Smyle, sustainable brand of the month November

Lizet Wesselman - 01/11/2022

Smyle, sustainable brand of the month November

Lizet Wesselman - 01/11/2022

Have you ever been told not to swallow your toothpaste after brushing? Strange really, that none of us have ever questioned why that would be so serious and whether there isn’t a better alternative to be found. Because in the end, toothpaste isn’t healthy at all. It’s full of chemicals and microplastics that don’t belong in our bodies. Yet we bravely brush our teeth with this stuff every day, without wondering about the effects of the small amount we ingest. And what about the leftovers you flush down the sink? Most things that are bad for people aren’t exactly good for the environment either. And that certainly applies to toothpaste too. Fortunately, there are alternatives!

Why is toothpaste damaging to the planet?

The most harmful thing about toothpaste is the plastic. The tubes are made of a rigid plastic material that even contains a piece of aluminium foil. This makes them near impossible to recycle, so they end up in the plastic waste pile everywhere. But that’s not the only thing. Like many other cosmetics, most toothpaste is full of microplastics. These are mini pieces of plastic, which aren’t visible with the naked eye, but are very harmful to the environment as well as to people. They also end up in our own food because they can’t be removed with water filtration. You think you’re cleaning your lettuce by washing it, but instead you get a free load of microplastic for free. On top of the plastic that the farmer has already sprayed on the crops.

Those microplastics have now been found in people’s blood and breast milk. Obviously, that’s not where they belong, and so they can cause problems in the long haul. As a side effect, bacteria can easily adhere to plastic, which can spread all kinds of diseases. Now, most bacteria won’t make you sick right away. But since all our water is full of microplastics, it could also be a virus from another country, to which we aren’t all that resistant. A bit like when you drink water in a country in Asia, you might regret that decision later on.

Marine life also suffers from microplastics. Fish ingest this and can’t digest it. So, their stomachs slowly fill up, until the die of hunger because no real food will fit into their stomach.

What do they make?

Smyle makes tiny toothpaste tablets. An alternative to the paste that is full of ingredients to keep it liquid, make it foamy, taste nice and so on. These tablets are made entirely of natural ingredients. Good for you, and good for the environment.

You bite the tablets and then, using a wet toothbrush, you brush the grit over your teeth. May sound a bit strange and I must admit that the first few times are really weird. But my teeth did feel clean immediately after use.

The tablets are available with and without fluoride. I recommend you to order the tablets with fluoride, as more research has been done on them. The structure of the tablets causes a slight abrasion of the teeth. Basically, the same thing the microplastics in gels do. Fluoride helps restore the enamel layer on your teeth, after this abrasion.

Besides the tablets, they also sell bamboo toothbrushes, plastic-free floss and handy storage boxes at Smyle. Both a glass bottle for at home, and a handy tin for travelling.

Which sustainable aspects are implemented?

Smyle is particularly tackling plastic and has developed a completely plastic-free product. This means that:

  • The packaging is plastic-free – the bags of the refills are made of paper that can be recycled
  • The tablets itself are free of microplastics
  • The additional products, such as floss and toothbrushes, are plastic-free
  • The storage products are plastic-free – you can store the tablets in a glass bottle or a metal travel tin

They’re also taking steps to make the delivery of their product CO2 neutral. The packages are all delivered as letterbox packages, which does count on those packages to be delivered by bike instead of in a van, which is always the case with bigger packages. In The Netherlands this is most likely the case, but for international shippings it might not be so environmentally friendly. They don’t mention any specifics on this. However, they have joined initiatives whereby emissions from delivery are compensated. These initiatives are handled by 3rd parties though, so again, we have to count on other companies to actually do their duty.

Furthermore, they are taking precautions by banning chemical ingredients from the products. Not all of these ingredients have been proven to be harmful, but at Smyle they think it’s important to use only natural ingredients, so you’re just sure it’s allright. For example, it does’t contain SLS, the well-known foam maker, which is still under debate as to whether it is harmful or not. But at Smyle they choose to not risk it and leave it out, as it’s not a necessary ingredient anyway.

Ethical aspects

Smyle tries to contribute to society in various ways. For example, some of the work is carried out by employees who can’t find work elsewhere. For example, people with disabilities, people on sickness benefits or refugees looking for their first job. Furthermore, Smyle packages are regularly delivered to instances like the food bank. Because we often give food, but forget about the need for hygiene products. This way, people at the food bank get a free supply of toothpaste.

About the production itself, nothing is known. So it is unknown whether the product is made in the Netherlands under good conditions, or whether it is outsourced to countries we know are not so clean.

Is it vegan?

Yes, no animal ingredients are used in the production of the tablets. They hold a PETA certificate as proof that no animal testing is carried out.

How does it work and what’s the general verdict?

Let me start with a proper explanation of how it works. You bite the tablets between your teeth. Then you wet your toothbrush and start brushing. If you don’t wet your toothbrush, it becomes very difficult to brush because the tablets disintegrate into dry powder. Then you just brush as you always do.

I must say that I personally do find that they are quite small and I feel that if I bite the tablet to pieces on one side, it’s like I’m brushing half of my teeth without any toothpaste. So what I do is bite the tablet in half and then break a half on both sides. It really takes some getting used to, because it’s so different from normal toothpaste. It also really doesn’t foam, so sometimes it feels like you’re brushing with nothing. But afterwards, your teeth do feel clean, so it obviously works.

I’m happy with it, though, and I just think it’s important to banish plastic from my products as much as possible. Plus, it saves on liquids in my hand luggage, so for travelling it’s definitely a good alternative!

30% discount with the code "Lizet30"

As long as this message is up, you’ll be able to use this discount code. So even your refills will be very cheap!

Where do they deliver?

They ship all over Europe. Shipping generally takes 5-15 days in countries outside of The Netherlands. For the UK you might be charged with additional customs taxes.