- Mostly common chemical ingredients
- Readily biodegradable sweeteners
- Minimised packaging
- Tube not easily recyclable
- Contains sodium lauroyl sarcosinate
- Exact flavouring chemicals unclear
Grants of Australia is a natural oral care company. The company was started in the 1980s when an Australian couple were not satisfied with existing toothpaste options and decided to make their own.
Most of the ingredients in their Mild Mint Toothpaste are chemically simple and common. This is positive because it means that the chemicals are more likely to be similar to those that are naturally present in the receiving environment, minimising ecosystem disruption. They should have minimal aquatic toxicity concerns and the chemicals that can be degraded should be readily biodegradable.
Most toothpastes contain silica, and this one is no exception. Silica is commonly obtained from sand, which is mined. Sand mines can cause erosion and habitat degradation, and are often unregulated. It would be good to have more information on where the silica in this product comes from, but companies very rarely provide (or even have) this information.
One of the ingredients in this product is sodium lauroyl sarcosinate. This chemical is toxic to some types of aquatic life. However, the risk posed by the chemical is lowered because it is readily biodegradable. This means a large amount should break down during wastewater treatment, before it is released to the environment.
The taste of the toothpaste comes from two sweeteners and a mixture of herbal extracts. Some sweeteners are becoming a significant pollution problem, so it is good that the sweeteners in this product are readily biodegradable. The sources of the extracts are listed on the packaging, which is great transparency. However, because extracts are a mixture of chemicals, and there are ten different extracts, it is difficult to know exactly what chemicals are in the product – and what their potential impacts are. That said, because they are natural extracts, they are less likely to be chemicals of highest concern.
The packaging for this product has some good aspects, but could be better. The outer cardboard carton is recyclable. Because the box is sealed, the company has also gone without a foil seal on the tube. But toothpaste tubes are notorious for being unable to be easily recycled, and unfortunately there are currently few alternatives. The tube can be sent to Terracycle for recycling in a number of countries, but something that could be popped in kerbside recycling would be best.
But does it work?
Considering how well a product works is a big factor in determining whether a product is a good one or not. A product that does not work is a waste.
Image credit: @grantsofaustralia