The world consumes more than 3.6 billion plastic toothbrushes every year, with the average person using 300 in their lifetime. Unfortunately, roughly 80 per cent of these end up in the ocean, where they pose a risk to marine life and habitats.
Bamboo is a great compromise between sustainability (only the nylon bristles are not biodegradable) and dental health.
What they say
The Humble Brush is the world’s most sold bamboo toothbrush with a handle made from 100% biodegradable, sustainably-grown bamboo.
Humble Brush is a toothbrush that will clean just as well and last just as long as your regular plastic toothbrush, with the added benefit of being better for the environment. With a 100% sustainable bamboo handle, Humble Brush is the eco-friendly and socially responsible toothbrush choice, as every Humble purchase funds projects for the benefit of children in need.
What’s in the box
The packaging and box are cardboard, which are widely recycled at the kerbside so we’re off to a great start – consider that most toothbrushes come in a mixture of plastic and cardboard packaging. I went big and bought a pack of five adult brushes and one each for my two girls.
The brushes themselves come individually wrapped in a compostable packet, so this can easily be placed in your kerbside green or food waste bin or your home composter, if you are lucky enough to have the space – another tick!
As noted above the brushes come in both adult (Medium and Soft bristles) and child sizes (Super-Soft bristles) and in range of different colours (the bristles, not the handles) and pack sizes. The brush handles are made from FSC-certified bamboo. Why? Because Bamboo is the overwhelming biodegradable material-of-choice given its natural tensile strength and its ability to grow fast. Plus, as the kids were pleased to hear – it’s not taking food out of the Panda’s mouths.
Using the toothbrush
I’m not going to be dispensing brushing techniques or advice here don’t worry…
At the time of writing I’ve been using the Humble Brush for approximately three week so I will update this review after 3 months, when its had some good use and should be nearing the end of its life.
Now first thing I thought when holding and using the brush was how much it reminded me of a lolly stick, that feeling didn’t change when I stuck it in my gob. However once I’d got over this initial feeling it is amazing how comfortable and easy to control these brushes are. I’m not a small man and my only slight issue is that the handle is a little thin, particularly if you’ve got large hands like me. The kids, they loved the look and were excited to open their own packets. The youngest’s initial statement was that “It’s not electric Daddy!”, but after some use that has soon been forgotten all about that. Other than that, it being wood you need to make sure when your done its dry and stored in a dry place so that handle doesn’t become water logged and unhygienic in any way.
I’m a fan of a stiff bristle, so for me the soft nylon-6 bristles on the Humble Brush felt like they were either going to leave me felling less than clean or that I’d be flattening them within weeks. So far I’ve been proved wrong, the soft the bristles get all the places they need to without leaving you with bleeding gums – always a bonus.
All in all this is essentially a pretty standard toothbrush (standard sounds harsh, but i mean in comparison to your plastic alternative) – it just won’t come with a tongue cleaner (plastic) or grips (plastic) or a flexible head (more plastic) – but really, when you think about it sensibly, do you need that stuff?
As I’ve said above the handle is biodegradable so you can home or kerbside compost it, but what about the bristles?
Apparently all you need to do is remove the bristles, a process that takes less than 2 minutes with a decent pliers. Most kerbside recycling won’t want Nylon, and if they did, they’re so small that they’ll likely do more damage than good. Unfortunately, they are going to end up in the bin until there’s a better solution. It’s a shame, but it’s still better than a normal toothbrush. Again – in three months I will confirm this to be true.
The adult and kids brush retails at £3.99 (yes, the same price for both sizes), however the adult pack of 5 which I purchased brings the individual brush price down by a whole pound (Kaa-ching).
You can pick up a mid range plastic toothbrush from between £1 and £2 in most supermarkets and chemists. So while bamboo might be slightly more expensive, it certainly won’t break the bank – plus, every Humble purchase goes towards funding projects for the benefit of children in need, so consider the extra quid a simple donation to those in more need than you!
Overall, I genuinely love them – they’re sturdy, they’re sustainable and they’re cool and the kids agree with me too. Plus, by purchasing one you are putting money in to projects helping children in developing countries improve their oral hygiene.
Yes the handle could be a bit thicker, but it’s in no way a big deal.
It’s not perfect – there is still plastic involved in the process – but as far as my research goes, unless you want to use boar hair then this is the best its going to get for a while. This is a good toothbrush at a decent price that means you can make a difference quickly and easily – so I’d urge you to get on it and make the switch.
As a final note (a plea actaully) – don’t simply toss the old plastic tooth brushes in the bin. They have many uses even after they can no longer be used to clean teeth – cleaning tiling group or around taps, cleaning greasy bike chains and gears or for adding polish to shoes.
Comment below what you use your old toothbrushes for, I’d love to hear your ideas!!
Find out more
Find out more about Humble Brush and for stockists, click here – https://thehumble.co/
*I paid for my toothbrushes and as such this is in not way sponsored or part of a paid for advert for Humble Brush.