I am very excited about this article because I have been dying to tell you about my new toothbrush for weeks. When I started to rethink my daily life to see where I could make changes, I started by wanting to rethink my bathroom routine. To start with, there are far too many single-use items in the bathroom. Toothbrushes and toothpaste tubes are great examples of items made from too many different materials to be recyclable, which should be discarded after a few months of use.
My research has shown that an estimated 4.7 billion toothbrushes are created and thrown away each year. These last will take from 100 to 1000 years to deteriorate thereafter. In fact, we don’t really know how long it will take to degrade, because we have never seen it degrade. The history of plastic in humanity is barely 100 years old. The first plastic material was created in 1870 by the Hyatt brothers in the United States. The first discoveries of plastics and petrochemicals took place during the first half of the 19th century. The Second World War helped to propel research on this versatile and light material, so it was not until the 1950s that mass consumption and the diversification of plastic began. This is where various plastic items such as toys, housewares, packaging and… plastic toothbrushes came to the market. So the first modern plastic objects are barely 65 years old. It hasn’t been 100 years yet, which basically means that all of the plastic humanity has ever created still exists somewhere. Disturbing.