Over the past decade, environmental sustainability has been a major concern worldwide. For the sake of climate change and the overall well-being of the planet, it is time to re-evaluate our plastic usage. Many companies can improve their business models to accommodate sustainability, including recycling companies themselves. However, one, often overlooked, an industry that does significant damage to landfills and oceans is the toothpaste industry. While plastic is recyclable, the aluminum on the inside of toothpaste tubes prevents this from happening. Every year, one billion tubes get discarded globally. Of course, oral health and personal hygiene remain important despite these facts. The question is, is there any alternative? A sustainable start-up company might have the answer.

Bite Toothpaste Bits, founded by Lindsey McCormick, was founded with the intention to cut back plastic waste. This cutting-edge type of toothpaste comes in the form of a chewable tablet. While working the same as toothpaste packaged in a plastic tube, Bite Toothpaste Bits come in refillable glass. According to their company website, the one billion tubes thrown out each year is equivalent to fifty Empire State Buildings full of toothpaste tubes. The company takes sustainability a step further; the tablets are vegan, cruelty-free, and gluten-free. While aiming to cut down on plastic waste, McCormick also wanted to cut down on the amount of animal testing done annually. It is also noteworthy that these tablets are vegan. Most toothpastes cannot be certified as so due to the animal byproduct in most toothpastes, glycerin.

This company founded in 2018 has already made quite an impact. They had 50,000 subscribers after their initial launch. McCormick went onto the ABC entrepreneur-reality show, Shark Tank, where she declined billionaire businessman Mark Cuban’s six-figure offer to help fund the company. McCormick proposed a 5% stake to the Sharks — Cuban wanted 15%. Ultimately, McCormick desired more ownership and control over her company. Additionally, toothpaste industry giants seem to be taking note of the need for sustainability in the industry. Colgate has made advancements to make their products more sustainable as a response. In fact, they claim most of their products will be vegan in the next five years.

Will we see a change in the way other big companies tackle environmental sustainability with startup companies in their industry taking the lead? Only time will tell. However, Bite Toothpaste Bits definitely has taken initiative within the toothpaste industry.

What are your thoughts on environmentally conscious toothpaste brands like Bite Toothpaste Bits? Let us know down in the comments.

This article originally published on GREY Journal.