14 April 2016

Toothbrushes part 1

By Science Museum London / Science and Society Picture Library [CC BY-SA 2.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/2.0)], via Wikimedia Commons
Such a small item, but let's take a look at the amount we throw away every year with normal use and it becomes an issue.
The suggested change is every three months, but I, for example, find two months to be the time when bristles become worn and irritable. So that means I'm throwing in the bin 6 brushes per year. And normal/medium toothbrush is more durable. My husband ATM goes through soft ones bi-weekly because he's wearing braces. That's 26 toothbrushes from him. Plus another 4 from my daughter.

All in all, we probably bin well over half a kilo of plastic in toothbrushes yearly!

Even the "normal" use which is a toothbrush every three months (4 per person per year), assuming a toothbrush weighs around 20 grams we end up with 0.24kg or 0.53 pound of quite nasty trash, which is worse to biodegrade than plastic bags because it comes as tightly packed bunch of plastic as opposed to large but thin sheets of it. And we know how long these sheets take to degrade!

So what's in store?

Essentially only bamboo toothbrushes. Which some people are fine with some can't take the taste of wood.
I, personally, don't think 2 minutes of the taste of wood is that much of a discomfort really, but it's a personal matter I suppose.

Quick google search and I ended up with well over 20 different brands of toothbrushes. Amazon shopping on top of that and we have 40+ to go through, however...
Everything would be fine, but most of those toothbrushes have bamboo handle and nylon bristles.
As long as bamboo disintegrates nicely (if not painted or treated) that nylon doesn't. Oh fine it takes way shorter to biodegrade (c.a. 50 years), but think about it! 50 years is over half of a human life nowadays! If you see Highest Quality Dupont Tynex Bristles anywhere that's what I'm referring to. Tynex is nylon and nylon is a type of plastic.
I loved how one producer said you can pluck them and dispose of via normal channels. Such a nice way around to say: bin them. And how can they even advertise this product as ecological, green and biodegradable. Ask fish who choke on them how they like that. Doh.

So that list really is ONLY 3 items long:

TEA NATURA Bamboo Toothbrush for Adults
for £2.79 (+ delivery costs in the United Kingdom: £7.90) the cost of the brush is fine but combined with that delivery is rather costly. To give them credit they will send for free if I order for £42.95 in total, so I'd have to order toothbrushes for my whole family and some to achieve that, but that's beyond the point.
More details on how they served us here

Cebra Wooden Toothbrush With Natural Bristles
£6.95 + £1 UK delivery (OMG, that's a lot.) Although this one apparently has more firm bristles, so I will try it just to know how I like it. If I'm making an experiment I have to be thorough, right? Ker-ching...
More details on how they served us here.

Bamboo Toothbrush
either with bamboo or charcoal bristles £8.50 for a pack of three (that's 2.83 per brush) no delivery fee!
More details on how they served us here.

There are a couple others which look interesting, but come in this horrid plastic packaging which reminds me of computer accessories or electronic gadgets you can't get to unless you have a heavy duty knife, quite big scissors or an electric chainsaw!

I'll order all of them for me and my hubby and we will see how they compare.

Visual size comparison.
Note: Toothbrushes are in various stages of use, so this is not a comparison of the new by new.