Here we recommend 14 of the best zero waste toothpaste products for more sustainable and plastic-free clean teeth.
It’s the first thing we do in the morning and the last thing we do before hopping into bed for many of us. We brush our teeth. The routine is so entrenched in our behavior that it’s hard to imagine that we might significantly change the way we brush our teeth. Most of us, indeed, never imagine that there is any reason we should make a change. Our dentists certainly wouldn’t recommend it.
We’re talking about the necessary change, not with toothbrushing per se. But instead swapping out the heavily marketed conventional toothpaste substances we brush with.
Inevitably, toothpaste manufacturers focus on what their products claim to do for us—including preventing cavities, freshening our breath, and brightening our smiles. However, you’ll be right to note they rarely champion one end result of using their toothpaste. - A plastic tube that cannot be reused and, being partially full of toothpaste, cannot be recycled. The tube has no other destination than the trash. Only, what if we could brush our teeth and achieve zero-waste? We’d like to think when we brush twice a day we could avoid ending up with that empty tube.
Depending on which estimate you believe, between 900,000 and 1.5 billion used toothpaste tubes end up discarded as waste every year. Today, most go to landfills, though some of our toothpaste waste ends up in the environment. And some in our waterways and oceans. Not least as part of the eight million tons of plastic waste that finds its way into our seawater every year.
Of course, toothpaste manufacturers use plastic containers for packaging their products because they are cheap and pliable. Conventional toothpaste manufacturers fill our shelves with single-use plastic tubes. Another addition to the 300 million tons of plastic products manufactured each year. And that’s a lot of waste.
Taking up landfill space is only part of the issue, however. As with pretty much all non-organic plastics, look into the packaging, and you’ll find old toothpaste tubes come loaded with chemical compounds. Again, toothpaste producers are all about telling us what the stuff inside the tube does. But not so much about what they make the tube we use twice a day from that may prove less beneficial. The Environmental Working Group (EWG), an environmental health watchdog organization, has pointed out that those innocuous little tubes contain chemical compounds including silica, sodium lauryl sulfate, triclosan, flavors, preservatives, dyes, and other residues. Science has linked these compounds to several health hazards such as cancer, hormonal disruption, neurological conditions, and organ toxicity. For sure, mass-produced toothpaste does a great job, and the downsides prove small compared to healthy teeth. All the same, surely we can do better?
When we hear this, our first reaction may be, “What alternative do we have? We have to brush our teeth.” True; however, this doesn’t mean we are limited to the product packaging marketed to us. Or the types of conventional toothpaste they contain. For instance, there are three basic zero waste alternatives to that plastic tube of toothpaste we so take for granted:
A tremendous amount of thought and creativity has gone into the development of these zero waste toothpaste options. Therefore, they reflect a genuine love of our planet and environment and a desire to promote good dental care. You’ll experience integrity and thoughtfulness with every purchase. And even the humor of the individuals and small firms that have developed these products. Brush through our list of 14 best zero-waste toothpaste options to explore the range of zero waste options out there.
The 51-gram zero-waste glass jar contains a six-month supply. You can also order a six-week supply. The Dirt makes the powder from natural baking soda, bentonite clay, and essential oils. It’s naturally antiseptic and antibacterial. It also comes in two flavors, super mint, and cinna mint.
As a great zero waste alternative to traditional toothpaste, the powder is free of SLS, paraben, and glycerine. The manufacturer lists this product as an alternative to charcoal toothpaste for tooth whitening. Using the product enhances fresh breath as well. You’ll also find this zero-waste toothpaste a great solution should you have sensitive teeth. The product is all-natural and is reputed to have a delicious taste.
In case you’ve wondered how tooth bites work, here is a great example. Take one tablet, chew it with a bit of water in your mouth, and brush your teeth. The experience is delightful. FRESC flavors our choice of zero waste fluoride-free bites with mint. They make their zero-waste toothpaste tablets from a propriety blend of natural ingredients, including MCC, xylitol, peppermint, twist acid, xanthan, guar gum, magnesium stearate, and PEG white factor. They are non-GMO and do not contain harmful preservatives, dyes, synthetic fragrances, silicones, sulfates, paraffin, or any product made from petroleum. FRESC created this formula to provide the best dental health with the least possible exposure to harmful chemicals. Sold 60 to a zero-waste recyclable glass bottle, they are shipped from Boca Rotan, Florida, arriving in one to two weeks.
Butter Me Up Organics ships this zero waste toothpaste in a two-ounce glass bottle with a metal lid. This product contains calcium citrate, sodium bicarbonate, coconut oil, peppermint oil, vegetable glycerin, and activated charcoal from coconut skins. All-natural ingredients for non-toxic and waste-free clean that’s also better for the planet.
Equally important is what isn’t in the jar. This natural toothpaste also contains no sulfates, phthalates, parabens, synthetic dyes, or fragrances. And it is non-GMO and cruelty-free. Moreover, a key feature of this zero waste toothpaste is its whitening ability - often attributed to charcoal tooth products. Reportedly, it is possible to see the whitening of your teeth after a single-use. Another quality of charcoal is its ability to absorb toxins, in this case, pulling them from your gums. The package, printed with organic ink, ships from Livermore, California, and arrives in one to two weeks.
One of a series of natural health products from the same firm, Uncle Harry’s Natural and Fluoride-Free Remineralizing Toothpaste, is also free of glycerin and gluten. This highly-rated product includes bentonite clay, calcium carbonate, microfiltered pure water, sea salt, ionic minerals, mustard seed, and essential oils. Essential oils include spearmint, peppermint, eucalyptus, clove, wintergreen, and oregano. The toothpaste comes in a 0.13-pound recyclable glass jar.
Uncle Harry, the progenitor of this zero waste toothpaste and other natural products, began creating Ayurvedic health products at age 44 after a series of severe gum infections. The results were so positive that Harry started selling his product to others. His family still offers Harry’s tooth powders, whiteners, and other oral health products.
US only and does not ship to the UK at the time of writing.
Just about any list of the top organic toothpaste products will include Georganics Natural and Vegan Mineral-Rich Whitening Toothpaste. The product is free of sodium lauryl sulfate, glycerine, and fluoride. It is also cruelty-free and comes in a zero-waste recyclable glass jar with an aluminum lid, packaged with recycled paper. Moreover, this toothpaste is designed to polish, detoxify, whiten, strengthen, and remineralize teeth. A treat for the mouth the whole family can experience.
The mineral content of the toothpaste provides a full day of protection. Made in Sussex, England, the toothpaste uses a proprietary organic formula. This low-sudsing formula promotes the mineralization coating of teeth. Proper use of the product entails taking only a pea-sized dab of the toothpaste, brushing for two minutes, then rinsing thoroughly. Because this toothpaste is an animal-product free formula, this product is suitable for vegan use.
Another zero waste product suited for vegan use and also remineralization of teeth is this natural toothpaste formula. Robin Creations ships this product in a four-ounce jar with a metal lid. You can reuse it when purchasing a bag of the product to be used in the original jar. The product comes in four flavors: fresh peppermint, cool wintergreen, lavender mint, and spicy cinnamon.
Made of natural ingredients, the toothpaste contains calcium carbonate, coconut oil, xylitol powder, baking soda, bentonite clay, sunflower oil, trace minerals, and essential oils, including tea tree and clove. You use this zero waste toothpaste by dipping a wet toothbrush into it and scooping out a pea-sized amount, then brushing. As all ingredients are healthful, it is not necessary to rinse afterward. It arrives in one week, shipped from Santa Fe, New Mexico. If any member of your family is vegan, they’ll love this addition to their oral care.
This handcrafted tooth powder comes in a recyclable, dated, colored glass jar with a metal lid. Flavored with cinnamon and clove, it contains pure Wyoming bentonite clay, vegan calcium carbonate, non-GMO birch xylitol, magnesium citrate, organic cloves, organic Ceylon cinnamon, and organic peppermint leaves. It is free of fluoride, toxins, BPA, gluten, artificial color, glycerin, and harmful chemical compounds. You use this zero-waste toothpaste option by dipping a damp toothbrush into the powder. Alternatively, you can use the enclosed wooden scoop. You should rinse after brushing. This is an American made product Simply Soonet makes in batches of no more than 16 jars at a time. In addition to its 5-Star global ratings, three biological dentists have approved the use of the product.
These peppermint flavored toothpaste tablets contain xylitol, natural peppermint, Quillaja Saponaria extract, calcium phosphate, calcium stearate, sodium bicarbonate, and stevia. It is free of fluoride and sodium lauryl sulfate. This product’s manufacturer, WELdental, has taken Amazon’s Climate Friendly Pledge, committing to finding ways to reduce their company’s carbon footprint. As well as using recyclable materials and shipping in sustainable, economical packaging for improved zero waste creds.
Chewtab uses baking soda to remove surface stains as part of your oral care routine. As such, these zero waste toothpaste tabs clean effectively and have a very low abrasion rating. Because Chewtabs base their product upon an alkaline base, which also removes stains and hardens tooth surfaces, the whitening process is safe for tooth enamel. By contrast, many other conventional toothpaste whitening products use silica, which is highly abrasive and has the long-term effect of creating enamel loss.
The makers of Bare Elements Tooth Powder also offer bamboo toothbrushes for use with their tooth powder. Even better, you can even choose your brush to suit left or right-handed brushing. The zero-waste powder comes in three sizes, also packed in recyclable, compostable containers.
Bare Elements make their powder of bentonite clay, magnesium, hydroxide, non-GMO birch xylitol, sodium bicarbonate, sodium cocoyl isethionate, organic spearmint oil, and organic peppermint oil. It is also free of sulfates, plastics, triclosan, aspartame, and dye. There are no unnecessary ingredients in the formula. For instance, they use sodium cocoyl isethionate to create the sudsing experience we expect from a toothpaste without using sulfates. The bicarbonate—baking soda—is a gentle cleaning abrasive. The product arrives in about a week, shipped from New Castle, Pennsylvania.
This genuinely unique cinnamon toothpaste uses small cubes, packed 80 to a zero-waste tin. The product is natural and organic, contains pure coconut oil, calcium carbonate, ground cinnamon, baking soda, bentonite, white kaolin clays, soapberry nut powder, and xylitol. It is free of fluoride, triclosan, sodium lauryl sulfate, artificial flavors and coloring, abrasives, glycerin, and titanium dioxide.
Scent Cerae also offers four other natural flavors of tooth nibs: charcoal white, pina colada, matcha mint, mint chocolate chip, and fresh strawberry. Oral care never tasted this good before. The manufacturer’s starter set also includes an adult-size bamboo toothbrush. They also offer a gift set with two 80 count nibs and two toothbrushes. The product is used by chewing a nib with a small amount of water, brushing without swallowing, then rinsing thoroughly.
Of course, grown-ups aren’t the only ones with teeth. The teeth of children have specific needs that vary by the age of the child. As such. BALM considers this by offering different formulations for children in four age groups: through 24 months, 2-4 years, 5-7 years, 8-12 years. This zero-waste toothpaste comes in a two-ounce plastic-free, recyclable glass jar. If you’re buying for children. it’s also particularly important to know that toothpaste is free of fluoride, gluten, sugar, and glycerin. Ingredients include calcium carbonate, non-GMO xylitol, distilled water, non-GMO xanthan gum, vitamin E, and orange or peppermint oil. To use, dip a toothbrush into the mixture and apply to the teeth. Further, while parents will want their children to rinse, the toothpaste is harmless if swallowed.
This product is another of those that is always at the top of the list of zero-waste toothpaste brands. Unlike other products we’ve listed, this zero waste option comes in a metal tube. David's include a rolling key designed to squeeze every bit of product out of this 5.25-ounce container. Once you’ve emptied the toothpaste container, you can recycle it with no problem. A natural toothpaste, the product ingredients include calcium carbonate, vegetable glycerin, purified water, baking soda, birch xylitol, hydrated silica, sodium cocoyl glutamate, seaweed carrageenan, peppermint oil, spearmint oil, anise seed extract, wintergreen leaf oil, and stevia. In addition to cleansing teeth for zero waste oral care, David’s makes this product with whitening and antiplaque qualities. Further, it is EWG certified and uses 98% US origin ingredients. The product is also intentionally child friendly.
BE Zero makes this zero waste tooth powder flavored with peppermint charcoal intended to detox, remineralize teeth, and brighten teeth. Developed by a dental hygienist, they recommend the product for weekly use to avoid over detoxification of the oral flora. The product comes in a two-ounce zero-waste glass jar with a metal lid. To turn the powder into a paste, you can add coconut oil. In addition to being zero-waste, the jar is recyclable. Further, BE Zero send each glass jar wrapped with eco-friendly, biodegradable paper and ink. Also, the inner packaging is also an eco-friendly natural bubble wrap from EcoEnclose.
This charcoal peppermint toothpaste/mouth powder is one of several products offered by the Be Zero Shop. The product is shipped free with orders of $35 or more. It arrives in about one to two weeks after being ordered from Vicksburg, Michigan.
Lastly, our final zero-waste product is a unique paper packed packet of 195 tablets of a toothpaste alternative. Spearmint flavored, these tooth bite tablets are formulated after 100s of attempts so as to find the right balance of ingredients. Ingredients include xylitol, dicalcium phosphate, natural spearmint flavor, natural spearmint leaf, sodium bicarbonate, menthol, silicon dioxide, and sodium C1416 Olefin Sulfonate. The zero-waste tablets are also minimalist in their design and intention. As such, you can carry them anywhere that toothbrushing and breath cleansing is required. Instructions are to place a tablet in your mouth and chew, brush with a wet toothbrush. They recommend twice-daily use for adults and children down to two years of age. Sent from Edmonton, Canada, the product ships free to the US within 3-5 days of ordering.
The fantastic variety of presentations, ingredients, applications, and uses for these zero waste toothpaste, tooth powders, and tooth bites is impressive. This shows that not only is there plenty of room for innovation and natural ingredients but also that we can brush zero-waste. The creativity expressed by the creators of these oral care products calls into question the intent of major toothpaste manufacturers in the US. And in particular, shows that we don’t need more plastic in our bathroom routines. Much of which will end up in landfill or worse, our oceans.
Perhaps it will be the case that widespread use by all the family of these new, zero-waste, plastic-free, natural, and organic toothpaste products may prompt commercial toothpaste manufacturers to reexamine their production processes and materials.
In the meantime, the inexpensive, alluring quality of these 14 products may entice you to give each one of them a try. Your palate may enjoy such an endeavor as much as your teeth, and your dentist certainly will not mind.