Shipping ecofriendly packaging NZ to US still ecofriendly?
April 13, 2020 12:05 AM   Subscribe

These fluoridated toothpaste tabs are packed in recyclable aluminum cans, but must be shipped from New Zealand to me in the USA. Is international post efficient at a per-item level or is this wildy inefficient compared to throwing away regular toothpaste tubes?
posted by derbyshire to Grab Bag (7 answers total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
I can't help you on specifics but if it's by international post, then it's going in airplanes and there's no real way to make that better than local, especially if you buy with any recyclable parts. Sea shipping is supposed to be way more environmentally friendly so if you got a big carton sent by sea mail (it will take at least a month), that might equalise the scale. All the toothpaste in your stores locally is already sea-shipped in from wherever it's manufactured overseas unless you can find toothpaste made in your own country.

You actually might try talking to someone at Lush. IIRC they make their products including their weird toothpaste stuff as local to the shops as possible.
posted by dorothyisunderwood at 3:18 AM on April 13, 2020

What is the problem you're trying to solve? As written, it sounds like you're trying to avoid throwing away toothpaste tubes, which is a very small environmental impact compared to shipping something internationally in small units.
posted by Candleman at 5:57 AM on April 13, 2020 [1 favorite]

There are tooth powders available in the US in recyclable glass jars if you're just trying to avoid the plastic? You can also make your own tooth powder or toothpaste if that interests you.
posted by jabes at 6:07 AM on April 13, 2020 [1 favorite]

There are a variety of toothpaste tablets available in the US (like this). For what it's worth, Colgate also recently released the first recyclable plastic toothpaste tube.
posted by pinochiette at 7:02 AM on April 13, 2020 [3 favorites]

Best answer: I know what problem you're trying to solve! ;)

This is my solution for now (I can buy it at an international grocery near my house)

Denttabs are a little more available than some of the other brands, and Bite is "actively pursuing a fluoride line" at this time. So it might just be a matter of waiting.

You can also buy a huge dentist sized bottle of fluoride gel and use that once a week and use a non fluoridated powder the rest of the time!
posted by euphoria066 at 4:52 PM on April 13, 2020 [1 favorite]

oh, missed my edit window, but terracycle also has a program to recycle colgate tubes, if you want to stick with toothpaste! info
posted by euphoria066 at 5:00 PM on April 13, 2020

Response by poster: @euphoria066 guessed the problem I was trying to solve (low-to-no-waste fluoridated toothpaste). I'll call around my local Indian markets for the imported colgate powder. Thanks! I hope the 1-star reviews are just the usual amazon cranks.

I remember reading bite was actively pursuing fluoride a while ago. I get the impression there's something difficult about it because so many denttabs exist, yet none are fluoridated.
posted by derbyshire at 6:59 PM on April 14, 2020

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