There are some things that occupy more space in my brain these days than I could ever have imagined, and brushes are one….well, more like 7. Sweeping, tooth, hair, bottle, dish, shaving, straw….the list goes on.
Most of us are now familiar with the problems of plastic toothbrushes - we each use about 4 per year (more if your kids like to chew them…) and a plastic toothbrush is never going to degrade - how many toothbrushes have you got through in your lifetime so far? Have you considered that most of the other brushes in our lives are also made of plastic? Fortunately, we don’t find ourselves replacing these as often as our toothbrushes, but when we do need to it’d be good to make a slightly better choice in terms of environmental impact.
However, brushes are more of a minefield than I had ever anticipated…. Fully biodegradable brushes are hard to find, and fully biodegradable and vegan friendly? Now there’s a challenge.
Brushes tend to have nylon (plastic) or animal hair bristles. Your average bamboo toothbrush will have nylon bristles. Fancy brushing your teeth with hog-hair? Be my guest. These will be fully biodegradable but don’t tick the ‘vegan friendly’ box - you won’t get pig hair toothbrushes from Refill Revs! Some toothbrushes claim to be made of bamboo with bamboo bristles. Read the small print and you’ll probably find that they have a majority percentage of nylon (plastic).
We stock Truthbrush bamboo toothbrushes. These are made from organic bamboo, and they now have castor oil bristles, which are better than your average nylon bristle because they don’t use crude oil (a finite resource). Castor oil bristles are still not biodegradable, so you’ll still need to pluck out the bristles or chop off the head before flinging the brush on the compost heap. I’m convinced that we can find other uses for these beautiful handles though (i’ll give a free toothbrush to the first person who presents me with an up-cycled Truthbrush handle!)
In the world of other brushes, the good news is, there are loads of people out there who are constantly developing new products that do tick all of the boxes, and I’m always on the look out for them! I’ve recently received a delivery of new straw brushes - now with vegan friendly, biodegradable bristles, and I’m currently in the market for a new dustpan and brush for the shop so watch this space for new and exciting things in the world of brushes!