When Lindsay McCormick used to work as a television producer living in L.A., her job had her on the road a lot, and that meant she went through a lot of travel-size toothpastes. It felt wasteful, so she started doing some research.
“Over 1 billion toothpaste tubes are thrown away every year, which equals the mass of the Empire State Building annually,” says McCormick.
And then there was the matter of what’s inside these tubes. Stuff like like propylene glycol, artificial sweeteners, colorants, and dyes.
“So many people are more concerned about the ingredients in their shampoo than what’s in their toothpaste,” says McCormick. “We swallow 5–7% of our toothpaste every time we brush our teeth, which equals an entire ‘blob’ of toothpaste every 7 days.”
Facts like that prompted her to start looking for alternatives. She took online chemistry classes, talked to a lot of dentists and dental hygienists and eventually invested in a tablet-0making machine into which she pressed ingredients like xylitol, calcium carbonate, and guar gum.
The result is Bite Bits, small, round tablets that you chew a little before you start brushing. The bits, which come in three flavors, are housed in one-month- or four-month-size glass jars, and subsequent refills are delivered in compostable pouches.
It does kind of feel like you’re brushing your teeth with an Altoid, but considering that a Bite Bit contains no harsh chemicals and needs no plastic tube, it’s nice to know there’s a zero-waste alternative to traditional toothpaste, even if it is a little powdery.