The whole idea of zero waste makes us smile, so we thought we’d take a moment to talk zero waste paste/soap/tablets.
As you’re likely to be well aware, the goal of zero waste is to send no trash to landfills or incinerators, and instead minimize toxic impact on the planet by relying on biodegradable, compostable, or reusable products.
Each year, 1 billion plastic toothpaste tubes end up in landfills, taking a very very long time to biodegrade and causing all sorts of pollution. You can go tube-free by making your own DIY style or, if you’re short on time, trying some sustainable toothpaste options on the market.
If this is your first time visiting, our approach to sustainable beauty is to look for brands and products that are:
- organic / natural
- palm oil free
- have ethical ingredient sourcing policies and
- use thoughtful, (ideally) zero-waste packaging (meaning it either has no waste at all, or waste that is compostable or reusable).
Also, if you’re not sure why palm oil free is a big deal for us, have a read of our latest article on the subject here.
Ah the great debate about toothpaste… are natural options good or bad for you ultimately? Should your toothpaste contain fluoride or not?
The answer is deeply personal based on your teeth, your health and your background. Our friends at Resuable Nation wrote an excellent article which covers each of these points and the benefits (or lack thereof) of each of the ingredients typically found in all-natural toothpastes /powders / soap.
We’d recommend reading their article first before tackling this list below and decide on what is right for you.
Also, never a bad idea to discuss this with your dentist. Our dentist, for example, recently told us both (in no uncertain terms), that it’s time to get more fluoride onto our teeth… so for us the options are a little more limited… for you it may be very different!
Dirty Hippie offers a “a fresh alternative to toothpaste”, with their range of toothpowders. Currently there are 3 flavours: Peppermint, Peppermint Rose and Cinnamon Bun – all of which are free of fluoride, SLS/SLEs, Parabens, Chemicals/fillers, flavouring or preservatives.
Instead these tooth powders are made from detoxifying clays, whitening bicarbonate soda, remineralising calcium carbonate, Western Australian salt and Stevia powder.
Their toothpowders are cruelty-free and vegan and come initially in a nice looking glass jar, following which you can buy refills, sent in 100% post-consumer recycled paper envelopes.
These guys are definitely tops when it comes to zero waste goals!
About Dirty Hippie:
Hailing from Bywong, Australia, Dirty Hippie Cosmetics are one of the most sustainable brands we’ve had the pleasure of covering. They create handmade, organic and clearly top quality products (based on hundreds of super reviews).
They’re a 100% cruelty-free, palm oil free and vegan friendly brand.
When it comes to sourcing they’ve covered all bases, either purchasing through fair trade channels, buying local or growing their own raw ingredients!
As for packaging, they haven’t skipped a beat, their lip balms, sunscreens, deodorants and small and large eco tubs are made using recycled paper (which can be composted!), otherwise they use tins and glass bottles which can be recycled or reused of course!
Their labels are printed with refillable veg-ink and their operations (which currently have a 50% carbon offset) will be powered with solar when they move into their new HQ.
They’re based in a zero waste community (read more about it here).Their lab also makes use of naturally collected rain water!
Finally, they’re involved in a number of charitable initiatives and projects from raising awareness for suicide prevention to animal rescue to support for cancer sufferers. Truly inspirational!
Georganic toothpaste uses calcium carbonate and sodium bicarbonate bases, which are said to be rich in enamel-strengthening minerals that reduce tooth sensitivity.
The product contains no fluoride, SLS, or glycerin on the ingredient list.
All pastes come in reusable glass jars with a bamboo spatula for application and are shipped in compostable craft paper boxes with biodegradable vegetable ink labeling.
Choose between ginger, red mandarin, tea tree, English peppermint, spearmint, and pure flavors. You can also buy sets of toothpaste and complimentary oil-pulling mouthwash…. And compostable floss (which we love).
While we’re at it here’s another brand who makes zero waste floss for those in the US who want something a little closer to home. We haven’t tried yet but it does has amazing reviews.
U.K. based, Georganics specializes in vegan, organic, zero waste dental care.
They make not only toothpastes, but oil pulling mouthwashes, bamboo floss, dental supplement vitamins, and super handy mouthwash tabs, which are GREAT on the go.
All products come in biodegradable or reusable packaging and are made to order, so they’re not sitting on the shelf for months before you get them.
If you’re in the UK, you can also return any Georganics products and components at not cost as part of their “Zero To Landfill scheme”.
Georganics tooth soap contain Sodium Palm Kernelate, “derived from sustainable and organic RSPO kernel oil” (i.e. palm oil) so if you’re anti-palm oil, stick to the “toothpaste”.
Their products are all cruelty free and vegan (except, strictly speaking, for their silk floss which is “obtained only once the worms have hatched and cocoons are vacant. Made in a way that is more humane to silkworms than many traditional methods”. This is also compostable). Their products are manufactured in England and most of their ingredients are sourced locally. They also support The Ocean Cleanup.
The Dirt’s toothbrushing powders, available in delicious sweet spice orange or super mint are completely vegan and paleo, and don’t contain fluoride, glycerin, or GMO-derived Xylitol. They come in glass mini mason jars that are so cute you’ll definitely want to reuse them in your zero-waste household.
They use benzonite clay powders, ranking only a 1 or 2 on the Moh’s scale of harshness. Note that their toothpastes contain beeswax so if you are vegan/plant-based, be sure to go for the toothpowders… the toothpastes also come in a plastic tube, another reason to stick with the powders!
About The Dirt
The Dirt, a locally produced company based in Los Angeles, focuses on “super natural personal care” and started because founder Shannon Drake was dissatisfied with the green-washing of supposedly “natural” products. Green-washing is another way of making something look natural but it’s actually not.
The Dirt aims to make only products we could also eat, so they’re free of soy, corn, or gluten. The Dirt’s products are all cruelty-free, many are vegan and The Dirt uses organic ingredients wherever possible. We can’t find any palm oil derivatives in their ingredients list and all their products are USA made.
Weldental Chewtabs are made using the following natural ingredients: non-GMO xylitol from Europe, natural extracts for flavors (like peppermint), quillaja saponaria extract (used as the safest foaming agent), calcium phosphate (for remineralizing your teeth), calcium stearate (for stabilizing the tooth tabs) and stevia.
The toothtabs come in little mini glass jars and you can buy refills in compostable bags to ensure you get a plastic free toothpaste solution.
All their zero waste toothpaste options are cruelty free and vegan friendly.
Weldental is a specialist dental brand based in Palm Desert, California.
Besides toothpaste tablets, they manufacture some pretty innovative products like the Water Flosser Sets or Waterpiks (note these examples are from an alternative brand) if you really want to get on top of your dental health.
This is also a good way to avoid filling the landfill with miles and miles of disposable plastic floss. The kicker is a hard consumable like this should last you a very very long time to make it environmentally worth it!
All their products are cruelty-free and vegan friendly. We can’t find any palm oil or palm oil derivatives in any of their ingredients lists.
They also use biodegradable ‘peanuts’ made from cornstarch in their packaging to reduce waste as much as possible. We would like to see all their products come in zero waste containers though.
These handmade powders contain only 7 simple, all-natural ingredients free from palm oil, sulpahtes, parabens, preservatives, and artificial fragrances.
Every product is PETA certified vegan and cruelty-free. Plus, they come in adorable 30% post-consumer recycled glass jars with 100% recycled corked lids.
About Bestowed Essentials:
Bestowed Essentials makes lots of natural, affordable, zero waste personal care products, from bath soaks to skin toners, under the philosophy that #treatyoself shouldn’t break the bank. Creator Callee lives and operates in a Dodge Ram Promaster converted van, so all products are not only plastic free (shipping methods, too!) but crafted using 100% solar energy!
They have also partnered with the Ocean Blue Project to pick up + recycle one pound of beach trash for every order placed on their website in 2019.
Learn more about her awesome story at her blog.
Butter Me Up Organics makes 2 pastes (whitening and organic activated charcoal) and 1 remineralizing powder.
The ingredients, like baking soda, sea salt, coconut oil and essential oils, are designed to promote overall mouth health and are completely organic, non-GMO, cruelty-free, and fluoride-free.
While Butter Me Up Organics’ toothpaste is vegan, they also stock a handful of non-vegan products. Oh, and they’re all made with love! One small 2 oz. glass jar is designed to last 3 months!
About Butter Me Up Organics:
Jillian started Butter Me Up Organics in 2008 after looking at a $25 tin of organic body butter and thinking to herself, “I can make this.” She spent 3 years perfecting recipes, ingredients, and sources until she found the perfect therapeutic and sustainable products, all of which she still makes by hand then packages in glass, tin, or paper.
She follows a zero waste approach, using glass containers with a recyclable lid, recycled paper, upcycled packing materials, and soy inks. She even writes her thank you cards on wildflower seed paper.
All ingredients used are 100% cruelty free and free of synthetics and palm oil. Most of Butter Me Up Organics’ products are vegan except for their salves, moisturizers, lotion/balms, organic milk soaks and a goats milk bath bomb.
Jill also sets aside an annual amount for charitable donations which goes to various charities and causes (like the Californian wildfires, Leukemia and Animal charities).
Practical and easy dental care is the idea with fluoride-free Toothy Tabs. These would be great for travel and on-the-go environmentalists, and because they’re solid tabs, the packaging is totally naked and compostable. They also make mouthwash tabs and tooth powder, but toothy tabs are out favorite in terms of zero waste.
Plus all Toothy Tabs range from 43-96 (low to medium abrasivity) on the Relative Dentin Abrasivity scale (which compares level of stain removal against potential dentin damage from repeated polishing), far lower than conventional toothpastes. PS: Their Limelight Tabs taste like sherbet and fizzes on the tongue. Nice.
Lush is a very well known sustainable beauty brand.
They offer a variety of fresh, handmade personal care product and cosmetics, including perfumes, deodorants, soaps, make-up, sunscreens, even Henna hair dyes.
All products are vegetarian (and many are vegan), cruelty-free and they only purchase ingredients from suppliers who are also cruelty-free and do not participate in animal testing.
Unfortunately, Lush products are not palm oil free (read more here) or entirely natural, as many of them do contain the sulfate SLS (read more here). For us, the palm oil thing is a deal breaker and we choose not to use Lush for this reason.
Having said that, Lush does seem to be putting in a tremendous amount of effort to do the right thing and we appreciate their transparency. If you’re considering using Lush, do read up on them and make your own decision based on your ethical priorities.
On the packaging front: for creams, bottles, lipstick tubes, and the like, Lush uses a simple black plastic pot, a simple, no-frills packaging that “ensures customers pay for the ingredients inside their product, not the distractions on the outside”.
These Lush black pots can supposedly “have more lives than a cat”, made from BPA-free mixed polypropylene (PP) that can be reused again and again. Because PP plastics are harder to recycle, Lush will do it for you at an in-house recycling center where old pots are chipped, washed, melted, and remolded before refill.
As a thanks for returning your pots and reducing plastic waste, they’ll send you a free face mask.
Gift boxes and tags are made of entirely recycled cocoon paper and cardboard that can later be composted, and delicate items that require some padding are wrapped in biodegradable cellulose that can actually be composted!
They also provide clear guidelines on how to recycle all their products.
“These toothpaste tabs are a plastic free toothpaste alternative which contains fluoride.
Pop a tab in your mouth, use a bit of water or saliva (don’t just crunch them with a dry mouth) and bam! Toothpaste!
Nice and succinct and these are extremely helpful while travelling (especially getting through the TSA)!
The toothpaste tabs are also cruelty-free and vegan although they are likely to have palm oil in them as they contain Sodium Lauroyl Glutamate, a palm oil derivative.
About Eco Easy:
Eco Easy is a New Zealand based brand set out to create zero waste products for the home and bathroom.
Their products are all cruelty free and vegan (except for one non-vegan product – their goat milk soap which they are in the process of phasing out).
Their packaging is plastic free including paper tape, cardboard boxes and shredded paper from the office. Even their address labels are plastic-free as they don’t have adhesive backings.
Eco-Easy is in the process of bringing their tooth tabs manufacture in-house which will give them more control over their sources and their goal is to move to using sustainable palm oil.
Available: Eco Easy (currently shipping only to NZ but global shipping is coming soon)
Much like the other dental tablets on this list, these work by popping them in your mouth and combining with saliva which turns them into a toothpaste.
These tabs are cruelty-free and vegan and they are free of preservatives, germ-inhibiting substances, binders and contain neither aluminum nor nanoparticles.
You wouldn’t be able to say they are entirely natural though, with fluoride and other ingredients and sadly, they are not palm oil free as they also contain Sodium Lauroyl Glutamate, a palm oil derivative.
Denttabs is a German company, founded by doctors who are very much focused on reducing the resource impact of their products (water used, packaging etc.).
Their products are all vegan and cruelty-free but do contain some less harsh chemicals and palm oil. On the flip side, their tabs are available in large quantities so if zero waste is your thing and you need fluoride, these tabs are a good option.
If you have the time and motivation, try your hand at making some yourself! It’s fast, easy, and super satisfying, not to mention the more pure form of zero waste you can get.
- Baking soda
- Essential oils
- Sweet spices
- Charcoal powder
- Bentonite clay
The DIY version typically involves gently melt the coconut oil and mix your ingredients together, adjusting amounts slightly to get the texture and consistency you want. That’s it! It gets a little more complicated (but not much!) if you’re making powder instead of paste.
To learn more about the different recipes, check out some of our favorite fellow sustainable living bloggers:
- Trash is for Tossers “Lauren’s Zero Waste Homemade Toothpaste Recipe”
- Live for Less “Make Your Own Zero Waste Toothpaste”
- Going Zero Waste “Dentist Approved Toothpowder = Brush With Bamboo”
- The Zero Waste Collective “Zero Waste Bathroom DIY: How to make your own Toothpaste, Mouthwash and Deodorant”
Whether you’re buying zero waste or diving in D.I.Y., zero waste toothpaste is good for the planet! So show off those healthy pearly whites knowing one less tube of plastic will sit in a landfill because of you. We definitely think that’s something to smile about.
Eco friendly toothpaste hasn’t always been this easy to find. In fact, for a long time there were no sustainable options around. While other products, like those in the beauty space were readily available.
Thankfully, you can now find tooth tabs, toothpowder and paste with a quick search. The trick is trying to find options that are not only good for you but good for the environment. With that said, we hope you’ve found a few great products in this list to try.
As always, leave a comment or send us a message if you’ve got any qs or other product suggestions’!