Plastic waste and carbon emissions are significant environmental concerns associated with various dental care products and practices. Here’s some information about their impact:
- Plastic Waste in Dental Care Products:
a. Toothbrushes: Traditional toothbrushes are typically made of plastic handles and nylon bristles. These plastic toothbrushes contribute to the growing plastic waste problem, as they are not easily biodegradable or recyclable. There are eco friendly alternatives, such as our Sonic Wave Bamboo Electric toothbrush and our manual charcoal bamboo toothbrushes.
b. Packaging: Dental care products like toothpaste, mouthwash, and floss often come in plastic packaging, which adds to the overall plastic waste generated. Most of our products are packaged in zero waste, cardboard packaging with our toothpaste tube being made of sugarcane, a carbon neutral, recyclable material.
c. Single-Use Items: Disposable dental items like floss picks, interdental brushes, and single-use plastic cups in dental practices also contribute to plastic waste. Our floss is made of a charcoal fibre material, we also offer refills and our interdentals are reusable for up to two weeks and are made up of 90% FSC certified bamboo which can be composted after used.
- Carbon Emissions in Dental Care Products:
a. Production: The production process of dental care products, including toothbrushes, toothpaste, and mouthwash, involves energy-intensive manufacturing techniques. These processes often rely on fossil fuels, leading to carbon emissions.
At Organically Epic we manufacture in small batches, are certified organic, cruelty free and vegan. We make sure our manufacturers pay a living wage and are safe spaces for their staff. We are also a carbon responsible company, so much is made of sustainability, however, that is a catch all term that is often used to greenwash companies misdemeanors. We use the term as well because it is mostly understood by the general public, however, we responsibly source our ingredients and materials to make sure we are as sustainable as we can be whilst also providing products that address real dental concerns.
We are part of Ecologi where we plant trees to offset any emissions we contribute to, whilst this is not the end goal, it’s more of a plaster on an ever increasing problem, we do this to support climate positive initiatives around the world whilst we also lower our carbon output and waste in our offices and manufacturing facilities.
b. Transportation: Dental care products are often manufactured in one location and transported globally, resulting in additional carbon emissions from transportation. Reducing transportation distances or opting for locally sourced products can help mitigate this impact.
In an ideal world all our products would be manufactured in the UK, however, this is not possible with the brunt of our product offerings as bamboo and other materials are made in abudance, responsibly and with acreditation in China. Due to this distance for shipping we make sure that we only order a few times per year, in larger batches than we need in order to keep carbon to a minimum and via train where possible as well.
c. Energy Use: Dental practices consume energy for heating, cooling, lighting, and operating dental equipment. Adopting energy-efficient practices and utilising renewable energy sources can help reduce carbon emissions.
Reducing Plastic Waste and Carbon Emissions: Dental care professionals and consumers can take several steps to minimize plastic waste and carbon emissions:
- Choose eco-friendly products like ours: Opt for toothbrushes with sustainable materials, such as bamboo, and select dental care items with minimal packaging or eco-friendly packaging materials.
- Use reusable alternatives: Switch to traditional floss instead of floss picks, and consider reusable interdental brushes or other sustainable alternatives.
- Recycle: Properly recycle plastic dental care products whenever possible. Check local recycling guidelines to ensure correct disposal.
- Support eco-conscious brands like Organically Epic: Choose dental care products from companies committed to sustainable practices, such as using recycled materials or supporting environmental initiatives.
- Conserve energy: Dental practices can adopt energy-efficient measures like using LED lighting, optimising equipment usage, and considering renewable energy sources like solar panels.
- Raise awareness: Educate patients and dental professionals about the environmental impact of dental care products and practices, encouraging sustainable choices.
By adopting these measures, dental care can become more environmentally friendly, reducing plastic waste and carbon emissions in the process.