Sustainability Blog - by UEA staff & students Sustainability Blog - by UEA staff & students


The Humble Brush

Established in Sweden in 2013, Humble Brush is ‘a bulldog in the fight against the plastic toothbrushes’. With the world consuming more than 3.6 billion plastic toothbrushes every year, that's a lot of plastic!

For every brush bought, a brush or equivalent oral care is given to a child in need via support of the Humble Smile Foundation.

Humble Brush box range

The bamboo used is naturally grown to the desired height and is harvested in mainland China with the processing and production all done by hand. A good company for transparency, they have published this video to walk you through their process.

The Humble Brush will cost you £3.99. It is available in 5 different colours, in soft and medium for adults and very soft for children. Delivery in the UK is free (and quick). The brushes are also available in some stores.

The handle is made from 100% biodegradable bamboo (a type not eaten by pandas) and is treated with a natural wax to improve grip and the brush’s hygienic properties. To ensure the brush works as well as conventional brushes with no disadvantages, the bristles are made from nylon 6 – meaning the brush will last you as long as any plastic toothbrush.

Nylon 6 is the most bio-degradable nylon in the world and is free from BPA, a chemical used to make many plastics. Ideally suited for dentistry, it degrades over time and can be processed through regular waste channels. There is currently no plant-based alternative available that would allow you to use your brush for the recommended 3 months.

The packaging is made from recycled materials and is 100% recyclable, while the inner wrapper is made from plants and is compostable.

Humble Brushes, outside the box

Did you know?

Bamboos include some of the fastest growing plants on earth. It is also naturally antibacterial meaning there is no need to use fertilizers or pesticides during its cultivation.

Give a smile and let your next brush be humble

Available at, shipping is currently available to the UK, Sweden, Denmark and Turkey.

About the author

Scarlet Prentice is a returning fourth year Environmental Sciences student. A subscriber to our newsletter, 'Sustainable Ways', she read about the Humble Brush and was moved to purchase her own and write this article to share with friends. As Secretary for this year’s CarbonCrew Students society, she is looking forward to developing her practical project experience whilst simultaneously completing her degree and learning how to climb.