Standard toothpaste tubes generate a lot of waste, since they are not recyclable in most jurisdictions. On the other hand, all the fluoride toothpastes on the market come in plastic tubes, and I’m not about to give up fluoride, as its positive effect on dental health has been long studied and documented. The alternative I prefer to pursue is to use my fluoride toothpaste twice a day (morning and evening), and a less wasteful toothpaste during the remainder of the day (I brush my teeth after every meal). I tried the DIY route, but was concerned about the high concentration of baking soda, which I find too abrasive for my gums and teeth. Further, buying three or more products to make one is hardly what I call efficient, and generates its own level of waste.
I like Lush’s Toothy Tabs for travelling purposes, since they don’t count towards liquids in your carry on. Unfortunately, the tabs come in a plastic container; they used to come in a cardboard box, but Lush found that the tabs would become mushy after a while.
I have just purchased Davids toothpaste, which comes in an aluminium container. You can cut the container in half and clean it out before putting it in the recycling bin; I would much rather recycle aluminium than plastic. The toothpaste comes with a key to help you roll up the tube from the bottom. This toothpaste doesn’t have fluoride, so it’s my “in-beween” toothpaste. The toothpaste cleans well, and the tube is a large size. My only concern is the inability to buy future tubes without the key. I think it would make more sense for the company to sell the key separately to eliminate the need to buy one with every new tube, as this generates waste. The key is made of aluminium as well, so it can be recycled, but reducing the need to recycle would be much better.