Making a difference — one toothbrush at a time
While takeaway coffee cups, with their plastic lining, and throwaway water bottles have come under the bright environmental spotlight in recent times, another daily item coming under scrutiny is the humble toothbrush.
With people going through between six and 12 toothbrushes a year, and with the handle and brush made from plastic, bamboo has emerged as an alternative material for the product.
One man making them is Dylan Regan, CEO of VirtueBrush.
“Our main product is a bamboo-handle toothbrush”, he said.
Single use plastics ban report
“It represents a 97% reduction in plastic, as the bristles account for 3%. It is not 100% perfect, but we are talking with a research group to create and use bristles made from non-petroleum nylon. We hope to have that on the market in 2019.
“The crux is — if we say: ‘it’s just one plastic toothbrush’ or ‘just one plastic bag’, but if everyone keeps making that decision, all that plastic adds up.
“This brush is not the silver bullet, it’s symbolic of a sustainable lifestyle and a positive step in the right direction. When you’re holding the brush in your hand twice a day, it makes you think what else you could do.”
The VirtueBrush is sold in Ireland through health food stores, but the entrepreneur hopes that his business will have a more mass market effect.
“These little items as insignificant as they might seem, are of major significance. It creates a market and the greenest one wins, it spurs this virtuous circle and a race to the top,” said Dylan.
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