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Eco-Friendly Products: Preserve Toothbrush

Updated on August 14, 2013

Question: How many yogurt cups do you see in the photo below?

Are you scratching your head now and saying, “This writer is crazy, there is not a plastic cup in sight?”

If you are, just look a little harder. Now can you see them? Still no?

To be honest, I’m not sure how many yogurt cups we’re looking at, but they are in that purple toothbrush handle. More accurately: they are that purple handle.

How Many Plastic Yogurt Cups Can You See?

Source

The Result of Recycling

This toothbrush is made by Preserve, a company that makes products from recycled plastic, and has done so since it beginning in 1996. In particular they manufacture products from plastic with the Number 5 symbol, which many municipal recycling schemes do not accommodate.

Every product they make is free from Bisphenol-A, a hormone-disrupting chemical commonly found in plastics, and banned in babies’ bottles in the European Union and Canada.

Preserve has B Corporation status, which means its business practices have passed some rigorous tests. Using Gandhi’s attitude that we must be the change we seek, B Lab, a non-profit organization certifies companies that meet its criteria. This certification is done after rigorous scrutiny, in a similar way that TransFair, in the US, and the Fairtrade Labelling Organization worldwide, certifies Fair Trade products.

Preserve Products is considered by B Lab to have areas of excellence in governance, which includes corporate accountability and transparency, and in environmental impact. Its work environment is also considered to be good.

The Packaging

Source

Environmental Impact

Since it is recommended by dentists that we should change our toothbrushes every 3 months, a lot of toothbrushes are thrown away each year, and Preserve have clearly thought out every aspect of the environmental impact of this toothbrush. The packaging my toothbrush came in is a clear plastic container that can be used as travel holder.

After you’ve finished with your toothbrush you recycle it again. In the USA, Preserve provide “Gimme 5” recycle bins in many Whole Foods Market stores and other locations. You can pop your toothbrush into one of those when you buy a new one. But if you don’t have a Preserve “Gimme 5” bin nearby, you can send both it and the packaging back to Preserve and collect “Recyclebank” points for doing so. These points go towards discounts on groceries. UK purchasers don’t get the points, but can send the toothbrushes back to an UK address for recycling. (Not all Preserve toothbrushes come in a travel holder, but those that don’t come with packaging that can be used to mail the toothbrush back for recycling.)

So when you buy this toothbrush, you can do so with a clear conscience, knowing that the people who made it were treated fairly and its impact on the environment is minimal. Only the bristles are made from new nylon fibers.

But is it any good?

That is the question I asked myself several months ago when I bought my first Preserve toothbrush. The reviews on Amazon were mixed, and in particular a few people complained about bristles falling out. I felt disappointed when I read this, because I was really excited to have discovered a toothbrush that was so good for the environment, and wanted to share the news here on HubPages.

Then I noticed that every poor review was for the extra soft toothbrush, and many reviewers regarded Preserve toothbrushes as softer than their usual brand. I have found this to be the case. Although I have always used a soft toothbrush in the past, my Preserve toothbrushes have been medium, and are equivalent to a soft brush.

To be certain that I could recommend this toothbrush I decide to test it for the full recommended time. In three months of brushing not one bristle escaped from my toothbrush, as you can see in the photo below. The blue brush is a new one, just taken from its packet. The green one is three months old. (You can tell by the toothpaste that I couldn’t clean off the ridge of the handle when I tried to pretty up my old toothbrush for its photo!)

Quality Check: comparing new and used Preserve toothbrushes

Source

Preserve Medium Toothbrushes are available on Amazon

Preserve Toothbrushes in Lightweight Pouch, Medium Bristles, 6-Count (Colors Vary)
Preserve Toothbrushes in Lightweight Pouch, Medium Bristles, 6-Count (Colors Vary)

A pack of medium toothbrushes with the mail back pack option

 

An Explanation About the Unusual Shape.

Preserve consulted with dentists when designing their toothbrushes. (I know most manufacturers say this, but remember Preserve is a B Corporation who has an area of excellency in transparency so I believe them!)

Their toothbrushes are angled backwards, which may take some people a bit of getting used to. I am not one of those people. I loved the shape from the start. I’ve long had an annoying habit of accidentally bashing my gum with my toothbrush, and ending up with mouth ulcers. That has not happened once with these toothbrushes.

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    • tillsontitan profile image

      Mary Craig 5 years ago from New York

      Guess we should start looking for these toothbrushes! I use my old toothbrushes for cleaning and stuff but recycled is always better. Thanks for this great hub and information!

      Voted up, useful, and interesting!

    • Melovy profile image
      Author

      Yvonne Spence 6 years ago from UK

      Thanks taw2012.

    • taw2012 profile image

      taw2012 6 years ago from India

      hi...this is a nice hub. This is really eco- friendly. Voted up.

    • Melovy profile image
      Author

      Yvonne Spence 6 years ago from UK

      Hi Steph,

      It is great isn’t it? I just saw your eco-grocery hub, and I think you will be able these at Whole food Market easily!

      Thanks for your comment.

    • stephhicks68 profile image

      Stephanie Hicks 6 years ago from Bend, Oregon

      What an awesome product! I didn't know about Preserve toothbrushes, but I can tell you that we'll be getting them when its time to replace ours. Cool hub!

    • Melovy profile image
      Author

      Yvonne Spence 6 years ago from UK

      Hi cclitgirl,

      You are right, there’s a lot of toothbrushes thrown away! A single toothbrush doesn’t seem like much but when you add them all up, just making this one change can make a difference. Glad to let you know about them, and thanks for your comment.

    • cclitgirl profile image

      Cynthia Calhoun 6 years ago from Western NC

      Great hub! Voted up and stuff. I am a conservationist by nature, but I didn't know about Preserve. In fact, I just changed out my toothbrush - every time the seasons change, I change my toothbrush. That's four toothbrushes every year, four for everyone I know. That is A LOT of toothbrushes. Thank you for bringing this to light. (HUGS)

    • Melovy profile image
      Author

      Yvonne Spence 6 years ago from UK

      Marcy, most people haven’t heard of them it seems! I’m always on the look-out for this kind of thing and was looking for a toothbrush with replaceable head a when I spotted them in a health food store. There’s a lot written about how materials put out for recycling don’t get used, so it’s good to find evidence that some definitely does!

      Thanks for your comment.

    • Melovy profile image
      Author

      Yvonne Spence 6 years ago from UK

      Hi emilybee, thank for your comment and vote up, and glad you found it useful.

    • Melovy profile image
      Author

      Yvonne Spence 6 years ago from UK

      Hi Kelley,

      Thanks very much for linking! There’s a special kids range of these and if you buy them for your kids I’d go for soft rather than extra soft given the reviews I initially read on Amazon. Since I first looked into them everything has changed on Amazon and there are no longer any reviews! I think it must be because the whole brand has been relaunched as the packaging has changed. Hopefully they took the comments into account and there will be no problems with loose bristles anywhere in the range now.

    • Melovy profile image
      Author

      Yvonne Spence 6 years ago from UK

      Hi Ardie, glad you found this interesting, and thanks for your kind comment. Yogurt cup toothbrushes rule!

    • Marcy Goodfleisch profile image

      Marcy Goodfleisch 6 years ago from Planet Earth

      I'm with Ardie - I've never heard of these either - although I've heard of many things being manufactured with recycled materials. I hope this trend grows, so we don't end up mired in a sea of overstuffed landfills decades from now. Thanks for this interesting hub!

    • emilybee profile image

      emilybee 6 years ago

      What a great thing! I'll have to keep my eye out for these toothbrushes. Nice hub and voted up.

    • profile image

      kelleyward 6 years ago

      I've never heard of this. Thanks for sharing. Voted up and useful. I'm adding your article to my article on ways to teach kids to be eco friendly.

    • Ardie profile image

      Sondra 6 years ago from Neverland

      So awesome! I've never heard of these and now I want a yogurt cup toothbrush :) Great Hub - you always have such interesting ideas.

    • Melovy profile image
      Author

      Yvonne Spence 6 years ago from UK

      Hi Rebecca, and thanks for your comment.

    • Melovy profile image
      Author

      Yvonne Spence 6 years ago from UK

      HI Happyboomernurse,

      I’m so glad you like the information! I’d have felt guilty if I’d written a review before I knew the product was good, but it all turned out fine!

      Thanks for your comment and vote up!

    • rebeccamealey profile image

      Rebecca Mealey 6 years ago from Northeastern Georgia, USA

      Very enlightening. I will look for this product.note to self:eco friendly toothbrush

    • Happyboomernurse profile image

      Gail Sobotkin 6 years ago from South Carolina

      What a great hub. I never heard of Preserve toothbrushes before reading this article and I liked the comprehensive information about the toothbrush, the company and the eco-friendliness of this product.

      I also appreciated the fact that you tested the product on yourself.

      Voted up, useful, awesome and interesting.

    • Melovy profile image
      Author

      Yvonne Spence 6 years ago from UK

      Hi Ruchira,

      I’m glad to spread the word as I am sure that many more people like you and Sunnie would use these if they knew.

      Thanks for your comment.

    • Melovy profile image
      Author

      Yvonne Spence 6 years ago from UK

      Hi Sunnie Day,

      You are right, every little helps. ! love that these are made from old yogurt cups and that they are then recycled into something else.

      Thanks for your kind words about my hub and for sharing.

    • Ruchira profile image

      Ruchira 6 years ago from United States

      Wow...did not know about this until now. Thanks Melovy.

      you sure are gaining good karma points by recycling and using eco-friendly products.

      Thanks for sharing this.

    • profile image

      Sunnie Day 6 years ago

      What a great and useful hub! I love this idea and will look for this type of toothbrush. Every little bit helps. Thank you for sharing this wonderful hub..Will share this one for sure! Thank you!

      Sunnie

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