Toothbrush Subscription – The Real Deal
Time and time again we are left with the conundrum, when do we or rather when should we replace that toothbrush of ours. More often than not we tend to forget it altogether.
Toothbrush bristles go through a fair share of wear down. They get filled up with bacteria, and generally become less effective over time – so when we forget to replace them, they’re absolutely not doing their job right. No wonder, even dentists across the globe recommend a shiny new toothbrush every 3 months for better oral hygiene.
Don’t wait until your toothbrush is completely frayed to replace it.
Replacing your toothbrush every quarter might be what your pearly whites need, but is it really what the planet needs? A subscription over picking toothbrushes up from the supermarket? A short answer to that would be a firm ‘yes’.
THE HUMBLE TOOTHBRUSH
NOT SO HUMBLE AFTER ALL
To give you an idea of the relative environmental impact, a standard plastic toothbrush on an average weighs around 25 grams including about 15-20 grams of toothbrush weight and about 5-10 grams of packaging weight. Plastic toothbrushes are not recyclable, because the composite plastics they are made of are difficult, if not impossible, to break apart efficiently. Also, most of the packaging material used are plastic laminates. Well, this directly translates into an individual creating about 100 grams of unsustainable waste each year, for 4 plastic toothbrushes used annually.
THROW YOUR OLD TOOTHBRUSH AFTER THREE MONTHS OR WHEN THE BRISTLES START TO FLARE, WHICHEVER COMES FIRST–INDIAN DENTAL ASSOCIATION
Actually, most dental associations around the globe suggest the same. And if everyone around the world followed those recommendations, we would be looking at a whopping 23 billion toothbrushes getting trashed annually. In case earlier you were wondering, it’s an individual waste of just a hundred grams for a whole year, can you do the math now?
THE BAMBOO TOOTHBRUSH
WHAT’S THE CATCH?
A Terraw Bamboo toothbrush weighs 15 grams and comes in an outer packaging box and a mailing parcel that weigh around 5-10 grams in total. The packaging box is made of recycled brown paper and our mailing parcel is basically a thread reinforced paper envelope sealed with paper tape that is 100% biodegradable. The toothbrush handle is made entirely from natural bamboo — completely compostable and one of the world’s most renewable resources. The only part of the toothbrush that can’t be recycled or composted is the bristles, which are made from BPA free Nylon.
But, the bristles on each brush weigh less than half a gram. So — you create just 2 grams of unsustainable waste each year if you choose to opt for Terraw’s Lone Wolf Subsciption.
PUTTING THINGS IN PERSPECTIVE
So practically, by merely replacing our plastic toothbrush with a bamboo toothbrush, each one of us can contribute towards not trashing the planet, by creating 50 times less unsustainable waste, as compared to someone who tosses plastic toothbrushes every three months. In sheer numbers this reflects into saving over 563,000 tons of plastic waste from diverting into our landfills and oceans, annually. And for your reference that’s the weight of over 5500 blue whales, which happens to be the largest animal on the planet, can you believe it?
ENVIRONMENTAL COST OF DELIVERY
The logistics involved with toothbrushes reaching your doors too has an environmental cost associated with it. Hence, we at Terraw try to schedule our shipping days in a way that we’re able to send out at least 10 orders in every delivery round, so the total CO2 produced by each delivery from packaging to post office comes out to be around 29 grams — over 5 times less than a single 1 km journey in an average petrol-run car.
In conclusion, depending on the location of your preferred supermarket and how far you have to travel to run your errands, you’re likely to have a bigger footprint in buying a plastic toothbrush from the supermarket than you will have by opting for a toothbrush subscription for an entire year.
MORE ON BRISTLES
There are a couple of 100% compostable toothbrushes available around the world, one of which has bristles made from pig hairs which is a by-product of the Chinese meat industry and another with tapioca and corn that fray really quick; and we can get them to last from a few days to a couple of weeks only. BPA free nylon, right now is the only material available anywhere in the country that meets dental standards.
You might come across companies advertising their toothbrush bristles being made from bamboo or charcoal enhanced bamboo, and are 100% biodegradable, well trust me, you might want to question the authenticity of their claims. But I don’t blame them advertisers, because unless companies actually self- monitor manufacturing operations and indulge in their own testing of the product materials, they really don’t know what materials their product contains, despite what the manufacturer tells them.
Please feel free to connect with me over email should you wish to discuss more about the plastic toothbrushes used for weight comparisons or about the fuel CO2 calculators and detailed process behind the calculations mentioned. Until next time, ciao!