packaging. Rather than wasteful single-use plastic tubes, we should be looking for brands offering sustainable options such as reusable glass jars and compostable pouches.
However, some toothpaste does contain microplastics. They’re there to help polish your teeth. They’re classified as not harmful to human health, but consumers are waking up to the fact that they’re an environmental disaster. They eventually find their way into waterways, adding to the growing problem of plastic waste and harming aquatic life.
When we brush our teeth, a small amount of the toothpaste we’re using enters our body (gums, tongue, swallowing a small amount, etc.), so it stands to reason that you want it to be made using all-natural ingredients if possible.
Every option I’ve recommended in this article has been chosen because they’re non-toxic, environmentally friendly, and use zero waste packaging.
Whether you eventually settle on paste, powder, tablets, or even make your own, it’s comforting to know that it’s now easier than ever to make the right choices for your oral health and the health of the planet.
What zero waste toothpaste do you use? Have I missed an obvious one? Got a top-notch recipe for homemade plastic-free toothpaste? Drop me a line and let me know.