• Bertha & Ching Ching

Bamboo Toothbrush


Bamboo toothbrush is another easy switch I committed to about a year ago. In my years of existence, I had already thrown away 100 plastic toothbrushes... And knowing that those toothbrushes never really go ‘away’, I couldn’t bear throwing away another one.


We call them ‘bamboo toothbrushes’ but they are not entirely made of bamboo. Often, they consist of a bamboo handle and nylon bristles. Bamboo is a great substitute for plastic because it is a remarkably fast growing plant that is rain-fed and doesn’t require fertilisers or pesticide to grow in the wild. Once you harvest a bamboo stalk, another one of the same size will take its place in a couple years’ time. The bamboo handle doesn’t require extra care, simply leave it out to air dry (and avoid placing them in enclosed toothbrush cups).

膠牙刷被丟棄後並不會自動消失,只是很多時候我們眼不見就不多加理會。我大概一年前轉用竹牙刷,過程十分容易,你只需要開始購買竹牙刷和停止購買膠牙刷。


所謂的“竹牙刷”,其實並非完全由竹製成,它們一般是由竹柄和尼龍刷毛組成。由於竹是一種快速生長的野生植物,只需雨水灌溉,亦不需要化學肥料或殺蟲劑,所以是一個很好的塑膠替代品。兩年後,被砍伐嘅竹竿又會重新長出竹竿來。牙刷的竹柄不需要額外護理,只需避免將它放入封閉的牙刷杯中,由它自然風乾就可以。


Review:

The only compromise in my opinion is the bristles. Bamboo toothbrushes doesn’t come with a variety of bristles. I personally prefer the ultra soft and fine bristles of conventional toothbrushes but at the same time I believe I’m opting for the better - @brushwithbamboo bristles that is composed of 62% plant-based plastic and 38% petroleum-based plastic. Even though they are not entirely biodegradable, they are certified bio-based and can be recycled at (some but not all) recycling facilities. I’m hopeful that bamboo toothbrush businesses will keep developing better bristles.


Using bamboo toothbrushes is the first step; disposing them responsible is the second. To be honest I’ve yet to figure out how to dispose of my old bamboo toothbrushes. The bamboo handle is biodegradable and compostable - does anyone know any composting facility in Hong Kong? However, the plastic bristles need to be pulled out and recycled separately. The problem is that the bristles are very fine and light weight which makes recycling difficult…

Nonetheless, don’t forget that we can repurpose old toothbrushes or their bamboo handles! I recently used mine to scrub my sneakers clean! Or you can use them for children's arts & crafts projects too!

我個人比較喜歡用超幼細柔軟的刷毛,竹牙刷唯一的缺點是它沒有市面上一般膠牙刷的不同刷毛種類供消費者選擇。雖說如此,但我仍然覺得@brushwithbamboo 竹牙刷的刷毛比較好,因為它是由62%植物塑料製成,而不是完全由石油基塑料所製。儘管它們並不是完全可生物降解,但可以被回收利用。我相信未來竹牙刷企業一定會不斷改善和研究出更好的牙刷毛。

我希望竹牙刷能繼續發展更好的刷毛。 適當地棄置竹牙刷也很重要。說真的,我還沒想到該如何處置我用過的舊竹牙刷,竹柄是可以被生物降解或堆肥的,但有沒有人知道香港哪裡有堆肥設施?膠刷毛就需要分別拔出來再回收,問題是刷毛非常細又很輕,實在難以回收。大家不要忘記我們可以用舊牙刷或竹柄用作清潔球鞋等的工具,或小孩勞作的材料等。


Where to buy:

HK Delivery: awarestore.com.hk, now-nowaste.com, plasticfreehk.com, livezero.hk

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