TePe Tip: Your toothbrush—a sustainable choice?
When choosing a sustainable option for your toothbrush, what is the first thing you consider? For many people the words recycle and biodegradable come to mind. These are important aspects within a sustainable initiative, but we must consider the entire lifecycle of a product. Let’s take a better look at some common terms and what they mean.
- Sustainable: For materials such as plastic to be called sustainable, they must meet three requirements: be environmentally, economically, and socially sustainable.
- Renewable Resource: a resource which can be used repeatedly and replaced naturally.
- Recyclable: using materials that would become waste and turning it into new products.
- Bio-degradable: degrade over time by way of microorganisms in a specific environment
- Compostable: biodegrade with the added benefit of producing nutrients
- Degradable: break down over time, but does not mean it is completely gone.
It is also valuable to clarify some of the misconceptions linked with these topics. Keep in mind that just because something can be thrown into a recycling bin, does not mean it can be recycled to create a new product. Often products are made from multiple types of plastics and cannot be recycled. Bio-degradable or compostable items require specific conditions for living microorganisms to break the material down, so you can’t just through it into the environment and expect it to biodegrade.
When considering sustainability aspects, materials are often in focus – but it is also about quality. A high-quality product lasts longer and contributes to less waste. Plastic materials are still ideal for oral hygiene products in terms of durability, safety, malleability and hygiene. Bio-based plastic can be food-graded, which means that we are not being exposed to the release of hazardous chemicals that recycled plastics may contain.
TePe GOOD TM
TePe GOOD TM is our sustainability initiative to make a difference for the good of the planet and for your good. TePe has chosen to use a bio-based plastic (PE) from sugar cane, which meets all the sustainable requirements. They are high-quality products produced using renewable energy—solar, hydro, and wind. We are excited for you to try them and continue this effort towards sustainability together!